Meta Quest lacks a virtual camera - "QuestCam" wants to provide it

Meta Quest lacks a virtual camera -

It should be possible to record experiences in VR the same way you record them in the real world: with a handheld camera. A developer is working on a solution for Meta Quest.

FACTS

Developer Matthew Dowd is working on an SDK for Meta Quest that will allow developers to integrate a virtual third-person camera into their VR apps. Meta Quest can be used to record video, but only from a first-person perspective. QuestCam decouples the camera from the user's view, giving them more options for capturing video.

Dowd expects VR users and developers to record more interesting videos with QuestCam and share them on social media, which should help raise awareness of VR apps and VR in general.

"How does a camera tool solve VR distribution? Cameras -> videos -> posts -> views -> virality -> downloads," writes Dowd on X.

He is currently working on supporting Unity apps and games. More than 100 developers are said to already be on his Discord server.

What about the performance requirements? "It's working quite well so far - but some games will push Quest to the limit and will require more optimization. For almost every game the tradeoff is worth it given how much visibility QuestCam can get a game," writes Dowd on X.

QuestCam will be free for users as well as developers, Dowd tells MIXED. ""QuestCam will be free. We plan to add optional paid services and features in the future that monetize in ways that are aligned with developer and player interests."

Dowd added that the QuestCam SDK will be released soon and that developers and studios can contact him via X or the official QuestCam discord server.

CONTEXT & OPINION

A great idea, but Meta could copy it

I see potential in the idea. Virtual reality goes beyond the rectangular format of classic media and teleports us into another reality. Why shouldn't we be able to document it in the same way as physical reality, with cameras that we can hold in our hands or place anywhere in the room? Videos of this kind could indeed promote awareness of VR apps and VR in general.

If the implementation is successful and the SDK is well received by the developers, Meta will probably want to copy it and try to introduce a similar feature, but at the system level. This could be a problem for QuestCam. MIXED contacted Dowd for comment, and the developer had this to say:

"3rd person cameras like QuestCam rely on direct integration into a game by the developer. It would be tough for Meta to get around this challenge on a system level, but even if they found a way to, I think our offering would reflect player desires more accurately. I also think it would be wise for Meta to encourage a vibrant orchestra of 3rd party tool providers so Quest becomes an even stronger platform.

We have long term plans to bring services to developers that uniquely leverage our in-engine integration and growing developer community around QuestCam. But, our first priority is making the best virtual camera that developers can give their players for free."