Meta Quest 3 firmware leak reveals big depth mapping upgrade

Meta Quest 3
The Meta Quest 3 is coming (Image credit: Meta)

All the signs are that Meta is going to fully unveil the Meta Quest 3 (update: the reveal has happened and our full Meta Quest 3 review is out), and give us an on sale date, at its special event on September 27. Until then, we're learning more about the device through leaks – such as the latest one that reveals its depth mapping capabilities.

In a clip dug out of the Meta Quest 3 firmware and posted to Reddit (via user Samulia and UploadVR), we see a short animation visualizing how the depth mapping is going to work. In short, it looks pretty advanced, and way ahead of the Oculus Quest 2.

We see a detailed mesh covering all of the objects in the room, and there seems to be some kind of object identification going on here as well – the couch is labeled with a couch icon, for example, so the Meta Quest 3 clearly knows what it is.

The player avatar is then shown chasing a digital character around the room, as it jumps on and behind furniture. This is an example of mixed reality occlusion, where digital elements appear to be in the same world as physical elements, and it hints at some of the experiences that will be possible on the new headset.

Meta Quest 3 room mapping visualization found in the firmware. from r/OculusQuest

A room with a view

On the current Oculus Quest 2, you're required to manually map out a free space inside a room. You can also mark out rectangular cuboids for pieces of furniture and walls, but it takes a while – and these maps aren't fully used by developers anyway.

This looks like a much more slick and comprehensive solution, and it matches up with another clip revealed in June. Meta has made noises about the Meta Quest 3 "intelligently understanding" what's inside a room, but that's all that's been made official so far.

The depth mapping and the way that mapping is used would appear to even go beyond the latest Meta Quest Pro headset. That device does have some automatic room mapping capabilities, but it doesn't have a dedicated depth sensor inside it.

Meta has another of its Connect showcases scheduled for September 27, and all should be revealed by then. While you're waiting, you can check out the latest teaser trailer for the device, and everything we know about it so far.

You might also like

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.