Latest Quest Software Update Makes Your Home Space More Social and Adds Important Parental Supervision Tools

Oculus Blog
June 14, 2022

Maybe you’ve heard—we’ve got another software update in the works, and it’s a big one.

We’re beginning to roll out v41 to Meta Quest headsets, and there are two massive headlining features to discuss today. First up? We’re beginning to roll out Meta Horizon Home, turning your familiar old Home space into a social hub where you can hang out with friends. And for parents and guardians? The v41 update is a major milestone, containing a host of new parental supervision tools you can use to guardrail your teen’s VR experience and help keep them safe.

An easy summary—but there’s a lot to discuss, so read on for more details. And remember, our new features roll out slowly to ensure everything is working correctly, so don’t fret if you don’t see them today. We know these are highly anticipated, and we’re getting them out to everyone as soon as possible!

Meta Horizon Home

For years, Home has existed as a transitory space. Home is the first thing you see when you put on your Meta Quest headset, and a familiar place to return to when you’re done exploring Zenith: The Last City or finished your latest Demeo dungeon crawl. But whether Home looked like a snowy mountain cabin or a cyberpunk apartment, it was always a solo experience.

We want to change that. Last year at Connect, Mark Zuckerberg shared our vision for Meta Horizon Home—your personal gateway to the metaverse. A place to hang out with friends, to customize and make your own, we want Meta Horizon Home to be a place you make memories in and not just one you arrive in when you’re done making memories.

With v41, we’re taking a step towards that long-term vision. As part of this update, we’ll begin gradually rolling out the ability to invite friends to your Meta Horizon Home environment and hang out, coordinate your next gaming session, and even launch your group straight into supported multiplayer experiences (including Beat Saber, Demeo, and Echo VR).

Or pop some popcorn and settle in for a virtual movie night! In Meta Horizon Home, you can relax with friends and watch films, documentaries, and concerts on-demand via Oculus TV. Watch Alex Honnold climb breathtaking cliff faces in The Soloist VR, explore the International Space Station in ADAPT Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, or introduce friends to your old favorites like Tokyo Origamiand David Attenborough's First Life.

As we said, this is just the first step towards our long-term vision. We’ll be adding more features and improving the experience over time. But we hope this makes it easier for you to get together with friends and family in VR in the short term—and has you excited for what’s to come!

Parental Supervision Tools

The v41 update also contains a slate of new parental supervision tools. We detailed how this would look back in March, but to reiterate: Teens initiate the request for their parent or guardian to supervise their account. Parents can accept these requests from the Oculus mobile app.

Once parental supervision is set up, parents can access the following features:

  • The parent will be able to block specific apps that may be inappropriate for their teen, preventing the teen from launching those apps. Apps that can be blocked include apps like web browsers and apps available on the Meta Quest Store
  • The parent will be able to approve their teen’s download or purchase of an app that is blocked by default based on its IARC rating
    • Teens 13+ can submit an app access request, which triggers a notification to their parent
    • The parent can then approve or deny the request from the Oculus mobile app
  • The parent will be able to view all of the apps that their teen owns
  • The parent will be able to receive “Purchase Notifications,” alerting them when their teen makes a purchase in VR. The parent will also be able to receive notifications when their teen downloads an app, or sends or receives a gift.
  • The parent will be able to view headset screen time from the Oculus mobile app, so they’ll know how much time their teen is spending in VR
  • The parent will be able to view their teen’s list of Oculus friends
  • The parent will be able to block Link and Air Link, which will prevent their teen from accessing content from their PC on their Quest headset

The goal was to create a system that benefits both parents and teens, and this initial set of controls was devised in collaboration with industry experts Larry Magid at Connect Safely, Dr. Michael Rich at Digital Wellness Lab, Janice Richardson at Insight SA, and Jutta Kroll at Stiftung Digitale Chancen. We are also launching our new Parent Education Hub, which includes a guide to our VR parental supervision tools from Connect Safely to help parents discuss virtual reality with their teens.

But today’s rollout is just a starting point. Shipping parental supervision tools on a rolling basis allows us time to listen to feedback and external experts, and adjust our response to meet our community’s needs. We’ll continue to tweak existing features as the platform (and our understanding of it) grows, and are dedicated to serving the VR community and keeping it safe. We will also continue to build other tools to support parents and families, such as the App Unlock feature we rolled out in v40, which enables people to set and require an unlock pattern to access certain apps on their account.

Reminder: Meta Quest devices are only intended for use by people ages 13+ and are not designed for younger children. This is stated in our Terms of Service, product onboarding, and Safety Center. And the parental supervision features we provide are designed to serve the needs of those ages 13+. For additional tips and tools parents can use to help keep teens 13+ safe in VR, please check out the aforementioned Parent Education Hub.

A lot of details, for sure. Thanks for reading to the end, and we hope you’re as excited about v41 as we are! We’ll have another update for you soon—and maybe a few more bits of news this month. Stay tuned!