Gadgets

Oculus Quest UX is built by and for engineers

Every few months when I pick up my Oculus Quest 2 and try it, I get annoyed by the obvious things that Meta, the social media giant that spent over $100B on VR/metaverse fails to get right. Currently, Oculus feels like a product that is made by engineers, for engineers, and used by engineers. Having a few ergonomic and user-experience designers in the team would have these sorted out. But it feels like Meta does not. And hence as a consumer using Oculus is frustrating. I really wish they get this right, I believed in the vision, paid $$$ and bought the product two years ago. But the onboarding to use the device and the learning required to use every single app are disappointing.

  1. Every few years, Meta wants me to log in to the device with a different authentication provider. Two years ago, it was with Oculus ID. Then Facebook. Now Meta. I am sure in 2024 it will be another new company. I wish they had at least made the experience easier, without requiring me to take my headset off repeatedly. First, you get prompted to continue the process of moving your account to meta from another device (PC or Mobile); you do that; then you wear the headset; you get another prompt that says you need to add the device and shows a code; now, you need to take the headset off again then go to the PC and use the code. Phew!
  2. Once you have done the above, you think all the Meta developed apps will have the authentication completed. NO. NO. For Instagram, you need to log in with the headset and use the painful onscreen keyboard. But, I don’t remember my Instagram password, so I had to take off the headset, go to my PC, find my password, come again to the headset and do it. After which, I need to remove the headset again and pick up my Mobile to do the two-factor authentication. This is NOT easy. Even Netflix has made login easier – though it too requires me to take off the headset and move to my PC. I understand security has to be rigorous, but there had to be a better, more convenient way – clearly this is not working.

  3. The new sync feature of screenshots and videos recorded being available on the mobile app, doesn’t sync videos at all. I tried to log out, log in to the mobile app, and restart the Oculus device, no use.

Once I jump through all the hurdles, the VR experience in an app like YouTube VR and walking through the 360′ tour of San Francisco make those few minutes enjoyable. It demonstrates the potential of VR, but the industry overall is just waiting for #Apple to get it right. I doubt Meta being able to deliver a usable device experience for consumers, anytime soon.

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