Meta Quest in 7 years: Meta CTO makes these predictions

Meta Quest in 7 years: Meta CTO makes these predictions

Where might Meta Quest be in seven years, in purely technical terms? Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth makes some predictions.


Metaverse theorist Matthew Ball published a long and fascinating interview with Bosworth this week. In it, he asks the CTO where he thinks Meta can get and wants to get with headsets in the next seven years.

Of course, Bosworth's statements are not binding and should only be taken as a rough estimate. But it will be interesting to make a comparison in seven years between what Meta (or Bosworth personally, for that matter) hoped for and what actually happened.

For the full context, I recommend reading Bosworth's full answer. In this article, I'll just pick out a few passages from his response.

Meta Quest in the year 2031: What Meta’s CTO is hoping for


Meta is aiming for a pixel-per-degree (PPD) of at least 45, but ideally, it would be better to get higher, Bosworth says. For comparison: Meta Quest 3 is at 25 PPD, and Apple Vision Pro is at about 35 PPD.

"You really want to get up to at least 45 is where text gets really good. 60 realistically is probably half retina resolution, but you actually won't really be able to tell for reasons I won't get into. So really you want to get up into the 50s to 60s range on pixels per degree. It starts to get pretty good after 40."


Field of view

Bosworth doesn't give a specific number and talks about a "decent field of view". He hints that it will not be narrower than Quest 2 and 3, as that would negatively affect the experience. Based on his comments, I would say that a much larger field of view isn't on top of Meta's priority list.

"So you kind of want to be at wide definite field view, that you're not constantly observing the edge of it. And I actually think taller field of view matters more than wider field of view for immersion. Certainly wider field of view is more important for us as a species in terms of information density because our eyes do see more horizontal. But vertical is a good way of convincing you that you're immersed in a space in a way that's kind of deceptive."

Form factor and weight

Bosworth says comfort is an "enormously important part" for him.

He is sticking with Quest's standalone form factor, which means no external hardware or cables. With that in mind, he says he hopes the weight can be reduced by 100 to 200 grams over the next seven years, although other factors besides weight are also significant: how the device is balanced and how far the optical stack is from the face.


The Quest 3 weighs 515 grams with the standard soft headband, which is more than the Quest 2, but the newer headset is still more comfortable due to the slimmer form factor made possible by the much thinner optical stack.


Stereoscopic audio is already on the right track and will continue to improve, according to Bosworth. He suggests that in seven years there may be an optional alternative to today's open ear solution.


"There are some limits to what you can do when you're going open ear, so you can do closed ear. We can give people the option over time. We kind of do today with the headphone jack."

Frame rate

The maximum frame rate of 120 Hz supported by Quest 2 and Quest 3 also "feels pretty good". To go beyond that, Meta would have to make compromises in other areas of the product, something Bosworth is skeptical about.


Eye tracking and foveated rendering

Bosworth does not explicitly mention eye tracking, but he does mention foveated rendering.

"So for your gaze, I think foveated rendering I think holds a real promise to unlocking the ability to drive resolution higher."

Hardware diversity

Ultimately, Bosworth hopes that in seven years there will be a wider range of headsets that specialize in specific areas, as opposed to the all-rounder Meta Quest. To that end, Meta plans to license its own VR operating system to OEMs.

"More flexibility is one of the things that we continue to build into these systems, especially as you look at now, to come full circle, what I really hope is the case in seven years is that you have a bigger set of headsets to choose from that are all capable of running the ecosystem that are adapted to your use case.


If you are a gamer and you're used to an ASUS ROG monitor that's pushing 240 hertz, cool, is there an equivalent headset that you can do that's going to give you that experience? It's going to make sacrifices someplace else to do it, but that's a choice that you should hopefully be able to do. Because in seven years we are not going to be free of these fundamental trade-offs of weight, cost and performance, etc. Really it's pick one and a half of these three. It's not even choose two."

More background on the article image

Meta has unveiled a number of futuristic VR research prototypes in recent years, including Starburst, Holocake 2, Butterscotch Varifocal and Flamera. Meta calls these "time machines" and they are designed to give researchers a glimpse into the future of display systems that support features such as varifocal, retinal resolution, or HDR. The goal is to assess their impact and importance. These prototypes are not intended for productization.

Two years ago, Meta described the Mirror Lake research concept as a distant goal: a futuristic VR headset that combines many of the display systems and other technologies Meta has developed over the past decade into a slim and lightweight device.

In 2023, Meta showed a rendering of Mirror Lake (see article image and video above) and claimed that such a device could theoretically be built today. However, we should not expect commercialization in the near future, as this type of technology is too expensive to manufacture for a consumer product. Mirror Lake is more of a vision of what VR headsets could one day look like than a tangible reality.

Sources: Matthew Ball