Earlier this year the Unity Labs team shared an incredible proof-of-concept mixed reality demo that shows the power of blending the real and virtual worlds together. Now the developers behind the project say you’ll be able to get your hands on the experiment on Quest sometime next year.

At Facebook Connect at the end of October, the Unity Labs team revealed Unity Slices: Table, a proof-of-concept social mixed reality app that seamlessly connects people—both local and remote—into a shared experience centered around a game board.

It’s tough to explain so let’s jump right to a video example:

Take a look at the video above. We can see two other users around the table, and then we see the view transitioning seamlessly between the passthrough view of the real world and the virtual world. But do you notice anything else interesting?

Of the two users we see, one is actually there, and the other is not. As the virtual view is wiped away in favor of the real-world view, the local player’s real body becomes visible, but the virtual player’s body remains as an avatar (because they aren’t actually there in the real room).

As Eric Provencher, one of the developers behind the project, explained in a breakdown of the demo, one goal of Unity Slices: Table is to dissolve the barrier between local and remote users by making either kind of player feel equally present in the experience.

This is why the core of the experience is built around a virtual chess board which serves as a central anchor for everyone in the scene, whether they are actually in the same room or on opposite sides of the world. Beyond bringing everyone together around a shared point in space, the chess board rests atop a real surface, which turns it into a sort of virtual touchscreen with real haptics (thanks to the real surface underneath). Everyone (local or remote) collectively ‘touches’ the same board within the same spatial frame of reference, making it too feel like a shared piece of reality.

SEE ALSO
NBA League Pass Games Return to Quest in 'Horizon Venues' This Month

“It took us awhile to get to a system that worked smoothly, but the moment we first hopped into a networked session with expressive avatars, and could both see and hear the other person tapping our table over the voice chat as if we were in the same room, was truly mind-blowing,” wrote Provencher. “It felt almost magical to bring this tangible part of our reality into a shared experience.”

This week Provencher affirmed that Unity Slices: Table will be released as a demo on Oculus Quest for anyone to try.

“My team is still hard at work polishing up Unity Slices: Table up for release, look for it on App lab in 2022!”

Beyond being an incredible mixed reality demo, hopefully it’ll also be a fully functional multiplayer chess app. We look forward to mixing reality ourselves next year.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • Ad

    Then facebook buys hasbro and ruins board games forever.

  • Yeah that’s all I really care about: that the chess game’s actually functional.

    • Sing, meta shill, sing. Sing until your ugly little blackened lungs are filled with bile and snark, and then open your arms and legs to accept your trumpian savior into your ample womby butthole.

  • VR5

    This is actually what the vision of the metaverse can deliver even with current tech, copresence both with actually and with virtually present users. This is what can make remote work close to on location work. We don’t need to simulate every aspect of reality to be together in the same space.

    • Totius

      Yep. It really looks impressive

      • jcl2869

        I have received $20,700 in no more than 21 days through working part-time through a laptop.~ge94301~Just when I had lost my last job, I was so perturbed but fortunately I obtained this simple online offer now doing this I am ready to get thousand of dollars from the comfort of my home.~ge9308~All of you can certainly try this career and gain extra money online visiting following site.

        >>>> >>>> >>>> https://bit.ly/Selfcareer43?/obdsbsdsdfbsdfbddf….08

        ********************************************************

      • Aubrey Scott

        I’ve actually obtained $19670 in no more than calendar month through working parttime through my house.~RD104~Immediately when I had lost my last position, I was very worried and luckily I discovered this simple on-line task and in this way I can manage to receive thousands from the comfort of home.~RD104~Everyone can try this best work and could gain more greenbacks on-line visiting following web-page.
        >>>> https://3c5.com/FYoGP

    • UlrikeKeller

      I’ve actually got paid $20100 just in a month via working easy jobs on home computer.~E140~Just when I lost my last job, I was so troubled & fortunately I located this easy on-line task & in this way I can manage to own thousand USD staying in my home.~E140~Everybody can certainly join this opportunity & may collect extra money online heading following website.

      >>> https://bit.ly/googleonlinework?/140
      .

    • oniee3

      I have actually created $18330 merely three weeks simply working job at my computer.~lc45~When I have lost my last position, I was exhausted & luckily I have came across this super on-line offer and I can manage to have thousands directly from my home.~lc4526~All of you can certainly get this golden opportunity & benefit more money on-line by viewing this link.

      >>>> >>>> >>>> https://bit.ly/googlecareer01?/ksfdsssfdbsdfbsds….26

      ********************************************************

  • guest

    It just looks like the view through some overpriced AR glasses with a limited field of view…

    • behram

      Are the any underpriced AR Glass that offer AR & VR combability shown here ?

    • DjArcas

      ‘just’

  • I hope they’ll also release the source code for us developers to use

  • Ad

    Weird that when you have a taller volume, all avatars can’t be seen outside of it. That took a lot away for no technical reason seemingly.

  • Something the Oculus team (Meta :P) needs to do is add universal support for Quest headsets to detect each other in the same room.

    I know they couldn’t track the headset itself, as it doesn’t have any IR emitters, but they could track another user’s Touch Controllers, and with a network link to that other headset, figure out where that user’s head is as well.

    They wouldn’t even have to pole this data very often, as after the first measurement, they could just sync normal gameplay. Maybe, every minute or so, they’d re-sync to prevent drift from the real world.

    In this demo, I bet they are just using fixed location points to see the second user’s location. This could all be measured automatically with some better code.

  • Rupert Jung

    To get rid of the chess board they could try to apply a thin, transparent foil with a tracker marker applied. If they use color only visible in infrared spectrum (but visible for the Quest’s camera) this marker could not be seen by users at all. This foil could be adhesive only hold in place by the atmosphere pressure (like a smartphone screen protection), so it could be reused.