Meta Quest Pro Controllers have a hidden feature
The Quest Pro's controllers are apparently capable of more than Meta revealed so far.
With the recent release of the Quest Pro (info), it became clear that the new VR headset does not offer everything Meta had promised a few months earlier. The company has removed the originally planned depth sensor from the Quest Pro.
In turn, the Touch Pro controllers apparently have a feature built-in feature that Meta doesn't even mention, as Twitter user "Shiny Quagsire" shows. In a short video, he presented the functionality of a touchpad underneath the beveled surface on the edges of the controller. The thumb normally rests on this.
Shiny Quagsire moves a cursor by swiping his thumb across the controller surface. In the test, this cursor point moved according to the thumb movement, albeit with a minimal delay.
apparently the Quest Pro controllers have a touchpad, but I can't find literally any documentation on it for some reason aside from "oh, the thumb rest is pressure sensitive" pic.twitter.com/eZzWa7cMxX
— Shiny Quagsire (@ShinyQuagsire) November 8, 2022
Shiny Quagsire wondered, while experimenting with the VR controllers, that Meta had not provided any documentation about the touchpad feature. Instead, there was only the information that this resting position for the thumb reacts to pressure.
Meta primarily uses this pressure sensor for a "Precision Pinch" gesture for accessing with two fingers. The thumb presses on the upper surface and another finger on a trigger button. This gives the impression that users pick up objects in the virtual world, hold them between two fingertips or squeeze them a bit. Meta confirmed force detection of up to six Newtons.
Meta could unlock the touchpad later
Theoretically, Meta could have used the function together with the capabilities of the trigger, which also recognizes additional finger movements (bending or sliding movement of the index finger). Developers could already integrate the pinch gestures into their software, for which an API will follow later.
However, there is no talk of a possible touchpad interface. Why Meta is hiding this feature is unclear. Users could use it as a mouse replacement or scroll through menus in the Quest Pro's intended working scenario. Meta could unlock the touchpad later.
The Touch Pro controllers are available separately from the Quest Pro, making them a possible upgrade for the Meta Quest 2 as well. The price for a pair is $299.