Meta Quest v50 release is official and includes a few big surprises

Meta Quest v50 release is official and includes a few big surprises

The Meta Quest v50 release looks quite interesting, with direct tap and swipe possible with hand-tracking, in-game multitasking for Quest 2, hand-locomotion, and more.


While some details of the Quest v50 update were already known, thanks to screenshots shared by Public Test Channel (PTC) users, some interesting surprises have been announced in the official release notes from Meta.

It will take a few weeks for the v50 software to roll out to Quest 2 and Quest Pro headsets. Keep your device charged, switched on, and connected to Wi-Fi to get the update as soon as possible.

Direct Touch: go hands-on with controls

The biggest feature of this new update is called Direct Touch, and it allows you to reach out and tap controls and swipe across panels, just as you would on a tablet. The touch interface works with hand-tracking and controllers using a virtual hand.

If you've used the Dash keyboard via Quest Link or Airlink, you might have noticed that you can tap the keys directly. By the way, there could be a new version of Dash in the works. In standalone mode, the Quest keyboard is only accessible via a pointer with clicks on the controller or pinches with hand-tracking.


Video: Mark Zuckerberg / Meta

Note that Direct Touch only works on nearby items, just as in real life. That means you can type on the keyboard and swipe on panels. When you push windows further to see three screens, you'll still need to use pointer control.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to type by swiping, but since touch is now an option, a swipe keyboard could be possible in the future.

When you get the v50 update, you'll need to switch Direct Touch on in the Experimental Settings tab.


In-game multitasking for Quest 2

From the beginning, Meta Quest Pro owners have enjoyed the ease of pausing to look up information in the browser without exiting a game. Now, this feature is coming to the Quest 2 as well.


The Quest 2 is getting multitasking like the Quest Pro. | Video: Meta

This is a huge time-saver since you don't need to relaunch a game if you are simply running a 2D app, looking at the Quest store, or checking the Explore feed for news. Tap the right Oculus button to pop out to the system menu to use any 2D app, then select your game and resume whenever you're ready.

Hand-locomotion gestures

Meta is introducing a new hand-locomotion gesture in v50 and states that this feature can be tested in the latest version of the App Lab game First Hand. The current version of First Hand shows a release date of August 2, 2022, so an update is probably coming soon.


This is how the new Quest hand-locomotion works. | Video: Meta

Meta sent us a video that demonstrates how the new Quest hand-locomotion will work. Rather than running with hands as some games do, this appears to be a direct replacement for controller movement, making teleportation possible with a pinch or a side pinch gesture to turn. This could be a nice option for games that want to use hand-tracking in the future. It's usually best to have a consistent experience from game to game, rather than make each developer come up with their own solution for hand-tracking locomotion.

Fast switching: hand-tracking to controllers

While the Quest 2 is getting the once-exclusive Quest Pro multitasking feature, Quest Pro owners will enjoy faster switching between controllers and hands. That transition has been sped up by 50%, according to Meta.

This is a much-needed improvement. The current lag is unfortunate and makes me want to stay with hands or controllers and never switch. It's only a few seconds but feels like forever.


Meta continues to enhance its hardware with firmware updates, not only for the new Quest Pro but also for the Quest 2, which is now three years old. The v50 software sounds like it will bring some significant improvements.

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Sources: Meta blog