Does the Valve Index Have Passthrough?

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By Monica Bates

If you’re looking to purchase the Valve Index VR headset, one of the features you may be wondering about is whether it has passthrough. Passthrough allows the user to see their real-world surroundings while wearing the headset, which can be useful for quickly checking your surroundings without having to take off the headset entirely.

What is Passthrough?
Passthrough technology in VR headsets works by using cameras on the outside of the device to capture images of your real-world surroundings. These images are then displayed on a screen inside the headset, allowing you to see what’s going on around you without taking off the device.

Does The Valve Index Have Passthrough?
Yes, the Valve Index does have passthrough technology. In fact, it has two different modes of passthrough: one that allows users to see a grayscale version of their surroundings with a wide field of view and another that shows a full-color feed with a narrower field of view.

Grayscale Passthrough

The grayscale passthrough mode on the Valve Index is called “Room View 3D.” When activated, it displays a 3D representation of your real-world surroundings in grayscale. This mode provides a wide field of view to give you a good sense of your surroundings.

To activate Room View 3D, simply double-tap the system button on either controller. You can also adjust how long it stays active before reverting back to your virtual environment by going into SteamVR settings and selecting “Developer” > “Quick Calibrate” > “Room View Timeout.”

Full-Color Passthrough

The full-color passthrough mode on the Valve Index is called “Passthrough+.” Unlike Room View 3D, this mode shows a full-color feed from the cameras on the front of the device. However, because it uses only two cameras instead of four like some other VR headsets, the field of view is narrower.

To activate Passthrough+, double-tap the system button on either controller while in a game or other VR application. You can also access it by going to SteamVR settings and selecting “Camera” > “Enable Camera” > “Passthrough+.”

Uses for Passthrough
Passthrough technology can be useful for a variety of reasons. For example, if you need to quickly check your surroundings to avoid tripping over furniture or stepping on something, passthrough can give you a quick glimpse of the real world without having to take off your headset entirely.

It can also be helpful for finding your controllers or other objects in your play area if you’ve accidentally set them down somewhere. Additionally, some users find passthrough useful for taking short breaks from VR without fully removing their headset.

  • Checking Your Surroundings: Use passthrough to quickly check your surroundings without taking off your headset.
  • Finding Objects: Use passthrough to locate controllers and other objects in your play area.
  • Taking Breaks: Use passthrough as a way to take short breaks from VR without fully removing the headset.

Conclusion
The Valve Index does indeed have passthrough technology, with both grayscale and full-color modes available. Whether you’re looking to quickly check your surroundings or locate an object in your play area, passthrough can be a useful feature that enhances the overall VR experience.