Facebook knows VR headsets aren’t really great productivity machines yet, however higher-resolution displays, greater hand-tracking, and integration with hardware you already own, like a physical keyboard, may make that a reality. And with that in mind, Facebook outlined some of their intentions to make the Quest platform more of a business accessory than a party-time necessity.
Okay, so forget about the punchy, upbeat music and the impeccably dressed models for a minute in the promo video (linked below).
Today Facebook introduced something they call Infinite Office, the company’s new collection of software gubbins which it hopes will create a true virtual office space. It might also make playing and communicating in VR much less of a hassle than it currently is too.
Some of the things we see in the video are old hat for Quest users: multiple customizable screens, hand-tracking for content manipulation, and Passthrough mode so you can keep an eye on the real world—but then we see the real utility of all these things pushed just a bit further.
Infinite Office is slated to let you mix passthrough and a digital environment. At least for now, it’s designed to let you can keep an eye on your keyboard, namely a Logitech keyboard, meaning you won’t have to be a perfect touch typist to get work done whilst in VR.
If you use Facebook Messenger, then you’ll also be able to shoot friends and family messages while in VR too. Even if you don’t, you’ll need a Facebook account anyway if you want to use Oculus Quest 2, so maybe the company hopes you’ll start using it soon.
Facebook says Infinite Office will get an experimental release for Quest 2 this winter. The company further says it will finally share Passthrough with developers so they may be able to enable that sort of level of mixed reality in their apps.
As it is now, Passthrough integration (to whatever extent) has already been handed off to third parties including the productivity app Spatial, which just recently landed on the Oculus Store for Quest.