Formerly codenamed Project Cambria, Meta has unveiled its highly-anticipated mixed-reality headset, the Meta Quest Pro. The sleek and intricate piece of hardware made its debut earlier today, October 11, at the company’s annual Connect conference ahead of hitting store shelves on October 25.
The Quest Pro marks Zuckerberg’s venture into the higher-end market of VR hardware, with the headset retailing for $1,499 USD. It appears that the company may be trying to recoup some of the billions it has invested in its Reality Labs unit. Last year, the Reality Labs division lost Meta $10.2 billion USD, and has already lost the company over $5 billion USD in 2022.
Giving the Quest Pro a leg up on the comparably cheaper Quest 2 is its advanced mixed reality capabilities. A more expansive lens design utilizing passthrough cameras allows Quest Pro users to see the real world in their peripheral vision, meaning they don’t have to take off the headset to complete daily tasks. If using the Quest Pro for work, the device streamlines multitasking by allowing multiple screens to be open at the same time. Users can view screens side by side or switch between them. Those seeking the feel of a traditional VR experience can attach light blockers to the sides of the headset for greater immersion.
Inward-facing cameras lend themselves to rendering a user’s face with precise accuracy. Every movement from raising one’s eyebrows to smiling to chewing can be translated into a VR avatar. The Quest Pro 2 mimics “natural facial expressions, so you can be fully present in meetings and gatherings with friends and bring more of your true personality to life in VR,” the company shared.
Meta has also swapped out its older controllers with new self-tracking controllers providing haptic feedback. Unlike the previous Rift and Quest controllers, the new controllers don’t require tracking rings or headset cameras to operate, granting the user full 360-control. The new controllers are compatible with earlier Quest models and can be bought on their own for $299 USD.
A Snapdragon XR2+ processor gives the Quest Pro 50% more processing power than the Quest 2, alongside more pixels per inch and a 75% greater contrast. The Quest Pro also has twice the memory of the Quest with 12GB compared to the previous 6GB.
Design-wise, the battery is situated on the back mount, giving the Quest Pro a more level, balanced feel. A new pancake lens design gives way to a less 40% thinner than the Quest 2, though the hardware of the Quest Pro is still heavier at 1.6 lb (722 grams) to the Quest’s 1.1 lb (503 grams).
Rather than targeting gamers, the Quest Pro is being billed as a tool to increase productivity among creatives, freelancers and in the office. In his announcement, Mark Zuckerberg described the Quest Pro as “a high-end device designed for work and for people who want the best experience we can have in virtual reality today.”
Priced at $1,499 USD Meta’s Quest Pro will be available for purchase beginning on October 25.
In other tech news, Google has unveiled its first-ever Pixel smartwatch.
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