Take One

Half Mag / Half Zine

A new Oculus Quest feature expands the headset’s Guardian mode by letting you mark your real couch as an object that’ll show up in VR. The Guardian is an Oculus safety feature that lets you draw lines around your environment that act as a virtual boundary and appear in VR when you get too close to the edges; this couch mode is the first time that the Guardian has worked as more than just a simple measure of floor space.

UploadVR reports that you can mark out your couch or chair by touching one side and dragging out a virtual blue rectangle across it to define the correct size. Once you’ve done that it’ll appear as a 3D-modeled couch in the Oculus Home menu environment, or as the same blue rectangle when using the Guardian feature in an app or a game, and its position will be saved as part of the Guardian system.

What makes this cool is that the couch can now act as an extension of your Guardian system rather than as an obstacle that limits your space. Previously you’d have had to draw Guardian boundaries in front of your couch as if the space above it was a solid wall, so as not to accidentally walk into it. But now if you move to the edges of the Guardian and see the couch outside it, UploadVR reports, you can simply sit down on it and get prompted to switch to “Couch mode,” so the game or app will know you’re sitting down.

The feature is still early, though — it’s listed as “experimental” in the Quest settings menu as part of software version 26 and hasn’t yet rolled out to everyone, including us.