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Meta is planning four new VR headsets for Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘iPhone moment’

‘Zuck’s ego is intertwined with [the glasses],’ former employee reportedly says

Adam Smith
Tuesday 03 May 2022 16:44
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Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus, is reportedly planning to launch four new virtual reality (VR) headsets by 2024.

The first is the Project Cambria headset, a more powerful device than its current Quest device, which will launch in September. A new version of it will then come in 2024.

The first version of the headset will reportedly cost above $799, according to a Meta spokesperson quoted by The Information. Features include high-resolution image quality for typing emails or code within a virtual reality environment.

The headsets will run Meta’s Android OS and be as possible as a low-end laptop, but the main point of the headset would be that it is able to do full-colour passthrough that would allow it to perform mixed reality experiences.

The two other headsets will come in 2023 and 2024, but details about these are not yet clear.

As well as the virtual reality headsets, Meta is also set to release Nazare AR glasses in 2024 alongside a cheaper pair called Hypernova.

This will be paired with a wrist band that reads the stimulus sent from the brain to the hand in order to control the user interface through thoughts, based on technology Meta bought from a startup called CTRL-Labs.

Nazare will reportedly work without needing to be connected to a smartphone, while Hypernova will pair with a smartphone for messages and notifications. New AR glasses could then come in 2026 with a third pair in 2028.

The first pair of glasses are expected to come with 3D graphics and a large field of view but could be heavy – weighing up to 100 grams.

Meta did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent before time of publication.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has been clear about his ambitions for augmented reality and smart glasses, reportedly calling them a “holy grail” device that will “redefine our relationship with technology”.

One former employee told The Verge that “Zuck’s ego is intertwined with [the glasses]” and that he “wants it to be an iPhone moment.”

The company, and Mr Zuckerberg, hopes that augmented reality devices will release it from the influence of Apple and Google – but does not foresee high sales. Reportedly, sales are expected in the low tens of thousands.

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