YouTuber Basti564 dug into Oculus Quest 2’s system software & found a dormant ‘Pass-through Keyboard’ feature.
Currently Quest can show one specific keyboard inside VR: the Logitech K830 US version. A computer vision algorithm leverages the cameras on the headset to track the shape & keys and represent it with a premade 3D model. You can use it in Oculus Browser and other system apps.
Facebook’s VP AR/VR spoke last month of the desire to support all keyboards, but described it as “a lot harder than we expected“.
The Pass-through Keyboard feature, lying dormant in the Quest 2 system software, is a different approach to bringing your keyboard into VR. Instead of actually tracking the keyboard you define a small rectangular area, relative to your playspace, where you’ll see the real world instead of VR.
We tested the feature using Basti564’s instructions and found it works as described. Since February, Facebook makes it impossible to take screenshots or videos showing camera output – Pass-through Keyboard simply shows up as a black rectangle in screenshots. We took a through-the-lens shot instead. Visual quality is slightly better in the headset, but not enough to read keys clearly since the Quest 2’s cameras have low resolution.
The shot was taken in Oculus Home, with the keyboard (not a K830) placed on a marked Guardian Desk. Facebook markets these productivity-focused features as ‘Infinite Office’.
A Contrast setting lets you adjust the rectangular image to suit your room’s lighting.
After a few minutes of using this, the Guardian system on my headset crashed requiring a restart. We have no information on when Pass-through Keyboard will generally ship, but given it’s already present on every Quest 2 with v29 it probably isn’t too far off.
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