Oculus Quest arena demo impresses with ARKit component

Oculus Connect 5 showcased Facebook's next iteration of virtual reality hardware with the Oculus Quest (code named Santa Cruz). Oculus Quest features a SoC design similar to the Oculus Go, but it has better graphical capabilities as well as the addition of tracked hand controls and six degrees of freedom of movement. For those of you with a PC based VR system or if you're familiar with the Playstation VR console, you can think of the Quest as the untethered albeit graphically weaker version of those systems.

Multi-user VR gaming

An impressive demo featured at OC5 was an arena-style shoot-em-up named Dead and Buried Arena that allowed for multiple Oculus Quest users to interact in a large singular room. The room had a layout of walls and obstacles that had a one-to-one mapping in the virtual world. Players would then wear a Quest headset and then endeavor to duck, dive, dip, and dodge bullets all the while trying to take out other Oculus Quest wearing players on the opposite team in the same physical space.

ARKit spectating

Another notable feature involved a spectator using an iPad (programmed using ARKit) to watch all of the VR action in real-time, as well as be able to walk around the playfield essentially witnessing what the Oculus Quest players were experiencing. All of the avatars, mapped obstacles, and gunfights could be seen through the display on the iPad and the person holding the iPad could, in essence, move around and use the iPad like it was a camera in 3D.

Speculation and comments

Although for the demo the iPad spectator was not involved in the gameplay, it would be amazing if one day this sort of mixed reality and mixed device access could be incorporated into the game (or games like it). For example, imagine Oculus Quest players being the front line of defense while iOS users could be de facto medics healing players while desktop users could send out commands to players like an omniscient general with a view of the entire battlefield. Sounds fun to me!

What about you? What are your thoughts on ARKit? VR? Gaming? Multi-user mixed reality gaming? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Anthony Casella