Mark Zuckerberg Talks Mixed Reality in Meta Quest 3

Perspective: As Metaverse’s division, Reality Labs, threw in a few more billion dollars last quarter, the company is moving forward with virtual reality products. These include the next Meta Quest headset, which should replace the popular Meta Quest 2 when it launches later this year.

Meta 2022 Q4 Earnings Report included new information about the company’s next VR headset. It will most likely be called the Meta Quest 3. Meta wants the device to be a relatively affordable vehicle for its mixed reality ambitions.

The company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that Quest 3 will include Meta Reality, the company’s technology that makes VR headsets capable of augmented reality, turning them into mixed reality headsets. The $1,500 Meta Quest Pro released by Meta last October includes it as a core feature.

When Meta introduced the Quest Pro, Zuckerberg confirmed that the company intends to release Quest 3 at the end of 2023, priced between $300 and $500. Meta is currently offering the Quest 2 for $400, giving it a significant price advantage over offerings from companies like HTC and Valve that cost over a thousand dollars. Keeping Quest 3 at the same price could expand Meta Reality’s reach.

A leak from last September revealed that the Quest 3 is equipped with a depth sensor, two black and white cameras, and two RGB cameras, presumably to display the user’s surroundings and provide augmented reality. The Quest 2’s external cameras only transmit rudimentary end-to-end black and white video. The leak also mentions a Snapdragon SoC, 2 LCDs, thin pancake lenses, mechanical IPD adjustment, a male charging dock connector, and a strap similar to the Quest 2.

Oddly enough, Quest 3 won’t include eye tracking, a feature touted by VR space rival Sony in its $500 PlayStation VR 2 headset. Gaze tracking allows the two displays to determine exactly where the user is looking and use that information to prioritize pixel rendering, thus saving precious graphics processing cycles.

Zuckerberg expressed optimism that Meta Reality will grow in the coming years. This sentiment reflects his insistence that VR and Metaverse are worthy long-term investments, even after his company’s Metaverse division lost $14 billion in 2022. Meta expects to lose even more money in 2023 as it continues to advance its ambitions.

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