Since a couple of years, VMware has been offering the option of managing AR and VR glasses with the Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub. Details about managing and enrolling head mounted devices can be found in a nice VMware Techzone post. With the Workspace ONE XR Hub there is new offering providing an ‘immersive’ graphical user interface as a central point of contact for enterprise apps – currently in Beta. Many details have already been explained in my blog entry from the end of April. The general enrollment/management with the Intelligent Hub is already GA, the XR Hub is still in the beta stage.
This post is about the second VR glasses I was able to test: The Oculus Quest 2 from Meta. Like the HTC Vive Focus 3, the Quest 2 also runs Android 10, so the basic approach is again standard Android management in AOSP mode (Android Open Source Provider, Closed Network), since there are no Google Managed Services (GMS ) are included. Access to the Play Store is not possible, which means that the majority of apps you may know from other Android based devices cannot be installed. The benefit of installing a 2D App on a 3D device is questionable, though.
Regarding the general concept, the Oculus Quest 2 does not differ much from the Vive Focus 3. The VR glasses close completely over the field of view and offer two controllers for control. However, the initial setup differs quite a bit – here we again encounter one of the general challenge of VR glasses: There is no standardized ‘OOBE’ – Out of the Box Experience today. With the initial setup, each manufacturer continues to go its own way. The fact that the Oculus Quest 2 is a device with a consumer focus may also play a role here. One of the first things that is required here is a Meta (= Facebook) account for registration. Alternatively, you can make use of an Oculus (test) account. The glasses cannot be used without this account. For the setup in the Enterprise, registration including an organization as an Oculus developer with an Oculus Developer account is also required. The second point in this context is that the glasses require pairing with a smartphone. Various settings can be made on that and content can be obtained via the Oculus app on the smartphone.
A rundown on this fact: Oculus had an enterprise program called ‘Oculus for Business’ until last December. The purpose of this program was to simplify Enterprise integration of Oculus devices: no account compulsion and a standardized provisioning process. Meta has decided to discontinue the Oculus for Business program. However, ‘Quest for Business’ was announced, which is planned to start in 2022 as a beta and should be generally available in 2023. Some enterprise apps like Zoom, Slack or Dropbox should be made available as Third-party progressive web apps (PWAs). Details in THIS Oculus Developer blog post. As of today, the Oculus Quest 2 has more a consumer-oriented approach out of the box and does not allow direct use in the enterprise environment without sideloading apps or content (e.g. via SideQuest). Looking forward when there are more news about Quest for Business.
Enablement of the Oculus Quest 2
First, the general approach on enrolling with the Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub is documented in THIS VMware Techzone article.
While the HTC Vive Focus has an enterprise portal to create a batch file into which the management agent is integrated, the Oculus Quest 2 approach is different. Since a central management approach is currently not available (see Oculus for Business status above), interim solutions must be used. This is why a VMware Fling was provided to automate device preparation and installation of the Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub app – more details below. In addition, it must be said that the procedure is dynamic. Firmware updates may bring new requirements or framework conditions. Below are the steps to follow to register an Oculus Quest 2 with firmware 40 against Workspace ONE:
First, follow the general setup wizard of the glasses after registering as a developer and creating an organization at Oculus (Go to https://developer.oculus.com/manage/organizations/create/).
- Follow the general first time setup of the device
- Start the Oculus App on your Smartphone
- Navigate to the Headset Settings
- Select and activate the Developer Mode
- On the Quest 2, check that in the System Settings > Developer the USB Connection Dialog is enabled.
7. A Windows PC is required to install the Intelligent Hub on the Oculus Quest. The ‘ConQuest’ Fling must be downloaded and unpacked on this PC. Attention, a ‘Fling’ is a tool that is made available in a VMware portal. Flings are written by VMware employees or external developers and are not officially supported software, but rather little helpers that address problems that are not solved with VMware base software today. There is also a set on instructions on the Fling web site. Check if the version/instructions have been updated (v1.1 while writing this post).
8. The PC must have ‘ADB’ (Android Debug Bridge) installed and running. ADB is required to enable USB debugging on the Oculus Quest. The Fling should bring a version of ADB with it. In my tests with Windows 11, there were some challenges here that the ‘standard ADB’ was not recognized. Only by downloading and installing ‘Sidequest’ plus running the Sidequest ADB, could USB debugging be activated via the ConQuest-Fling. The instructions for activating and installing SideQuest are HERE.
9. In my testing, it was required to pre-close the running ADB task via Task Manager, then launching SideQuest, which in turn causes a new ADB task to be launched from SideQuest. Attention: The behavior of Windows 10 and Windows 11 should be different here. Windows 10 seems to be a bit friendlier here, I was working on Windows 11 so the steps above are valid for Win 11.
10. Now the Oculus Quest 2 can be connected to the PC. Tip: Use a ‘proper’ USB-C to USB-A cable that supports full data transfer modes (MTP). Once the Oculus is connected to the PC, a pop-up should appear asking for access to all data. This must be confirmed:
11. This is immediately followed by a request for USB debugging, which must also be allowed. The behavior in my case was not entirely consistent here, the query can also come twice.
12. The next step is to start the Conquest app. The app should automatically detect the glasses and start an installation process in which the hub is installed and accounts (Gmail and Facebook) are removed from the glasses, among other tasks
13. In step 4 of the Conquest App I ran into some problems. Firstly, a firmware update from v39 to v40 of the Quest 2 meant that the Conquest Fling had to be updated to version 1.1. On the other hand, I also ran into the problem with version 1.1 of the Fling that the accounts could not be removed (Fling continues to run endlessly) or the following error was displayed:
In case of following the instructions provided in the Fling you shouldn’t run into this issue. When in doubt, give it a second try and it also helped for me to disconnect and reconnect the USB cable once followed by clicking ‘Retry’. If everything goes smoothly, the process looks like this:
14. Once ready, the Conquest App gives the following feedback on the left.
15. The glasses can now be disconnected from the PC, the WS1 Intelligent Hub is installed and should launch automatically. If this is not the case or you closed Hub: since the Hub App is not an App provided by Oculus directly, you won’t find the App in the main category. It can be found in the apps by selecting ‘Unknown Sources’ in the top right corner:
Pushing of the XR Hub and/or other applications is also controlled via the Workspace ONE console. More information on this can be found in my Focus 3 blog entry or in the beta portal, where all software sources and documentation can be downloaded. Lessons Learned to Consider:
a. Each VR headset has its own XR Hub app. Please assign the corresponding app via a product or native enterprise app.
b. The XRHubClientConfig.json must be adjusted so that the XR Hub can be configured accordingly.
c. It is advisable to create a separate OG for your own type of glasses, or at least your own smart groups, otherwise the apps and configs of the individual glasses will be mixed up.
In principle, the glasses should now be enrolled and all prepared files or apps should be installed by the products so that the XR-Hub can be started – this is also done via the ‘Unknown Sources’ menu or running XR Hub as Auto Start, probably in Kiosk Mode:
The XR Hub concept, configuration and experience itself is not different from the HTC Vive Focus 3:
In my test with the Oculus Quest, I installed VMware Horizon and ran a virtual machine on the glasses – no problems, including streaming apps.
Two more important learnings from my tests:
- The Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub on the Quest 2 does not tolerate if the color of the app icon has been changed via the Hub Services. Please set to the default value, otherwise the hub app will not start.
- An enterprise wipe causes a factory reset of the glasses, which is technically correct since the glasses are in device owner mode and the factory reset would only remove a work profile, which is not possible here. However, the naming in the console is misleading (Console 18.104.22.168).
The enrollment of the Oculus Quest 2 today is a bit more complex than that of the HTC Vive Focus 3. In my case, enrollment was not possible without Sidequest and the Fling – but Sidequest shouldn’t be a hard requirement. The Quest 2’s general user interface and menu navigation have to be taken into account positively. Presumably also influenced by the consumer focus, the impression here is more mature and intuitive, which may also be a subjective perception.
Incidentally, my conclusions from the Focus 3 test continue to apply. The Quest 2 once again underlines the impression that standards or simplifications for provisioning are needed and the availability of enterprise apps is restricted. Web versions may be used, self developed Enterprise Apps are of course also an option, but here the application scenarios here are bound to the use case or specialized. Of course, the use case scenario of a VR device is targeting immersive training, therefore native Apps like Zoom or Teams may not be a real big issue in mist cases. The future will show which path Meta takes here to open up the ecosystem.
The XR Hub itself convinced me once again and represents a successful interface for my centralized Enterprise apps and services. If I want to ban all consumer apps, a kiosk mode can be started. If I need remote support, a screen sharing session can be established to the glasses via Workspace ONE Assist. The package for Enterprise use is therefore already very complete, but what is missing is a unified way for the initial setup and enablement of the glasses, which can be carried out remotely, ideally with ‘Zero Touch’.
Stay Tuned: The test of the Pico Neo 3 will follow…