Meta Quest 3 'Smart Guardian' feature leaked — here's what it does

Meta Quest 3
(Image credit: Meta)

The Meta Quest 3 is coming this September, promising an upgraded mixed reality experience and Meta’s “most powerful headset” yet. And now, a new leaked video is showing what part of that upgraded experience could look like.

Twitter user Luna shared several videos on their Twitter account that reportedly came courtesy of the dataminer Samulia (h/t Road to VR). In these four videos, Luna shows off what could be Meta’s new “Smart Guardian” system for mapping rooms to prevent mishaps while wearing VR headsets. According to Luna, these are potentially the tutorial videos you would see when first setting up Smart Guardian while wearing the Quest 3 headset. 

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Currently, the Meta Quest 2 has a Guardian System that allows you to either create a set, circular boundary around you or a boundary that you draw using the Quest 2’s controllers. In either instance, you can operate freely within the boundaries of the Guardian and if you stray out of bounds the black-and-white passthrough kicks in and pulls you out of VR before you cause damage to yourself or your surroundings.

However, the new Smart Guardian showed off in these videos looks like a massive upgrade. The animated videos show the Quest 3 using the camera array on the front of its visor to scan the room in surprising detail, taking in furniture, walls, TVs and more all through the Quest 3’s cameras and sensors. There is one bit where the hypothetical user in the video still needed to use the Quest 3’s Touch Plus controllers to map out the edge of a desk, but otherwise, it’s a controller-free experience.

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And it looks like Smart Guardian is for more than just avoiding those sharp coffee table corners. In the fourth video, the animated Quest 3 user takes a ball and throws it into the room. Because the room is now fully mapped out via the Smart Guardian, the ball is able to interact with the walls and furniture, bouncing around accordingly rather than passing through a couch like a ghost.

Because the room is now fully mapped out via the Smart Guardian, the ball is able to interact with the walls and furniture.

We first heard of the Smart Guardian system in a leaked Meta VR roadmap earlier this year. In that leak, Meta vice president of VR Mark Rabkin said that the Smart Guardian should allow you to “walk effortlessly through your house knowing you can see perfectly well. You can put anchors and things on your desktop.” And with that quote as context, it seems likely — though not a guarantee — that these possible tutorials are the real deal. Remember how the user had to draw the outline of the desk with a controller? That sounds like it could be one of the “anchors” Rabkin was talking about.

But we won’t know for sure until the Meta Quest 3 is officially released, likely at Meta Connect on September 27. Until then, follow along with our Quest 3 coverage so you don’t miss a thing.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.