Oculus Quest virtual workspace app Immersed now lets you bring in your real keyboard!
Immersed is an app that lets you and your team bring your monitors into a shared virtual workspace. Uniquely, it even gives you up to 5 extra virtual monitors- something once considered impossible to do performantly with the Windows OS. It’s priced at $15/month/person for a team of up to 4, or $30/month/person for larger teams.
There’s also a free version for solo use, though it’s limited to 1 additional virtual monitor.
Quest headsets have built-in controller-free hand tracking. Immersed has you hold down specific keys with your right index finger so it can place the virtual keyboard at the same relative position. Doing so entails awkwardly peeking through the headset’s nose gap- developers can’t show passthrough mode yet.
It’s a manual calibration, and you’ll need to recalibrate if you change your Guardian safety boundaries or move the keyboard’s position. It also uses a preset keyboard model, so the non-alphanumeric keys won’t precisely line up unless your keyboard matches the model.
Those minor disclaimers aside, the result feels like the best typing experience in a publicly available VR app. Since you see both the keyboard and your hands you no longer need to touch type. Trying it out in a Quest 2 with the Elite Strap, I could see myself working in Immersed for hours. The virtual monitors feature finally delivers the infinite workspace promised by science fiction.
In a demonstration posted to reddit, Immersed founder Renji Bijoy demonstrated typing at 164 words per minute using this new feature – roughly 4x the average typing speed. Bijoy says that’s about on par with his typing speed outside VR, to be clear.
Companies like Facebook and HTC pitch virtual reality in the long term as a replacement for physical offices. Enabling full-speed text entry is necessary to meet this goal. Finding a VR-native way to type is an area of active exploration, but for the near future bringing the keyboards people already know how to use is likely going to be more practical.
Facebook plans to ship experimental system-level support for a specific Logitech keyboard later this year, using computer vision. That means it shouldn’t need manual calibration and can match the precise key layout- but that keyboard is priced at $60. Right now, today, you can use Immersed with the keyboard you already own.