In a recent Meta earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that his company’s upcoming VR headset (dubbed Project Cambria) will be more focused on productivity than gaming. As such, it might not quite be the Oculus Quest 2 (now Meta Quest 2) replacement we expected.
His statement was later reiterated on Zuckerberg’s own Facebook page, where he not only praised Quest 2’s performance, but reaffirmed that Project Cambria will launch this year (via PCGamer).
More interestingly though, he went on to say that this “premium headset,” as he put it, will move away from gaming to “focus more on work use cases.” Over time, the CEO of Meta hopes it will replace our laptop and work setup.
That being said, the new VR device won’t completely abandon Oculus’ gaming heritage.
Later in his statement, Zuckerberg said Meta’s new hardware is designed to provide “the best metaverse experience – whether you’re playing a game or meeting colleagues in Horizon Workrooms.”
To realize this project, Cambria will rely on the existing infrastructure of the Quest 2, but will also integrate new hardware. Divulging some additional details about what this will entail, Zuckerberg explained that this new device will feature “improved usability” and “color passthrough mixed reality.”
Currently, the Quest 2 only offers grayscale mixed reality – and the live stream of the real world around you is a bit grainy to boot. This improved performance will almost certainly mean that Cambria will deliver superior mixed reality performance over what current Meta hardware can deliver.
Beyond that, Cambria will also use new eye and face tracking features to improve its ability to recognize a user’s facial expressions to then relay them in VR. Being able to recreate these types of social cues will be vital as Meta expands its digital social spaces in the metaverse. Without them, its virtual hubs might end up feeling impersonal and devoid of real emotion.
It’s still unclear exactly when Project Cambria will be released, although being a less power-consuming device we don’t have to wait for the holiday season to try it out for ourselves. New gaming hardware usually drops around October or November to build excitement – and boost sales – as the December holiday approaches.
That’s exactly when Xbox Series X, PS5, and Meta’s Quest 2 were each released.
With Cambria looking less and less like a device we might expect to find under our Christmas trees and more like a device that will replace meeting rooms and offices, Meta has less incentive to delay its release.
We’ll have to wait and see what Meta announces though, but whenever its next VR headset drops – be it Project Cambria or the Oculus Quest 3 – we’ll be sure to keep you posted on all the latest information.