Meta’s $2,299 Meta Quest Pro is lending one of its key features to an upcoming, comparatively affordable, consumer-focused Meta headset, as shared by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the company’s Q4, 2022 earnings call.
“Later this year, we’re going to launch our next generation consumer headset, which will feature Meta Reality as well, and I expect that this is going to establish this technology as the baseline for all headsets going forward, and eventually of course for AR glasses as well,” said Zuckerberg.
MR, or, Meta Reality, is a currently Quest Pro-exclusive feature that allows the VR (Virtual Reality) headset to double as an AR (Augmented Reality) headset, resulting in what Meta describes as a Mixed Reality experience where users can interact with their live environment with a VR filter over it.
According to reports from last year, the upcoming, comparatively affordable headset will be called Meta Quest 3, and it will release late in 2023. It will reportedly cost between $300 and $500 USD (roughly $400 CAD to $670 CAD), making it roughly three to five times cheaper than the Quest Pro.
The Quest Pro utilizes two camera views to produce a 3D view of your surroundings and lets people see the world around them with overlaid coloured graphics. The Quest 2 also has this feature, but it’s limited to black and white. It would be interesting to see how Meta implements the feature in a three to five-times cheaper headset, and what physical form the new headset will take.
It’s important to note that the Meta Reality feature has received mixed reviews, with The Verge finding that the colour passthrough on the headset lacks resemblance to the real world, and the video footage is “fuzzy,” and “murky in low light, washed-out or flickery in bright light, and sometimes luridly saturated in between.”
A report from UploadVR suggests that the upcoming Quest 3 could feature a depth sensor to render the space around you and allow for hand-tracking capabilities. The same report also suggests that the Quest 3 will make use of pancake lenses for a more compact design, alongside a more powerful Qualcomm processor.