Oculus launches Passthrough API for mixed reality on Quest 2 headsets

Oculus has announced a new API that allows developers to use mixed reality visuals in their Oculus Quest 2 games and apps. To do this, video images from the Oculus Quest 2 sensors are ‘mixed’ with virtual VR images.

An experimental version of the Passthrough API will be introduced in v31 of the Oculus SDK, the Facebook subsidiary reported in a blog post. With the API, VR developers can, among other things, process the black and white images from the four Oculus Quest 2 cameras in their apps and games. These images can then be modified, for example with color overlays.

Oculus lists several usage scenarios for the feature. For example, productivity apps could display the physical keyboard of Quest 2 users in a virtual environment. For example, games could use the feature to place zombies in users’ living rooms, the company writes.

The Oculus Quest headsets and the Rift S already have some sort of pass-through feature, which allows users to see what’s happening in the real world while playing a game. However, Facebook informs UploadVR that the new Passthrough API will only be available for the Oculus Quest 2 for now. The company also says that the video images will be processed by the Quest 2 itself and added to the VR app or game. According to the company, this means that apps and games that use the Passthrough API cannot save or view these camera images themselves.

The Passthrough API allows users to use their physical keyboard within VR environments, among other things. Click for a gif.
Source: Oculus