Hands-on with Meta’s new mixed reality showcase app


Hands-on with Meta's new mixed reality showcase app

Image: Meta

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Meta has released a game worth checking out if you’re into mixed reality.

Meta’s latest showcase app is called Cryptic Cabinet. It’s an escape room game designed for mixed reality and hand tracking, and supports local multiplayer if you have two headsets.

Meta’s goal was to showcase how developers can create a mixed reality app that is tailored to each player’s room. The code is freely available on Github.

When your living room becomes a laboratory

I tested the mixed reality game by scanning my living room and drawing additional objects like tables and sofas. Before you start the experience, Cryptic Cabinet lets you see where the virtual objects will be placed in the apartment, and you can even move some objects around. A useful feature that helps prevent virtual objects from getting stuck behind physical objects.

I was amazed at how many different objects Cryptic Cabinet puts into the room. My living room was filled to the brim, and interactive objects were even placed on walls and surfaces such as tables: the eponymous mysterious cabinet, a table with a moving planetary system, scientific equipment, and much more.

Worth the experience, despite the potential for frustration

I don’t want to spoil anything at this point, so let’s talk about the technology instead.

Cryptic Cabinet is quite ambitious compared to other mixed reality games and has a few tricks that I haven’t seen anywhere else. But unfortunately, Quest 3’s immature mixed reality technology keeps getting in the way of the experience.

This starts with the unfortunate placement of virtual objects and ends with the clunky hand-tracking interactions. A virtual window was placed on my balcony door and a painting behind a shelf sticking out of the wall, making it difficult for me to interact with the painting.

Here and there, the game creates magical moments: When you turn on a virtual light bulb with your bare hand, or when a lamp artificially changes the light in the room. Cryptic Cabinet shows some of the potential of mixed reality, but it is also frustrating and shows how far the technology is still in its infancy.

I would still recommend the game to mixed reality fans, as it is more ambitious than most previous applications of this type and is also quite extensive for a showcase app.

You can download Cryptic Cabinet from App Lab. You can find the code and documentation on Github.

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Sources: Quest Developer Blog


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