Meta VR headset roadmap includes ‘laptop for the face’, new missions

According to a detailed report from The Information, Meta plans to release no fewer than four new virtual reality headsets between now and the end of 2024 as Facebook’s parent company aggressively pursues founder Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the metaverse.

According to The Information’s internal roadmap, the first of these headsets will be released around September this year. Code-named Project Cambria, it is a high-end VR and mixed-reality standalone device that will be sold as a remote work tool, rather than gaming. In an earnings call last week, Zuckerberg said the focus for Cambria was “ultimately replacing your laptop or work setup.”

The key to this is the very high-resolution image quality that makes it easy to read (and write) text in the headset. Cambria also uses outward-facing cameras to see through the user’s real-life environment, enabling mixed reality experiences as opposed to full virtual reality experiences. These features, coupled with the relatively low onboard processing power, sharply set Cambria apart from other high-end headsets like Vive Pro, which are primarily designed for gaming and require a powerful PC to run. Insiders at Meta’s Reality Labs call the device “a laptop for the face.” Cambria will reportedly be priced at $799 or higher.

The next after Cambria, in 2023, will be a new version of Meta’s low-end Quest headset, which currently starts at $299. Then, in 2024, both Cambria and Quest will be refreshed with new versions. At least that’s Meta’s plan. According to The Information’s report, the social networking company is struggling to adapt to life as a hardware and operating system maker, which along with delivery constraints has caused frequent delays in its planned push to VR — as well as for the augmented reality goggles it has. . develops in parallel.

Many other challenges face Zuckerberg’s quest to allow us all to participate in work meetings through VR glasses in Meta’s Horizon Workrooms app. One is compatibility for Meta’s custom VR operating system with common workplace software. Another example is the public’s hitherto unproven interest in VR, or in Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse as an immersive, pervasive VR internet where people will work, socialize and shop using avatars. But the CEO of Meta has a long vision. During the recent earnings call, he said that Meta “laid the foundation for what I expect to be a very exciting 2030.”

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