Image: Mikaël Dufresne
The PTC v57 update for Meta Quest is rolling out and finally gives avatars legs, albeit with some limitations.
The Public Test Channel (PTC) is an early access program for Meta Quest firmware updates. Those who sign up can get access to and test beta versions of firmware updates before they are released to the public.
Some PTC users have received the v57 beta update and are reporting via X that their avatars now have legs. This is a feature that Meta announced at Meta Connect 2022 almost a year ago.
Users can only see the legs on other avatars or when they look in the mirror. “Having legs on your avatar that don’t match your real legs is very disconcerting to people, but of course, we can have legs for other people you can see, and it doesn’t bother you at all,” explained Meta’s CTO Andrew Bosworth a year ago.
Meta Quest can’t track the user’s legs, but it can use other body data and AI models to infer and simulate their position with reasonable accuracy. At least partially: PTC users report that some body positions, such as crouching, are not supported and result in clipping errors (legs sticking out of the torso, etc.).
Using Quest in planes and cars should be easier now
Avatar legs are not the only feature that could be included in the upcoming 57 firmware update.
Twitter user NyaVR found hints in the software of an option to turn off the avatar mirror in the home environment, a new portal that launches Horizon Worlds, an extended battery mode that reduces graphics quality to extend battery life, and an airplane travel mode. The latter is likely intended to disable the headset’s motion sensors, which can interfere with tracking when traveling in airplanes and vehicles.
Besides legs, some of the highlights found in PTC v57 are settings to enable and disable the avatar mirror, a new Horizon Worlds Portal in home, an Airplane Mode, and an Extended Battery Mode pic.twitter.com/ZLpiIOC3ZR
— NyaVR (@nya_vr_) August 29, 2023
“Enable Airplane Travel Mode to interact, work and play in VR, while in motion in airplanes. Enjoy the full VR experience while comfortably traveling,” the code string states.
Twitter user Luna also reports that you can now teleport freely around the Home environment instead of to predetermined points, and that Direct Touch has left the experimental phase and is now a standard feature. This allows the menus to be operated like a touch display.
It is not known when firmware update 57 will roll out to regular users and whether it will include all of the PTC features described here.
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