Meta plans to finally open the lid on its new mixed reality headset next month.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company has announced that the company’s annual “Meta Connect” conference will be livestreamed on October 11.
Zuckerberg also posted a photo of himself wearing a headset on his Facebook page with the caption, “See you at Meta Connect October 11th” — a strong indication that the device will finally be unveiled at the event.
The mixed reality headset, codenamed Project Cambria, is well hidden in the photo to keep fans in the dark.
The new headset is believed to underpin the “Metaverse” – a collective, virtual, shared space accessible online and containing avatars of real people.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a photo of him wearing a headset on his Facebook page with the caption: “See you at Meta Connect October 11th.” The new headset will likely be unveiled at the Meta Connect conference, which will be held virtually on October 11th
The Meta Connect conference will take place virtually on October 11th. The company is believed to be unveiling its new mixed reality headset at the event
WHAT IS MIXED REALITY?
Mixed reality describes experiences that combine elements of a physical and a virtual environment, allowing real and digital elements to coexist and interact.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are both immersive technologies, but they are not the same.
Mixed reality is an extension of augmented reality that allows real and virtual elements to interact in an environment.
Mixed reality maintains a connection to the real world and is therefore not considered a fully immersive experience like virtual reality (VR) is.
Meta said in a blog post that next month’s conference will “offer a look at what’s to come in the near and distant future” and “and the next era of social computing.”
Also at Meta Connect, the company will “explore what it takes to bring the Metaverse to life.”
Zuckerberg has already said that the upcoming “high-end” headset will be released later this year.
Back in May, Zuckerberg released a teaser video testing the headset, despite the device itself being pixelated.
The video shows Zuckerberg petting a cute virtual creature, picking up and throwing a virtual ball, and looking at a web browser that appears to be floating right in front of his face.
The CEO previously discussed some of Project Cambria’s features at Meta Connect 2021, including sensors that allow a user’s avatar to make natural eye contact and facial expressions in real time while in the Metaverse.
Meanwhile, cameras will relay high-definition, full-color video to the headset’s screens, he said.
Zuckerberg has also previously said that Project Cambria will cost more than the current headsets, although exactly how much is unknown.
The Cambria project is expected to cost around £799, two people familiar with the matter previously told The Information.
The device will be the successor to Meta’s Oculus Quest 2, released in October 2020, and the original Oculus Quest, released in May 2019.
Last year, Zuckerberg said Project Cambria “isn’t the next Quest,” and while it will be compatible with the latest Quest device, it will be its own product.
Following the release of Project Cambria, Meta will reportedly be releasing three more headsets – Stinson (for release in 2023), Funston (2024) and Cardiff (2024), according to an internal roadmap from The Information.
Back in May, Zuckerberg released a teaser video testing the headset, despite the device itself being pixelated
Zuckerberg said Project Cambria is “the future of hardware to bring the metaverse to life.”
Coined in the 1992 dystopian novel Snow Crash, the term “Metaverse” is used to describe immersive, shared spaces accessed across different platforms where the physical and the digital converge.
Zuckerberg, who co-founded Facebook in his Harvard University dormitory in 2004, has described the metaverse as “the Internet embodied.”
In a few years, Facebook users will not be able to use the platform on their phone or computer, but by putting on a headset.
Instead of swiping the screen of a device, they could potentially meet up with a Facebook friend in a virtual shared space — like an ultra-realistic simulation of another planet or an idyllic garden — and converse with each other’s avatars by voice.
“It’s going to be about social presence, the feeling of being with another person no matter where you are in the world,” says Meta.
“The metaverse is still a long way off, but parts of it are already there and more are on the horizon.”
Zuckerberg’s company announced at last year’s Connect conference in October 2021 that it was rebranding as part of its long-term project to transform its social media platform into a metaverse.
So the word “Facebook” now refers to the social media platform and not the company that owns it.
THE FACEBOOK “METAVERSE”: A VIRTUAL WORLD WITHIN A WORLD
In a recent interview, Mark Zuckerberg said he wants people to think of Facebook not as a social media company but as a “metaverse” company in the next five years.
This is a virtual environment where people can work and play most of their 24 hours without leaving their homes.
“And I hope that if we do this well, I think over the next five years we’ll effectively move from the people who see us primarily as a social media company to a metaverse in this next chapter of our company.” company,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with The Verge.
“And of course, all of the work we do on the apps that people are using today directly contributes to that vision in terms of community and developer building.
“But that’s something I spend a lot of time on, think a lot about, we’re working on a ton. And I think it’s just a big part of the next chapter for the work we’re going to do across the industry.’
What exactly is the metaverse?
As Zuckerberg describes it, it’s a “vision” that spans the entire tech industry, billing it as the successor to the mobile internet.
“But you can think of the metaverse as an embodied internet where you’re not just looking at content, you’re in it,” he continued.
“And you feel present with other people, like you’re in other places, and you’ve had different experiences that you couldn’t necessarily have on a 2D app or website, like dancing or different types of fitness.”
The Facebook CEO says his vision, which he has been working on for several months, would include not only virtual reality but also augmented reality, computers, mobile devices and gaming consoles.