Plans about Meta's multiple AR/VR projects are revealed
During a company-wide meeting attended by all employees of Meta's Reality Labs division, the tech giant unveiled its four-year roadmap for AR/VR hardware. The roadmap includes plans for three new versions of their popular Quest viewer, the company's inaugural smart glasses, and a smartwatch that features a "neural interface," among other ambitious projects.
Despite the lackluster performance of the Horizon World software platform and recent rounds of layoffs, Meta's leadership team made it clear during the meeting that they remain committed to expanding the metaverse and pushing the boundaries of virtual and augmented reality technology.
For those curious about the new products, here are some additional details:
Quest 3 (codenamed Stinson)
The highly-anticipated Quest 3 is set to hit the shelves by the end of 2023, boasting a thinner, lighter design and at least double the power of its predecessor, the Quest 2. However, the price of the device is expected to increase slightly compared to the previous generation.
As with the Quest Pro, Meta aims to promote content that doesn't entirely isolate the user from the real world, made possible by front cameras that enable users to view their surroundings. Upon its release, the Quest 3 will launch alongside 41 new apps and games, including some that will take full advantage of the device's mixed reality capabilities.
A more affordable Quest (codenamed Ventura)
It has been reported that Meta is making arrangements to launch a more reasonably priced Quest device in 2024, with the objective of delivering superior AR/VR experiences at a cost-effective price.
AR glasses (codenamed Orion)
Following eight years of development, the much-awaited Orion project is poised to be made available for employee trials in 2024. Nevertheless, the public debut of the project is not anticipated until 2027, coinciding with the unveiling of the second iteration of the aforementioned smartwatch.
According to The Verge’s report, Alex Himel, Meta’s vice president for AR, stated that:
“We should be able to run a very good ads business. I think it’s easy to imagine how ads would show up in space when you have AR glasses on. Our ability to track conversions, which is where there has been a lot of focus as a company, should also be close to 100 percent.”
Super advanced Quest (codenamed La Jolla)
Meta's upcoming "La Jolla" project is expected to offer significant advancements in AR/VR technology, with the inclusion of Avatar Codecs capable of producing highly convincing photorealistic virtual representations. While the release date for La Jolla remains uncertain, it's expected to launch after the Ventura project.
“We want to make it higher resolution for work use and really nail work, text and things like that. We want to take a lot of the comfort things from Quest Pro and how it sits on your head and the split architecture and bring that in for comfort,” Mark Rabkin, Meta’s vice president for VR, stated about La Jolla, according to The Verge.
New smartwatch with a “neural interface”
Meta is gearing up to launch a smartwatch with a "neural interface" that can complement their AR glasses, scheduled to be released in 2027. This innovation would allow the glasses' wearer to use the lenses' cameras and obtain a preview on the watch's screen.
Ray-Ban Stories (2nd gen)
The second iteration of Ray-Ban Stories is anticipated to hit the market this fall, but it is yet to be determined whether Meta will collaborate with Ray-Ban once again. Luxottica, the brand's owner, is expected to participate, but there are other possible partners such as Oakley, Persol, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, and Giorgio Armani.
Below you can watch the introduction video of the first Ray-Ban Stories:Advertisement
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