Microsoft is bringing ‘Windows Volumetric Apps’ to Meta Quest headset

    Details are slim, but an API is nigh.

    You can already beam your flat Windows desktop and VR games to your Meta Quest headset, but what if Windows could also communicate HoloLens-like 3D programs and digital objects? …Windows Volumetric Apps.

    At Build, Microsoft revealed “Windows Volumetric Apps on Meta Quest,” a technique to “extend Windows apps into 3D space.”

    Details are scarce, but the company demonstrated a digitally exploded 3D view of an Xbox controller from the perspective of a Meta Quest 3 headset, a digital object that could be manipulated with your hands — and claims that it took its software partner Creo one day to bring that interactive visualization to Quest.

    Meta Quest

    Microsoft said developers may join up for the developer preview today, which will get them access to an unspecified “volumetric API.”. The form you’ll fill out makes this sound like the early days.

    Microsoft is looking for developers that produce or provide plug-ins for 3D Windows desktop applications or customers that work with 3D applications on Windows desktop applications who are interested in extending those applications into 3D content with mixed reality.

    It’s only been a few months since Microsoft abandoned its earlier Windows Mixed Reality program, which relied on a network of Windows PC partners to provide connected headsets that customers could plug directly into their PCs. Microsoft collaborated with Meta in April to create a limited-run Xbox-themed edition of the Meta Quest, then in December, it launched Office apps and Xbox Cloud Gaming in Quest VR.

    Meanwhile, other PC manufacturers have begun to license Meta’s Quest operating system for their own forthcoming headsets. A more direct collaboration between LG and Meta is apparently in the horizon.

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