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Meta Quest had a short-lived lying down mode. The feature has been withdrawn, but is expected to make a comeback at some point.
Twitter user Luna asked Meta’s CTO Andrew Bosworth and Meta’s VP of VR Mark Rabkin whether the lie-down mode would ever come back to Quest.
“I feel it it’s an important accessibility feature, although I can understand if there are safety etc. concerns,” Luna added.
Rabkin replied, “It shall make a comeback, we’re exploring how to make these special tracking modes robust/simple.”
It shall make a comeback, we’re exploring how to make these special tracking modes robust/simple.
– Mark Rabkin (@mrabkin) January 30, 2024
Meta giveth and taketh away
The first hints of a lying down mode appeared in the beta version of System Update 49 a year ago. The mode was introduced for some users in System Update 53, but it was removed again.
Rabkin’s statement gives hope that the feature will return at some point, but shows that Meta is not yet satisfied with it and has hurdles to overcome in its implementation.
A lying-down mode would be a big win for users
VR headsets can theoretically display immersive and other content regardless of body position and viewing angle, but they are optimized for sitting, standing, and walking indoors. A virtual screen is immaterial and does not need to be held or mounted on a wall. Maximum flexibility at the system level would therefore benefit users, especially those who need to use VR while lying down for health or other reasons.
With VR content, there is also the issue of motion sickness: lying down and seeing the world as if you were standing, or even artificially moving through it, could make some users nauseous. So there are more things to consider in the implementation than you might think at first glance.
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