Meta Quest 2: Universal real-time subtitling in the works
A firmware find suggests that Meta is working on a subtitling feature for Meta Quest 2 that covers all audio sources.
The code was pointed out by firmware detective NyaVR, who shared the findings on Twitter:
"Meta works on system-wide 'real-time captioning' for audio that is played on the headset. It will work for apps, videos, and voice chat / parties."
According to NyaVR, Meta has been working on the feature for some time and added new strings to the beta of the v50 firmware update. That update is currently being tested by Meta and could roll out soon. Which doesn't mean that the feature will appear with it yet. The findings merely show that Meta is still working on the feature.
New options for the voice assistant
Real-time subtitling is known from platforms like YouTube. Meta Quest 2 would be the first VR headset to support such a feature. The feature would be especially handy when encountering foreign speakers in VR, as it could eliminate the language barrier. But foreign language VR games without subtitles could also benefit from such a feature.
Meta works on a system-level "live captioning" for audio that is played on the headset. It will work for apps, videos, and voice chats / parties. pic.twitter.com/7xBRztEGv6
— NyaVR (@nya_vr_) February 15, 2023
NyaVR further found evidence of an option to change the voice of the voice assistant. It reported code on a previous occasion suggesting that users will be able to customize the AI's name and wake-up word. The current wake-up word is the outdated "Hey Facebook".
The voice assistant is currently only supported in the US region. I could see this for myself recently when I tried to use the feature.
Meta Quest 2: Many new features in the making
The last few days brought a whole bunch of firmware finds that point to Quest features in development.
These include an update for the Quest Guardian system that allows multi-room setup, a reclining mode, and touch controls for Quest menus. The latter feature makes the interface touch-sensitive, so you can interact with it by directly tapping your virtual or real hand. Until now, you operated the menus with a kind of pointer that emanated from the controller or your hands.
The last Quest firmware update v49 was quite unspectacular and rolled out in mid-January. Since corresponding updates are usually released monthly, v50 could roll out in the next few days.