Meta Quest 3: Zuckerberg talks about important features
In an interview, Mark Zuckerberg made it clear which new hardware features Meta Quest 3 will focus on.
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg talked with AI researcher and podcaster Lex Fridman for about two hours. The show touches on a wide range of topics: from the metaverse to content moderation in social media to philosophical questions.
Right at the start, Mark Zuckerberg outlines the short- and medium-term future of the metaverse and virtual reality – and gets to talking about the next Meta Quest.
Social presence has top priority
Zuckerberg believes that Meta’s VR goggles will differ from other manufacturers’ devices in the following respect: They will be optimized for social interaction. The goal is to capture the qualities of face-to-face communication and its social presence as much as possible. This includes being able to look the other person in the eye and read their facial expressions.
“There’s a whole part of your brain that’s just focused on reading facial cues. So when we’re designing the next version of Quest […] a big focus for us is face tracking and basically eye tracking so you can make eye contact which isn’t really something that you can do over video conference,” Zuckerberg says.
Zuckerberg says this approach fits his company’s philosophy. Facebook has never been about people interacting with technology, he says. The core of his business is how people use technology to interact with each other.
Meta headset with face and eye tracking releasing 2022
Meta’s CEO made hints in this direction a year ago. In an interview with The Information, Zuckerberg said Meta is working on Quest 3 and 4 and that he’s particularly excited about VR headsets that support face and eye tracking. You have to make sure the devices include all the sensors needed for realistic avatars and good communication in VR, Zuckerberg said.
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Meta is launching its first VR headset with face and eye tracking this year, Project Cambria. The “significantly more expensive” high-end device will be sold alongside Meta Quest 2 and is meant to prepare those features for Meta Quest 3 and subsequent hardware iterations.
Meta wants to build the “most human VR goggles”
Technical compromises are made in the development of VR headsets. Zuckerberg makes it clear that eye and face tracking are top priorities, even if that comes at the expense of form factor or weight.
“You could totally see another company taking the approach of let’s just make the lightest and thinnest thing possible. But I want us to design the most human thing possible that creates the richest sense of presence because so much of human emotion and expression comes from these micromovements,” Zuckerberg says.
Meta Quest 3 will not be released anytime soon. Just recently, Oculus consultant John Carmack said that the Quest 2 has a long life ahead of it. The only question is how long: Some rumors say that the next generation of VR goggles will be launched as early as fall 2023. This year, however, the focus is clearly on Cambria.
The featured image shows Meta’s VR and AR head Andrew Bosworth with a VR prototype, which may not necessarily become a product in the form.