In a 2022 report about VR fitness, The Washington Post cited a Forrester research that said 25 percent of American adults online are interested in buying a VR headset and 18 percent think they’d primarily use it for exercise. VR fitness is a growing space, and Meta has rolled out a couple of new health-related features for its Quest headset that could convince even more people to give it a try. In its latest update for the device, the company has rolled out Health Connect integration for Android users, and, as The Verge reports, the ability to pair Bluetooth heart rate monitors with it.
A Meta spokesperson told the publication that if paired with a compatible heart rate monitor, the Meta Quest Move overlay can display a user’s heart rate on any game or app, alongside minutes exercised and calories burned. At the moment, the only known compatible monitors are the Garmin HRM-Dual and the Polar H10 chest straps, but other brands and models (even smartwatches) may be able to pair with the headset. Meta just can’t confirm if they’ll work with the Quest as it intended.
Meanwhile, Health Connect integration will give users the capability to automatically sync VR workouts with their Android device. Meta first made people’s VR fitness stats viewable outside of their headsets when it gave iOS users the capability to sync their progress with Apple Health last year. Now, Android users can finally see their progress without having to put on the Quest, as well.
The Health Connect API enables health and fitness data sharing across devices and between apps, such as Samsung Health and MyFitnessPal. To activate the integration, users will first have to sync their Meta Quest Move stats with the Meta Quest mobile app. They can do so by going into the Move app in VR and clicking Settings. Users will then have to toggle on “Health Connect by Android” under the Connected Apps section inside the Meta Quest mobile app.
It’s unclear if these features are also making their way to the first Quest model released under the Oculus branding. A few days ago, the company sent out emails to Quest 1 owners, telling them that their devices will no longer be getting new features going forward. Meta will also only be releasing critical security and bug patches for the device until 2024.