On Spatial Data Alone, Quest 3 Outshines Quest Pro

There’s just over a week to go until the annual Meta Connect conference takes place. Returning to an in-person format, the event is set to feature Meta Quest 3 front and centre. While we already know a lot about the new device, there’s still more to learn. Especially where its mixed reality (MR) capabilities lie. And by the looks of a newly published support page, Quest 3 outshines the flagship Quest Pro.

It is unclear if the page has been published a little early, what it does clarify is the amount of spatial tech the headset is carrying. Meta has previously said the Quest 3 is its most powerful headset yet. Not only because of the new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ chipset but also thanks to features like the new depth sensor.

Meta Quest 3 Mesh Data
Quest 3 Mesh Data

Quest 3 makes sense

Meta Quest 3 is being optimised as a mixed-reality headset. So whilst VR will be a part of its repertoire – so you can play Quest’s huge games library – the mixed reality functionality is key. Quest 2 features very basic MR with its black and white passthrough. Quest Pro takes this a step further with its full-colour passthrough.

However, even though Quest Pro is marketed as Meta’s flagship device – retailing for $999 USD – the Quest 3 should be capable of so much more.

As the support page outlines, both Quest 2 and Quest Pro use what’s called ‘Scene Data’ (as shown below). This creates a simplified model of a room and enables more physical awareness of a user’s surroundings. The Meta Quest 3, on the other hand, uses ‘Scene Data’, ‘Mesh Data’ and ‘Depth Data’ to accurately map a room. As Meta explains:

  • Mesh data allows the headset to understand the shape and structure of objects in a physical space. Without mesh data, virtual objects are not able to realistically interact with physical environments.
  • Depth data allows the headset to understand the distance between objects in a physical space. Without depth data, virtual objects cannot be rendered in the environment in a way that feels three-dimensional.
Meta Quest 3 Scene Data
Meta Quest Scene Data
Meta Quest 3 Depth Data
Meta Quest Depth Data

No more Pro

All of this means far more precise MR experiences that know objects are in a room, their distance from a user and their shape. This should make the blend of virtual and real worlds even more seamless for apps that will support the feature.

But apps won’t automatically be able to access spatial data Meta notes. Upon opening a game or app that can use spatial data you have the option to allow or deny access. But “Selecting Don’t allow may result in a degraded experience or may prevent the app from working,” the company says.

By the sound of it, Quest 3 – at half the price – could very easily make the Quest Pro defunct, less than a year after launch.

Will you be tuning into Connect to learn more about Quest 3? Is it on your shopping list? Let us know in the comments below.