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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

There’s no escaping the metaverse: Meta is reportedly releasing four new VR headsets by 2024

Meta is hoping to change how we work at our desks.

Tech giant Meta plans to launch at least four new VR headsets by 2024, according to a report in The Information. Two headsets are focused on work and productivity (Project Cambria and Funston), while the other two are new versions of the Quest headset (Project Stinson and Cardiff) for gaming. 

We’ve already known of Project Cambria, a VR/AR device that is “more focused on work use cases.” The Cambria will reportedly have a high-resolution screen to make reading text easier on the eyes. The idea is that you can send emails or work on code without taking off the headset, ultimately replacing the need for a monitor at your desk. 

The report indicates Cambria has outward-facing cameras capable of full-color passthrough, so users can see their surroundings in real time and the headset OS can implement various virtual overlays depending on the app. That would be a big step up over the current pass-through mode on the Quest, which gives you a grainy view of your surroundings.

Built-in sensors will be able to do things like follow the user’s eye movements and track facial expressions. Cambria will be heavier than the Quest 2 because it will be sporting a larger battery in the back and designed to be more comfortable to wear over long periods like an entire workday. Employees inside Meta have been referring to this headset as a “laptop for the face,” according to The Information.

The report indicates Project Funston will be an updated version of the Cambria due in 2024. Project Cambria was supposed to be released last year but delayed to later this year due to supply chain issues.

On the VR gaming front, there is not much information about the new Quest headsets outside of the fact that Meta plans to release them in 2023 and 2024. The first will be a high-end VR headset, with a new budget model coming the following year.

We loved the Quest 2 when we reviewed it, so the idea of a comfier headset with better graphics sounds very appealing to us. It will be interesting to see if any of the augmented reality features of the Cambria will make their way into these new headsets, too. Meta clearly has a vision of the future workplace that heavily involves us taking meetings inside the metaverse, whether anyone actually wants to or not.

Project Cambria is due this September and will cost at least $800, meaning it could cost close to triple the price of the Quest 2.

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