Meta Connect 2022: Program teases out focal points

Meta Connect 2022: Program teases out focal points

Meta Connect 2022 kicks off on October 11. The program provides insights into the focal points of the metaverse conference.

Meta Connect takes place in digital format streamed via Facebook for the third year in a row on October 11, starting at 1 p.m. EST.

The highlight of the conference is the keynote, where Mark Zuckerberg is anticipated to present Meta Quest Pro (info) and announce Meta’s next metaverse projects. Immediately following, John Carmack is expected to stream live from Virtual Reality and give his (blunt) take on the State of Play. Hopefully with Meta Quest Pro, so you can read his facial expressions.

Another important block is the Developer State of the Union, where Meta updates the audience on the state of the Quest ecosystem. The last figures are from February 2022.

After the main event, the Developer Sessions go online. These pre-recorded videos feature talks from Meta developers and other industry representatives.

Introduction to next-generation mixed reality

The Meta Connect 2022 program has recently been listed on the official website including the Developer Sessions. These could give a glimpse of what the conference will focus on, as well as hint at what new features Meta has up its sleeve.

At least three talks are dedicated to the Presence Platform, Meta’s mixed reality interfaces. The platform should become even more important with high-quality passthrough on the Meta Quest Pro. One of the talks will focus on new features of the platform that are expected to contribute to the next generation of mixed reality experiences.

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The other two talks deal with advancements in the Voice SDK (voice control) and Interaction SDK (hand interactions, hand tracking). In the latter, a new hand tracking version numbered 2.1 will be introduced.

Meta brings Crayta and Horizon Worlds closer

Two other sessions deal with synergies between Horizon Worlds and Crayta. Meta acquired the collaborative 2D game builder in June 2021 . A year later, Meta made Crayta available on Facebook Gaming. As a result, the platform now runs via cloud streaming in the browser and on smartphones. The know-how of the Crayta studio is likely to flow into the mobile version of Horizon Worlds, which is to be launched this year.

From one of the two presentations, it’s apparent that Meta wants more collaboration between the two Metaverse platforms. From another, how Meta avatars found their way into Crayta. Meta is apparently exploring how a metaverse that encompasses both computing paradigms (2D and virtual reality) might work.

Enhanced avatars and Meta’s first WebXR experience.

One talk on Meta avatars provides insight into recent developments in the SDK as well as upcoming enhancements. Another is dedicated to the vision and roadmap of Meta avatars. Zuckerberg already announced a tech upgrade for Horizon Worlds and Meta avatars, which will be presented at Meta Connect 2022.

Two other presentations will focus on WebXR, which could play a more important role for Meta in the future. The company apparently plans to release a WebXR demo for developers that illustrates best practices for programming high-quality, high-performance WebXR experiences. The teaser of a talk also hints new Meta Quest browser features.