Virtual reality is a mesmerizing experience to the senses by itself, but when you’re not playing a game or in some sort of experience, sometimes you just want to laze it up when it comes to navigating across the Oculus Home menu. That’s where Oculus Voice comes to the rescue, a brand new feature that allows users to control their navigation through the Oculus Home interface by merely using their voice.
Sometimes you just want a head start the moment you put on the headset, rather than waiting to finish gearing up with controllers in hand before selecting a title and jumping in. While the functionality of Oculus Voice is pretty limited to a handful of commands, it’s still nonetheless just another alternative for navigation – as opposed to using the XBOX One gamepad, remote, or Oculus Touch controllers. And did we say that it’s only available in the Oculus Home menu, and nothing else? Meaning, these voice commands won’t have any effect when you’re in knee deep into a game/experience.
So, how do you go about using Oculus Voice? It’s a pretty simple and straightforward process that requires the key phrase, “Hey Oculus.” Before we proceed any further, let’s first break down what it can’t do. Considering that Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant services have advanced so much in terms of their capabilities, most people would presume that Oculus Voice would be somewhat on the same level. However, that’s just not the case – and it’s rather elementary by comparison in what it does.
No, you won’t be asking for your next appointment, nor will it tell you what the weather conditions are like at a specific location. And no, it won’t read out aloud some jokes. It’s just not within its capabilities at the moment, but rather, Oculus Voice is simply there do four specific commands. You read that right folks, a total of 4 commands at its disposal.
Using Oculus Voice requires you to do the following 3 steps below:
- Turn on the feature by enabling the Voice Search (Beta) option while you’re in the Oculus Home menu, it’s next to the other three icons towards the bottom area.
- Once it’s enabled, all that’s needed to initiate Oculus Voice is to say the key phrase of “Okay Oculus,” which then brings up another menu and the microphone in the headset will be actively listening.
- Say any of four commands, which consists of cancel that, recenter, find, and launch. They’re pretty self-explanatory in terms of what they do. For example, if you want to quickly launch Robo Recall, all you need to do is say, “launch Robo Recall.”
And that is it people! Using Oculus Voice can’t be any simpler, so it’s almost impossible to mess up the process. Despite its limited functionality, it’d be nice for developers to tap into this voice command service while in a demo or game. So rather than pausing the game you’re in to adjust some things, like the volume for example, Oculus Voice can do it without skipping a beat. Perhaps that is something we can expect a bit further down the road?