Meta Quest Pro Launching in October at the Connect Conference
Zuckerberg has announced that Meta’s much-anticipated next virtual reality headset Meta Quest Pro, codenamed Project Cambria will be launching in October at the company’s Connect conference. Zuckerberg made the announcement at the Joe Rogan Experience podcast which is hosted on Spotify.
The Meta Quest Pro is the sequel to the popular Quest 2 and according to Zuckerberg, the headset is set to focus on “social experience” and will include features such as face-tracking and eye-tracking.
According to Zuckerberg, the Meta Quest Pro headset has been designed to capture the facial expressions of users and translate these into virtual avatars in real time in order to improve non-verbal communication in virtual environments.
The Meta boss also acknowledged that the company’s augmented reality glasses are still a few years away but the Meta Quest Pro will offer users some mixed reality features.
Meta teased the high-end “Project Cambria” headset at the Connect conference in 2021. From Zuckerberg’s interview on the Joe Rogan podcast, it is clear the version the company is launching in October is the final consumer version of the Project Cambria headset. Last month, Bloomberg reported that a code found in Meta’s companion iPhone app for virtual reality headsets suggested that the company’s upcoming virtual reality headset would be called Meta Quest Pro and that was subsequently confirmed to be true.
One of the points Zuckerberg emphasized in the podcast is the potential of virtual reality to “unlock” a sense of being in the presence of others. He explained that virtual reality really brings out the sense of being there in person unlike platforms such as video calls, for instance.
The company has been positioning itself as a “metaverse” enterprise rather than a social media company following its rebrand from Facebook to Meta. It has pitched its strategy as one of developing a universe consisting of multiple virtual worlds for all users. The messaging pivot towards a “metaverse” focus may have encountered skepticism from some quarters but Meta is thrusting full steam ahead with its metaverse plans and has been knitting together a number of experiences that it is creating.
For instance, its Horizon Worlds social platform has been tailored for virtual reality headsets that are available in certain countries. Its graphics are still sketchy and it remains to be seen how Meta’s upcoming high-end virtual reality headset will capture facial expressions.
The announcement of the impending Meta Quest Pro headset comes just a few weeks after the company hiked the prices of its Quest 2 headsets. The company is yet to provide any pricing information for the upcoming Quest Pro headset but has pointed out that it would cost significantly more than $800.