XR Update: The week's top VR, AR, and Mixed Reality news in a nutshell

XR Update: The week's top VR, AR, and Mixed Reality news in a nutshell

Yes and no to GTA: San Andreas VR, new features for Quest headsets, Meta will soon be showing new AR glasses and Pico's next VR headset has been leaked — the week's top XR news stories.


In our weekly XR Update, you can always find the most important XR news of the last five days with a short summary. If you are interested in a particular topic, click on the link to the full article in the relevant section. As usual, we provide you with background information and opinions in addition to the facts.

Have fun browsing!

XR hardware: News on VR, AR and Mixed Reality headsets

Meta’s next AR glasses are “not the most stylish”, but left testers “giddy”, says Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg has revealed in an interview that Meta is about to present a prototype AR glasses. According to Zuckerberg, all the testers so far have been "really excited". The prototype is said to be "completely holographic" and utilize the entire field of vision. However, the device is not yet intended for the end consumer market, but serves as a preliminary stage for a later consumer version.

Meta’s first AR glasses will be a “time machine”, says head of technology

Andrew Bosworth, Meta's head of technology, describes the company's upcoming AR glasses prototype as a "time machine to the future". The prototype, which is not intended for commercialization, is said to be a full-fledged AR headset with great clarity and a large field of view. Meta plans to produce only around 1,000 units for internal purposes and developers. These headsets will serve as the basis for the development of software and experiences that could later be used in a commercial version (codenamed Artemis) in 2027.


Meta Quest 3: Mixed reality apps no longer need a boundaries

With version 66 of the Meta XR Core SDK, developers can now disable the boundary security feature (formerly Guardian) for mixed reality apps. This feature was previously disruptive and superfluous in MR apps, as users can see their physical environment anyway. The new API allows developers to suppress the visibility of the boundary as long as a passthrough layer is rendered.

Pico 4S: Specifications and image of the VR headset leaked

VR enthusiast Luna has leaked alleged specifications of the upcoming Pico 4S VR headset. According to his sources, the headset will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset, dual LCDs with 2,160 × 2,160 pixels per eye and a frame rate of 90 Hz. Other features will include pancake lenses with motorized IPD adjustment, four tracking cameras, two RGB passthrough cameras and ringless controllers.

Pico follows Meta’s example and opens the Pico Store

Pico is considering opening up its App Store, similar to what Meta recently did with the integration of the App Lab into the Quest Store. The team responsible for the Pico Store has sent out an email to developers stating that Pico is striving to "create the most open app ecosystem in the XR industry". Developers were asked to provide feedback.

Meta Quest: New update brings flexible panels, QR code scanner & more

System update 67 for Meta Quest 3, Quest 2 and Quest Pro brings several new features and improvements. Users can now freely move and arrange up to three additional 2D panels in their start environment. A new "Theater View" makes it possible to enlarge a specific panel and darken everything else. Quest 3 gets a Wi-Fi QR code scanner, and all devices get Swipe Typing for easier text input.


Apple Vision Pro: a start-up will soon be delivering its first VR controllers

The start-up Surreal is developing VR controllers with six degrees of freedom for Apple Vision Pro. The controllers, called "Surreal Touch", will be usable both in the stand-alone mode of the headset and in conjunction with SteamVR streaming from a PC. For the latter, Surreal intends to provide its own streaming software called Surreal Link.


XR market and business news

Meta’s new AI research will improve Quest 3 and co.

Researchers at Meta Reality Labs have released an AI dataset called HOT3D to help develop an image-based system that better understands hand-object interactions. The dataset contains over 800 minutes of egocentric video footage showing interactions with 33 everyday objects. Meta's Project Aria research goggles and the Quest 3 VR headset were used to collect the data. The data set will primarily be used to train AI-based systems for existing and future Meta products.

Ultraleap is reportedly halving its workforce and trying to sell its hand-tracking division

British technology company Ultraleap is apparently planning to cut its workforce in half and sell its hand-tracking division. This decision is attributed to changing priorities at technology giants such as Meta and Snap, as well as changing customer needs. The haptics division is to be transferred to a new company owned by the existing shareholders.

VR games and XR apps: All the latest news

The VR game based on a manga mega-hit launches on Meta Quest in July

Attack on Titan VR: Unbreakable, the VR adaptation of the popular manga hit, will launch in Early Access on the Meta Horizon Store on July 23, 2024. The game will be available for Meta Quest 3, Quest 2 and Quest Pro and will initially cost 4.99 US dollars. Early Access includes the first two chapters, each with a playtime of 2 to 3 hours. Further chapters and a co-op mode will be added in the course of the year.


Meta confirms work on GTA: San Andreas VR and then rows back

In a YouTube comment, Meta support initially confirmed that the company is still working on the VR game GTA: San Andreas VR. However, the comment was deleted a short time later.

Meta Quest: Take a look at these volumetric photos & videos

Two VR apps for Meta Quest, "Cinemersive Photos" and "Cinemersive Videoplayer", demonstrate the possibilities of volumetric media. This technology makes it possible to view photos and videos with six degrees of freedom, creating a more realistic experience. The Scottish start-up Cinemersive Labs uses AI to add simulated spatiality to conventional photos and videos.

This VR multiplayer spectacle for Meta Quest and PC VR is completely absurd

The British development studio Global Seer Initiative has released the announcement trailer for its upcoming VR multiplayer game "Leeroy". The game, which is due to be released later this year for Meta Quest 3, Quest 2, Quest Pro and PC VR via Steam, promises over 100 "brilliant, bizarre and mind-boggling" mini-game challenges.

Meta Quest: You’ll feel like Mozart in this VR game

"Maestro", a VR rhythm game for Meta Quest and PC VR, lets players conduct a full orchestra with their hands. The game, developed by French studio Double Jack, allows players to conduct famous passages from classical works as well as modern pieces.


Quest 3: Try out this mixed reality tank battle

"Holotanks" is a mixed reality game for Meta Quest in which players control small toy tanks through their home and engage in tank battles. The game offers various game modes, including a local multiplayer mode. With Quest 3, the room can be scanned in advance so that furniture and other physical objects can be used as cover.