It seems Quest owners are about to get a healthy dose of new features in the v34 update, something Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says will bring the previously leaked ‘Space Sense’ Guardian system, push notifications in VR from Android phones, and mixed reality app publishing to both the Quest Store and App Lab.

Update (November 2nd, 2021): Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a teaser of v34 on Facebook, giving cursory mention of the headline features coming to Quest starting today.

“Quest v34 update landing soon with Space Sense, a new guardian that lets you see people, pets and objects entering your VR space,” Zuckerberg says. “If you use Android, you’ll now be able to get phone notifications in VR. And if you’re building mixed reality apps, you’ll soon be able to ship them in the Quest Store or App Lab.”

The company provided a bit more detail in an Oculus blogpost, saying that v34 is rolling out starting today. The article below details the previous Space Sense leak.

Original Article (September 13th, 2021): Guardian, the playspace boundary for Quest, may be getting a facelift and a name change to go along with an upcoming feature, which could arrive in Quest’s upcoming v33 software update.

Called Space Sense, the feature was first discovered by German programmer ‘Basti564’. Mining through hidden v32 files, Basti found a video buried within that shows off Space Sense’s features.

Under the video was also menu text explaining what Space Sense does:

See Your Real-World Surroundings in VR

Enable Space Sense to see outlines of people and things in your Room-scale boundary. Staying aware of what’s around you while in VR helps keep you and others safe.

You can see outlines up to 9 feet away as long as it’s still within your boundary, and directly in front of your headset. You can turn this feature off anytime in Settings.

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The implementation isn’t foolproof; someone can always walk up behind you outside of the sensors’ field of view. Considering the number of videos of people getting blasted by Touch controller punches, it’s undoubtedly good news for people with pets, kids, and people unfamiliar with how VR works though.

Space Sense isn’t live yet, however it’s slated to be one of the biggest additions to Quest’s roomscale detection system as of late. Guardian has mostly remained the same since launch of the Quest platform in 2019, save a feature added last year which detects static objects within a playspace such as tables or chairs left in the way during the setup process.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Rob Walker

    My family knows to stay away from me when I’m playing, but the cat doesn’t (and roams freely indoors). Sensing a pet within the Guardian would also be a welcome addition.

    • Blaexe

      The last leak actually mentioned pets but this one doesn’t. Maybe they had to scrap that feature for the time being.

  • Sébastien

    Back in 2015, I remember Valve wanted to add a similar feature on the first HTC Vive but it never came to fruition. Instead, Valve put a “wireframe” view when you were outside of your defined play area, a bit like on Rift/Quest with Guardian. Great thing that Oculus has finally added this feature. Is this new feature also available on Quest 1 or is it Quest 2-exclusive ?

    • Blaexe

      These are two completely different features you’re talking about. This one should detect people (and hopefully) pets when going into your playspace and keeping you alert of it. There’s nothing like this out there yet.

      And it’s not released, this is a firmware leak.

      • Sébastien

        That’s what I said. Valve worked on a similar feature : you could see like a person or a cat when it moved in your play area. That’s what they had planned but they didn’t succeed to make it work. Unfortunately, it never saw the light of day. Instead, they had this blue “wireframe” view when you were outside of your play area. So, yeah, it was a bit of bummer.

        • Blaexe

          The most impressive part is in my opinion that this is supposed to run on a mobile chip while playing games. True Mixed Reality is getting more viable slowly.

  • JakeDunnegan

    I mean, that’s great and all, but dangit, I want you to show me all these “…videos of people getting blasted by Touch controller punches”!!! That sounds freaking entertaining!

  • Geogaddi

    This sounds like a horror movie… You think you’re all alone in the house playing some silly game with your headset on, and all of a sudden a freaking outline stands behind you!

    • Ad

      Any game dev who doesn’t add a fake one to their game to trick people is just crazy.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      In panic, you remove the headset, but nobody is there. You chug the remaining Vodka to calm your nerves. You work out that you must have been hallucinating, and as you have waited to see the Mirror’s Edge in VR since 2013, you take it in your Stride. After a while, the ghostly presence appears again, and you realize this is Marisol Chavez. The mirror is still possessed, so you try to hit it with your controller, but like the first time you only hit the wall. You try to figure out what the cameras record, to proof that you are not insane, before dropping a heavy anchor on the whole thing to finally destroy it. But you miscalculate again, this time not killing your parents, who already died in the 2002 retrospection, nor your sister, who died in the first movie from 2013, but yourself.

      Who would have thought they would release a sequel to Oculus horror after eight years?

  • Ad

    Any reason this couldn’t be used for gameplay?

    • Blaexe

      Similar to hand tracking probably but worse. Too slow, not accurate enough. Good enough to give you a warning but not good enough to interact.

  • Ender772

    seems like a very usefully featrure..finally no more guardian..right? instead it just tells me when im about to hit something

  • not_robo

    yo, this would be a useful add on

  • bucrepus

    I just wish they would make it where you could type in simple dimensions for a square guardian area. It sure would help for games like Space Pirate Arena. It would also help if you had square space or close to square space anywhere else. They almost always show a square type guardian in the tutorials anyway…

  • Grateful Fred

    What I’d really like is an automatic Guardian option where it would scan the area and create a guardian. Retain the manual option but make life easier at the same time.

  • Martijn Krijgsman

    Anyone knows how I can get the phone notification settings option in the android app ? Trying to enable them, but the android app just doesn’t show the phone notifications option