Hey, are you keen to give Meta even more of your personal data, despite various examples of it misusing or mismanaging such in the past?
Of course you are, that’s why Meta’s adding a new heart-rate tracking element to its Quest VR headsets, which will enable you to synch your heart rate monitor with the app to track your response to various VR experiences.
As explained by Meta:
“One of the most-requested fitness features for Meta Quest has been heart rate tracking, so that you can easily see tangible and real-time results. With our new heart rate feature, you’ll be able to see your heart rate, when measured by a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor, even while you’re in a VR workout.”
I mean, it makes some sense, especially given the popularity of VR fitness apps, and especially at this time of the year, when everyone’s looking to establish new, healthy habits.
But again, with Meta’s track record on personal data usage and management, many will likely also have some level of concern around sharing even more data with the company.
But then again, Meta has advanced its data protection processes significantly, and it’s changed its name, partly as a means to distance itself from incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal – which happened under Facebook, not the far more trustworthy Meta.
But still, there will be hesitation. Sales of Meta’s Portal device were at least partially slowed by people’s hesitance to enable Meta to listen into their conversations in and around the home. Meta shelved the Portal project last year, and it’ll be interesting to note the broader response to this new data tracking element, and how comfortable people are in connecting up more data sources to the company’s data banks.
But essentially, Meta needs to enable more tracking, in order to provide a more immersive, engaging VR experience. Meta’s also working on wrist control devices for VR, which will provide a more intuitive control interface, along with different forms of motion tracking, as well as body scanning for avatars, etc.
All of these elements will require users to upload more of their personal information to Meta, and in this sense, starting out a new push by connecting up your heart rate monitoring devices is a relatively small, and simple step.
In addition to this, Meta will also now enable Android users to connect their VR device to Android’s Health Connect system, to track their VR workouts and performance.
It makes sense, and again, with so many people on a health kick in January, now is the best time to make a push on this front, as part of a broader, next-level integration.
But there will be a level of hesitancy, at least until Meta can highlight the true value of such, which will likely then override privacy concerns.
Meta Quest will be able to integrate with heart rate monitors from Garmin and Polar, while Meta notes that other heart rate monitors that use Bluetooth for pairing may also be pairable with the VR device.