Double-tapping the side of the Quest 2 triggers passthrough mode, letting you see what’s happening around you. | GIF by Owen Grove / The Verge

Virtual reality is for checking out. The wider the field of vision and the less light peeking in, the better. But as VR becomes more mainstream, there needs to be a way to quickly check back in with reality. A safe word, so to speak, to pull you out of VR, whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by a game or if you want to feel more present.

That’s exactly what the passthrough button offers on Meta’s Quest and Quest 2. It’s both a safety tool, as well as a practical one to let you see what’s going on outside of the headset without having to struggle to take it off. After firmly double-tapping either side of the headset where the straps attach to it, a view of your room — albeit a pixelated, monochromatic feed as seen through a handful of…

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