The Quest 2 won’t be replaced by Meta’s next major VR gadget, which is more costly and sophisticated and is anticipated in October.
Despite being two years old and more costly, the Oculus Quest 2 (now named the Meta Quest 2) has been a remarkably popular virtual reality headset and continues to be our top VR device: Back in August, the hardware saw a $101 price rise; the headset now costs $400. However, more pricey VR gadgets appear to be coming in the pipeline.
Four more headsets with Qualcomm chips are anticipated from Meta, the parent company of Facebook, over the course of the next few years, but the Quest Pro is the one that will likely be released in October, most likely on October 11 at Meta’s virtual Connect conference.
In a recent podcast discussion with Joe Rogan, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the time of the headgear unveiling. Additionally, we already know the headset’s appearance and packaging thanks to leaks that appear to be genuine.
Despite Zuckerberg’s goal of integrating the entire globe into the metaverse, the majority of people still don’t utilise VR. Sales of VR headsets are expected to increase in 2022, with shipments this year expected to total 13.9 million units, according to market research company IDC. 90 percent of that market is reportedly occupied by Meta’s Quest 2 hardware. With headsets predicted from Apple and Sony, 2023 is projected to be even more significant.
The target market for Meta’s next headgear is corporate and professional users rather than that mainstream group. The “Project Cambria” headgear was unveiled last year. You shouldn’t anticipate it to be a real successor to Quest 2. It would highlight enhanced hardware features and sensors with a substantially higher price, much to what Mark Zuckerberg promised CNET back in 2021.
A bridge device that might be an incredible VR headset as well as enabling mixed reality by fusing footage from the real world with VR via upgraded cameras, Project Cambria (or the Quest Pro) appears to be a far more costly and sophisticated type of AR/VR hybrid.
Additionally, the Cambria will have new sensor technologies, most notably eye tracking and facial tracking, which may open up new possibilities for VR interaction and avatar animation. But this eye monitoring also raises concerns about data privacy.
independent, similar to the Quest 2
Yes, it appears like the Cambria is a standalone device, similar to the Quest 2. However, you may anticipate it to link to PCs and, to some extent, phones, just as the Quest 2. The design appears to be smaller than the Quest 2 in early design sketches, although a bigger battery might add weight. With the use of “pancake lenses” that can reduce the distance required to produce convincing 3D effects, Meta has already verified that the headset would be more compact where the lenses touch the face.
The bigger battery appears to be able to fit on the rear of the headgear, giving it an appearance more akin to Microsoft’s augmented reality HoloLens 2 than to Meta’s current Oculus VR spectacles. Batteries are also located on the rear of the headset in VR devices like the HTC Vive Focus 3 and Meta’s own battery strap attachment for the Quest 2.
Expect the headset to link with PCs for more powerful apps, much like the Quest 2 can now accomplish, even if recent reports like those from The Information term Cambria a “laptop for your face,” implying greater self-contained power.
In an interview with CNET last year, Mark Zuckerberg said that a professional version of the Quest will include additional sensor technologies. The Cambria could make it possible to track other aspects of your health and fitness in addition to the currently well-known eye and facial tracking. The business has previously bought a subscription fitness service that detects heart rate through a connected Apple Watch. Fitness has been a big emphasis for Meta’s VR platforms. (The Oculus Move app and Apple Health are synced.) According to reports, Meta is also developing a wristwatch.
How will reality be mixed in?
The enhanced exterior cameras of Project Cambria will record passthrough colour footage and display it on the headset’s internal screen. The Quest 2 has the ability to “see through” and display the outside world as well, although in a blurry, black-and-white video stream. The Quest 2 creates a form of mixed reality by overlaying certain VR with this stream, such as room boundaries. The Cambria will likely perform this much more realistically.
In May, Mark Zuckerberg provided a quick Facebook demonstration of the headset’s potential.
I’ve previously tested one use of this technology on a very expensive VR headset produced by the Finnish firm Varjo. The Varjo XR-3 scans the actual environment using lidar and cameras before layering VR on top of it, producing effects that can be almost as realistic as those in AR headsets created by Microsoft and Magic Leap. Meta’s Cambria is likely to make an attempt at something quite similar.
The Cambria might wind up being a toolkit for developers to create AR-style experiences that could also employ hand (and eye) tracking, while Meta’s hopes for future AR glasses have not yet been achieved.
How does eye tracking function?
Although the specifics are unknown, most VR eye tracking technology operates along these lines: Some eye trackers also take pictures of your eyes, while infrared cameras monitor eye movement. Eye tracking does a couple really helpful tasks: Foveated rendering, which uses the highest-resolution information just where the fovea of your eyes is gazing to generate better images with less processing power, may result in longer battery life or greater performance in a smaller headset.
Additionally, eye tracking may be combined with hand tracking and controllers to increase the accuracy of control and make avatar eye contact more lifelike. Even enhanced accessibility for those with limited movement may result from the ability to use the VR interface just with their eyes.
Eye tracking and face tracking cameras appear to be coming together in Meta, which might be used to map emotions and expressions onto avatars. But all of this tracking raises new privacy concerns. Although Meta has pledged openness and restrictions on the use of tracking data, Facebook’s track record of user data misuse raises several questions.
Perhaps better avatars?
The headgear, according to Zuckerberg, would animate avatars more accurately and perhaps include updated Meta avatars. Will eye tracking and improved visuals make interactions seem better than what is currently possible? Mark Zuckerberg’s most recent cartoonish avatar in Horizon Worlds was widely derided as a joke. Although Meta intends to make this a significant component of Cambria’s efforts, it is unclear how the enhanced avatar controls of the next headgear will work with the other Quest 2 customers.
It probably won’t function as much as a game console.
There is no way the Cambria headset will be as well-liked as the Quest 2 is currently if it costs more than $800. Game creators may not be as focused on the new hardware as Meta appears to imply that’s not the goal of Cambria.
On its VR platforms, Facebook has a history of supporting several gaming and artistic endeavours, but it appears that Cambria may not be about releasing new games. To support the development of its metaverse ideas, Meta will likely concentrate on a wide range of business, education, fitness, and AR-crossover apps. In that regard, Quest 2 owners currently may already possess the greatest VR gaming system for some time (until the PlayStation VR 2 arrives in 2023, at least).
The Meta Cambria’s major advantages—better display resolution, eye tracking, and passthrough mixed reality—will be instruments to further Meta’s work and the development of VR, according to The Information’s most recent article on this headgear. Consider high-end VR and AR rivals like the Vive Focus 3, HoloLens 2, and Varjo’s headgear, where professional applications are the obvious focus. Although Meta has had great success wooing gamers, it will find it more difficult to persuade businesses to use its technology.
Should you wait till Cambria (or a possible Quest 3) before purchasing a Quest 2?
According to current speculations, the Quest 2 may not truly be replaced until 2023. The Quest 3 is anticipated to be a headset that competes with the Quest 2’s pricing and may perhaps replace it, but not this year. However, it is not anticipated that the Cambria will be that headset. If the Cambria headset is as expensive as Meta claims, most customers probably won’t even consider it a rival to the Quest 2. It may instead focus more on promoting more cutting-edge technologies (eye tracking, mixed reality, greater display quality) that might subsequently filter down into more reasonably priced goods.
You may better organise your purchasing options if you keep the ideas of “Cambria” and “Quest 3” distinct in your mind. The Cambria could only appeal to affluent hobbyist and professional users. Except for the impending Pico headset from TikTok parent firm ByteDance, I don’t anticipate any VR headset to be able to compete with the Quest 2’s $400 price tag any time soon.
The Quest 2 is still an excellent headset for the money, and Meta routinely adds new capabilities to the software. You probably don’t need to wait for whatever the Cambria evolves into later this year unless you’re a professional desperate for a top-tier headset at any cost. If you own a PlayStation 5, you might want to hold out and wait to see how the PlayStation VR 2 performs.