Meta wants to introduce more devices than just Meta Quest 3 in 2023
Meta will launch Meta Quest 3 next year and then some. At least that's what Meta's CTO Andrew Bosworth hints at.
In a blog post from last week, Bosworth took a look back at the year 2022 and emphasized that Meta remains committed to its vision of the future, i.e. VR and AR. At the end of the article, the tech chief also confirmed that Meta Quest 3 would be released next year.
If you read carefully, you will find a remarkable promise in said passage: that Meta will introduce several devices in 2023.
"Meta is far from the only company working on pushing the boundaries here, and we expect to see new competitors joining us in building for AR and VR next year. As new devices hit the market, we believe our industry will enter a new era of growth and competition that will bring enormous benefits to users and the developer community. And Meta will have new devices of its own to share, including the successor to Meta Quest 2, our all-time best selling VR device."
What kind of device might we be talking about?
The wording is kept vague: Strictly speaking, Bosworth does not say that Meta will launch all new devices, even though Meta Quest 3 will definitely be released in 2023. It could also mean that Meta only wants to introduce or tease new products.
But even this is remarkable, since Meta has not announced anything so far, and Bosworth's teaser raises the question of what kind of VR and AR devices we might be talking about.
Is Meta planning to come out with a Meta Quest Plus as early as next year, i.e. a better equipped Meta Quest 3 that is priced between this and the $1,800 Meta Quest Pro? Or a technically slimmed-down and cheaper Meta Quest Lite that does without VR controllers and relies exclusively on hand tracking?
According to a roadmap leaked in May 2022, Meta wants to launch two new consumer-oriented Quest devices in 2023 and 2024. Bosworth could therefore mean a second Meta Quest product.
But the timing would be odd, at least if it were released at the same time as Meta Quest 3. Another such product would unnecessarily complicate the portfolio at an inopportune moment and dilute the promotional message that will focus on Meta Quest 3. My money is on an entirely different class of device instead.
Is it data glasses?
Meta's tech chief could be referring to a new version of the Ray-Ban Stories video glasses that Mark Zuckerberg and EssilorLuxottica's wearables chief Rocco Basilico have already teased at Meta Connect 2022 - without going into detail or giving a launch timeframe.
Basilico hinted that the new Ray-Ban Stories could get a display and thus evolve decisively. The new glasses are being developed to build a "portal into the Metaverse," Basilico said.
That doesn't mean the next Ray-Ban Stories is already headed in the direction of data glasses. By its two-year anniversary, the new version might just get a more powerful chip, better cameras and speakers. But a display would be a big step forward technically and could add more useful features to the headset than it currently has.
Of course, Bosworth could have something else in mind entirely. In any case, Meta has other surprises than Meta Quest 3 up its sleeve for 2023.