Meta Quest 3: Here's why Meta is betting on Mixed Reality
In addition to VR, Meta Quest 3 will rely on an unproven new technology. In a talk, Meta explains why it's betting on mixed reality.
More than just a smaller and more powerful Meta Quest 2, Meta Quest 3 is set to become the first affordable mixed reality headset.
The new device will feature a new sensor architecture that captures the physical environment in color and digitally reconstructs it inside the headset. On the one hand, this will make virtual reality more permeable to the surrounding reality, and on the other hand, it will digitize the same, making every pixel of our field of vision customizable, opening up a multitude of new possibilities.
Mixed reality headsets are a bridging technology to advanced AR glasses suitable for everyday outdoor use. Headsets such as Meta Quest 3 and Apple Reality Pro can be seen as precursors to these glasses that can be built today. They allow developers to explore the potential of the technology before it reaches a mass-market form.
Meta sees positive signals from Quest customers
In March, Meta's Director of Content Ecosystem Chris Pruett gave a talk at GDC in which he took a look back at the development of Meta Quest. Towards the end of the session, he talked about its immediate future, which is mixed reality. Addressing the developer community in the room, Pruett said:
"We're going to be putting a lot more effort into this particular style of application [Mixed Reality] because we've seen enough signal from customers to understand that it's something that they're very interested in.
But very frankly, it is not us at Meta who are going to decide what MR is about or what it's for. It's not going to be us that writes like the grammar for interaction in MR. We have opinions, we have ideas, but it's mostly going to be you guys, right? That's how it usually goes: we put the technology out there and you guys show us how to actually use it."
Mixed reality could become a new pillar for Quest
Pruett points out that mixed reality is still in its early stages as a product and technology, but has the backing of an established VR product: the Meta Quest.
"We're pretty convinced that it's going to be super awesome, but we have a lot to learn. And I just want to be super clear, like this thing is back at the beginning of the adoption curve, right? Like this is a brand new technology. We don't know how the customers are going to react to it. [...] We got a long ways to go. This is the beginning of something that seems like it's going to be super cool, but it's different than VR in 2015 or 2016, 2017 because in this case, it's actually coming with a product that is now already very well established."
Pruett sees synergies between VR and MR, and the latter as a potential new pillar of the Quest ecosystem alongside pure gaming, much like VR fitness.
"Fitness is what we call an adjacent cohort. It's like people buy Quest because they want to play video games, and then they find out that they can also get a workout, and they're like, that's awesome, I totally want to do that also. And it turns out there's actually a bunch of synergy in our customer base about that. We think that'll also be true for MR. And that the folks that are buying Quest are almost certainly going to buy it for the next AAA video game, but the thing they may end up doing with it more, might be MR."
The article image shows a professional render of a presumed Quest 3 prototype. It is not an official image. The actual design of the Meta Quest 3 might differ from it. You can find all rumors and facts about the device in our dedicated Quest 3 article.
You can read all about the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro in the linked reviews.
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