Cambria: Does Meta’s high-end VR headset offer facial haptics?
Playstation VR 2 offers it and possibly also Cambria: Haptic feedback for the face.
Sony’s new VR headset will have a vibration motor built into the housing, adding a tactile element to the gaming experience. “Feel subtle, responsive headset vibrations at key moments during gameplay1. Created by a single built-in motor, these vibrations add an intelligent tactile element to the sensory immersion experienced as you play,” reads the Playstation VR 2’s official website.
Studios will have to program the haptic feedback into their games. Whether the facial haptics are a real enrichment or rather a gimmick will probably depend on the implementation.
Sony itself considers the integration of a vibration motor profitable enough that it will accept the additional manufacturing costs. That is a good sign. It’s hard for outsiders to judge the benefit, since facial haptics is a new feature that hasn’t been used in any commercially available VR goggles yet.
Prototypes are said to offer facial haptics
Now, hardware theorist and Youtuber Brad Lynch claims that Meta’s upcoming high-end VR glasses, Cambria will also support facial haptics. Mark Zuckerberg didn’t hint at anything along those lines during the announcement but did let slip that not all features have been revealed yet.
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Brad Lynch bases his claim on leaked code that hints at a haptic element inside the casing. On the other hand, he refers to sources from Asian production facilities that are said to have come into contact with prototypes of the VR glasses. According to these sources, the pre-production units already have facial haptics built in, which makes an integration quite likely.
New chip for Cambria?
Lynch is also said to have heard that Meta and Qualcomm are working flat out on a new chip for Cambria. “Might happen in time, might not,” Lynch writes. The current prototypes would still rely on the Snapdragon XR2, which is used in Meta Quest 2 and is already a few years old.
Cambria will be released in 2022, that much has been confirmed by Meta. It is not known in which time frame. If the chip rumors turn out to be true, Lynch expects a market launch in the fall at the earliest, instead of the second quarter of 2022 as before. Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also assumes mid to second half of 2022.