YouTuber Basti564 dug into Oculus Quest 2’s system software and found a dormant “Pass-through Keyboard” feature.
Currently, Quest can display one specific keyboard inside VR: the Logitech K830 US version. A data vision algorithm uses the cameras on the headset to track shape and keys and represent it with a predefined 3D model. You can use it in Oculus Browser and other system apps.
Facebook’s VP AR / VR talked last month about the desire to support all keyboards, but described it as “a much harder than we expected“.
The Pass-Through Keyboard feature, which is dormant in the Quest 2 system software, is another approach to bringing your keyboard into VR. Instead of actually tracking the keyboard, you define a small rectangular area, relative to your play area, where you want to see the real world instead of VR.
We tested the feature using Basti564’s instructions and found it works as described. Since February, Facebook has made it impossible to take screenshots or videos showing camera output – Pass-Through Keyboard simply appears as a black rectangle in screenshots. We took a shot through the lens instead. Visual quality is a bit better in the headset, but not enough to read the keys clearly since Quest 2’s cameras have low resolution.
The shot was taken in Oculus Home, with the keyboard (not a K830) placed on a marked Guardian Desk. Facebook markets these productivity-focused features as ‘Infinite Office’.
A contrast setting allows you to adjust the rectangular image to suit the lighting of the room.
After a few minutes of using this, the Guardian system crashed on my headset and requires restart. We have no information on when the Pass-Through Keyboard is usually sent, but given that it is already present on every Quest 2 with v29, it is probably not that far away.