Meta's new account system for Quest 2 is still in the works
In 2022, Meta Quest 2 is supposed to work without a Facebook account. Meta is working on a new account system.
Meta's chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth confirmed this during a Q&A session over the weekend. Bosworth also explained why the change is taking so long:
"One does not simply change the account structure. It turns out those data privacy regulations around how data is owned, how it’s moved, and how it’s managed, are of critical importance to how we work at Meta. And we’re having to work with all due care and diligence as we make these transitions, but we are still working on this, it’s still going to happen, so stand by."
Mandatory Facebook account: one step forward, two steps back
With the launch of the Meta Quest 2 in October 2020, the company introduced the Facebook account requirement. This led to a big outcry from Oculus fans and Facebook deniers and had unpleasant consequences for some buyers of the Quest 2: If one's Facebook account was mistakenly detected as a fake profile or blocked for other reasons, the VR headset becomes unusable.
Mark Zuckerberg learned from this mistake and announced the end of Facebook account engagement when he renamed Facebook to Meta. Meta's CEO said at Connect 2021:
“As we’ve focused more on work, and frankly as we’ve heard your feedback more broadly, we’re working on making it so you can login into Quest with an account other than your personal Facebook account. We’re starting to test support for work accounts soon, and we’re working on making a broader shift here, within the next year. I know this is a big deal for a lot of people. Not everyone wants their social media profile linked to all these other experiences and I get that, especially as the metaverse expands.”
New account structure: Is Quest 2 finally coming to Germany?
We don't yet know the details of the new account structure. Meta has not communicated much about the change over the past six months. Therefore, Bosworth assures that work on it will continue.
We can expect a higher-level meta login with the option to link the account with the profiles and data of other meta services like Facebook and Instagram. Whether this will improve data protection remains to be seen.
Bosworth announced a "big shift" in data handling in early 2021. Instead of developing the product first and then adapting it to privacy standards, he said, development should take place under the assumption that data may not be collected, used or stored.
A new account structure decoupled from Meta's various platforms could also bring some respite to Meta's troubled relationship with Germany's regulators. Quest 2 was never offered by Meta in Germany due to a legal dispute with the Federal Cartel Office. Again, it remains to be seen what the new account structure will look like before any conclusions can be drawn.
New info on Cambria coming soon
Bosworth also addressed the following points in his Q&A session:
- Project Cambria will be expensive, but for everyone. In addition to businesses, regular consumers will be able to purchase it.
- The headset will be part of the Quest ecosystem and thus also support Oculus Link and Air Link for PC VR streaming.
- Bosworth explained how the new passthrough mode works. New details on the device are expected soon.
- Meta is working on several generations of headsets, but none will ever match the performance of a powerful PC because of waste heat, Bosworth said.
- There's no need to choose between VR or AR when it comes to the Metaverse. That's a "false dichotomy," he said.