Meta Quest - Spatial Fusion WebXR

November 25, 2022






October 28, 2022

A WebXR tech demo built for the Quest Pro Launch, shown at Meta Connect 2022

I was technical director on this short but rewarding project, with the goal of demonstrating the capabilities of color passthrough, plane detection and spatial anchors on the (at that point) unreleased Quest Pro.

I lead a technical team spread across Australia and the EU (including Phoria, Lusion, and freelance members) with an ambitious goal of building a WebXR experience that could surprise developers by not looking like prior webXR tech demos, and sitting realistically in a real-world passthrough environment.

I worked closely with the art director Rayyan Roslan and writer/game designer Lucas Hehir to shape the experience in a way that was technically achievable in the time, while still narratively rich and always focused on the clients strategic goals. I started with some early prototypes (the flashlight effect and wall-greebling) which later formed the basis of one of the sequences.

filming the trailer

We worked somewhat backwards as we had to produce the trailer for Meta Connect long before the software itself was ready. We knew we needed to capture the first-person sections of the trailer on-device so we developed a couple of assets and interactions all the way to the end for the trailer shoot (even doing live development on-set).

The combination of using unreleased browser features on an unreleased headset to film a trailer for unreleased software presented some challenges when it came to project scope & risk, which I tried to manage by focusing risk in the areas we cared most about (the client's strategic goals), having fallbacks for various classes of problem (performance, polish, complexity/bugs), and acting as an overall steward of the end-to-end experience - putting in greybox standins and hardcoded anims for work that wasn't done yet, managing merge conflicts so teams were focused on being productive vs re-examining others code etc. That meant the creative team could see the project as a whole as early as possible, making UX and narrative changes less disruptive than they would be late in the project, and giving context for what could be trimmed with minimal impact on the experience, if needed to hit deadline.

I later published an unscripted technical walkthrough of the development that you can see here:

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