Before playing any virtual reality (VR) experience at home it’s always advisable to clear the area because once that headset is on you’ll quickly forget how you’re oriented in the room and where stuff is. What you can’t plan for is those moving variables, like kids running in or a curious cat suddenly appearing. Facebook aims to solve that issue with a feature unearthed in the most recent v32 software update, Space Sense.
German Twitter user Basti564 discovered in the firmware a video detailing how the feature works and reference to the ‘Space Sense’ name, which has previously been referred to as Guardian Intrusion Detection. As you can see, it’s all about notifying a VR player as to when a new obstruction comes into the play area. There’s also some text accompanying the video:
“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.”
Certainly beneficial for anyone playing in a busy home or area where footfall is more likely, the system is, of course, limited to the front tracking area which the cameras cover. So it won’t help if someone walks up behind you but at least you’re less likely to punch them in the face whilst VR boxing.
Now, the files Basti564 found were hidden so this is a feature currently still in the works. However, by the looks of the video and the accompanying text it certainly appears as if Facebook is gearing up for a release, in which case Space Sanse would be a big content addition to a future software update.
The last major enhancement to Oculus Quest’s Guardian system came just over a year ago, ‘Playspace Scan’ detecting objects like tables or chairs still within the boundary. Being able to detect active objects would be a first for any VR system, another boon for the standalone headset.
As further details arise regarding Oculus Quest’s next update, VRFocus will let you know.