Quest Pro: Meta's new VR headset coming in October, Quest 2 success "in the ballpark" of Xbox and Playstation
Mark Zuckerberg revealed on Joe Rogan's podcast when Meta's next headset will hit the market. The podcaster is "very impressed" with the device.
"Your new Oculus is awesome, it’s very impressive, it’s very cool," Joe Rogan says at the start of a nearly three-hour conversation.
Rogan was able to preview the new device, which Meta calls "Project Cambria" and which could be called Quest Pro when it's released. The headset's eye and face tracking amazed the podcaster, who said Rogan saw a female alien avatar in front of him that mimicked his eye movements and facial expressions in real-time. Even jaw movements were recorded and transferred to virtual reality.
"Coming out in October, we’re going to be talking about it on our Connect conference that’s coming up," Zuckerberg said. The event has not yet been announced but is likely to take place in September or October at the latest. An insider report assumed an October launch, which Zuckerberg now confirmed.
Eye and face tracking could become meta standard
Quest Pro is the first meta headset to offer eye and face tracking. The technology is intended to breathe life into avatars and contribute to social presence, i.e., the feeling of being in the same room as another person.
Mark Zuckerberg calls social presence the "Holy Grail," the ultimate goal of the technical development of VR and AR, and hints that eye and face tracking could become a standard feature of Meta headsets.
"For this version and hopefully a lot of the different ones we’re going to build going forward, you will be able to have realistic facial expressions and more translated to your Avatar.," Zuckerberg says.
Earlier this year, Meta's CEO already highlights the importance of eye and face tracking for social presence, then in conversation with podcaster Lex Fridman.
Meta Quest 2: Successful as Xbox and Playstation.
Zuckerberg comes to talk a bit later about how VR and AR will evolve. The two sister technologies are on different development paths: Useful VR headsets can already be built today, while elegant and highly functional AR headsets do not yet exist.
"You’re trying to explore all these capabilities in the device that is bigger than the form factor that you want while simultaneously every year or two cranking and pumping more technology into what you can fit into the kind of form factor you want," Zuckerberg said, probably referring to Ray-Ban Stories. "Eventually these things converge and you'll get the functionality and you'll get the form factor."
Zuckerberg expects the first advanced AR headset to be available in the next three to five years, but they would still be "kind of expensive for a little" and would not cost just "a few hundred U.S. dollars" until later.
At the same time, he notes that currently available technology such as the Meta Quest 2 is already "pretty popular" and is "within the ballpark of Xbox or Playstation" in terms of sales. Meta has not mentioned concrete sales figures yet, probably because the number of active users is more important than hardware sales figures.