There’s big news from Meta today. First off, Meta will release its latest mysterious high-end virtual reality headset sometime this year. The company referred to the upcoming VR hardware under the codename “Project Cambria”, but the actual headset will likely be called the “Meta Quest Pro”. a report from Bloomberg. Second, you don’t need a Facebook account to use it once it’s available, according to a statement from the company. That’s a big relief for true Oculus believers, who bought VR before Facebook even rebranded itself and were then forced to migrate from Oculus to Facebook accounts in 2020, around the same time as the launch of Quest 2, to a lot of headaches.
The Meta Quest Pro
The name Quest Pro first came to light in the code of Meta’s iPhone app for managing connected VR headsets, spotted by a developer named Steve Moser – who then shared his findings with Bloomberg. “Pair Meta Quest Pro right controller,” is the specific text of the code.
The company formerly known as Facebook is do his very best to highlight his foray into virtual reality. While investing in new VR headsets, Meta is simultaneously leave other hardware products, such as his now-dead smartwatch effort. The Quest 2 has easily been the most successful of these efforts, so it makes sense that the Cambria would adopt the Quest nomenclature when it hits the market. Still, it doesn’t quite match what the company has said about Cambria in the past.
Meta accounts are on the way
In another step to prioritize VR, the company is rolling out Meta accounts next month. Previously, using Meta products such as VR headsets required a Facebook account. But soon, users will reportedly be able to create a separate account, separate from Facebook, to work with Meta’s existing (and future) VR hardware.
This will come as a big relief to those who bought headsets from Meta/Facebook when the company was still using Oculus accounts, as the shift to using Facebook to log in caused no lack of headaches when it took place in 2020, especially since it coincided with the launch of Quest 2. We just hope nobody gets locked out of their new device in the shift to a new account system this time around.
Back to that future hardware: Facebook turned down Gizmodo’s request for comment on the alleged new product name. If the code’s accidental revelation is true, though, there’s some irony that Meta is dubbing its next headset Quest Pro.
The company currently sells only one headset, the $299 ($415) Quest 2. In a video of Meta’s 2021 Facebook Connect conference, Mark Zuckerberg went out of his way to distance the upcoming Cambria headset from its predecessors. “This isn’t the next quest. It will be compatible with Quest, but Cambria will be a completely new, advanced and high-quality product,” he said. Still, Quest Pro certainly sounds a lot like the next Quest, even if the connection is obvious in the name alone.
The next-gen headset includes many new features† There will be more sensors to detect and display the facial expression of the users in real time on their Metaverse avatar. In addition, the Quest Pro/Cambria headset will reportedly feature a high-resolution, full-color, mixed reality passthrough — in theory allowing users to easily interact in both real-world and Metaverse reality simultaneously, at least as explained by Zuckerberg and the product director for Meta’s VR division, Angela Chang, in the conference video. Finally, the headset will use “pancake optics,” or a new type of slim, layered lens that will provide the “best optics ever in any of our headsets,” Chang said.
Meta has not yet released an official price for a new headset. However, it will sell for “significantly more” than $US799 ($1,109), according to a report from UploadVR. And Bloomberg reported that the cost will exceed $US1,000 ($1,388). Apparently you have to pay a lot to have as much fun (?) as the Zuck has in this first look video — Quest Pro/Cambria is conveniently faded.
But at least you don’t have to log into the same service your aunt shares her vacation photos on to use it.
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