Oculus has introduced Passthrough API Experimental—a way to build and test apps that incorporate mixed reality experiences.
According to Oculus, the Passthrough API Experimental will enable users to collaborate with a remote team of co-workers or friends through virtual monitors, while still being able to access their physical keyboard and desk. It will also create a blend for games from the comfort and familiarity of the real world while in a virtual world. Furthermore, it will allow a Co-located Social presence that allows users to engage in virtual content while still being able to interact with people in the same room.
The Passthrough API capabilities include:
• Composition – Users can composite Passthrough layers with other VR layers via existing blending techniques like hole punching and alpha blending.
• Styling – Users will be able to apply styles and tint to layers from a predefined list.
• Custom Geometry – Users can render Passthrough images to a custom mesh instead of relying on its default style mesh.
Oculus mentioned that apps that use Passthrough API cannot access, view, or store images or videos of the user’s physical environment from the Oculus Quest 2 sensors—only using raw images processed from the Oculus Quest 2 sensors for privacy purposes.
The Passthrough API Experimental will be available for Unity developers in their upcoming SDK release, with support for other development platforms coming in the future. Stay tuned for more updates on this.