The company formerly known as Facebook may soon release its first new piece of VR hardware since rebranding to Meta last year. According to developer Steve Moser in a report from Bloomberg, the next headset will be called the Quest Pro (sorry, Nintendo fans). Moser found the name “Quest Pro” in the code of Meta’s Oculus mobile app.
Meta declined to comment when asked if the company could confirm or deny the legitimacy of the Quest Pro name.
Meta has long teased a “high-end” VR headset to complement the consumer-grade Quest 2, which retails around $299. Codenamed “Project Cambria,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently showed off the device’s mixed-reality capabilities in a demo video.
The Quest 2 has greyscale passthrough cameras, which help users see their real-world surroundings without removing their headset. But the Quest Pro will have full-color, more realistic passthrough capability, plus depth sensors that help to accurately place digital objects into physical space. If leveraged correctly, the Quest Pro could be poised to produce some pretty sophisticated AR experiences, but Meta won’t be without competition. Apple is also reportedly working on a mixed reality headset.
In May, a report from The Information said that Meta’s new headset is expected to cost $799, while Bloomberg’s report today stated that it will cost more than $1,000. Apple’s rumored headset is also expected to be higher-end, which isn’t surprising for a company that sells four-figure laptops.
So far, Meta’s plunge into virtual reality hasn’t been profitable. In the first quarter of this year, Meta’s Reality Labs lost about $3 billion, and last year, the division lost over $10 billion. Though Meta launched Ray-Ban smart glasses with a built-in camera last year, the company seems to be diverting its attention away from more casual hardware. After slowed revenue growth and some hiring freezes, the company is rumored to be scaling back its plans to develop AR glasses. Meta is also reportedly halting production on a smart watch with built-in cameras.
Despite these setbacks, last month, Meta pulled back the curtain on its VR hardware development. The company shared four prototypes from Reality Labs which attempt to pass the “visual Turing Test” (in other words, Meta wants to make headsets that are so realistic you might forget you’re in VR).
“There’s still a long way to go, but I’m excited to bring all this tech to our products in the coming years,” Zuckerberg said in a demo.
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