Meta will unveil its next VR headset at its Connect conference this October. Fittingly, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement late Thursday in an equally surreal environment. It’s the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast on Spotify.
He further added the new VR headset, the sequel to the popular Oculus 2, will focus on “social presence” with some amazing features like eye-tracking and face-tracking. Mark said that the headset is designed in a way that they can capture a user’s facial expressions and reproduce them in real-time on an avatar to inhance non-verbal communication. He also said that while his AR glasses from Meta are still years away, the headset, which launches in October, will have some mixed reality features.
At his Connect conference last year, Meta hinted at his high-end headset codenamed “Project Cambria.” Zuckerberg describes the headset, which launched in October, as the definitive consumer version. According to a Bloomberg report last month, the code in the iPhone app for Meta’s companion VR headset indicated that the upcoming headset would be called as the Meta Quest Pro.
On the Joe Rogan podcast, Zuckerberg reiterated the fact that VR can “unleash” the feeling of being in the presence of another person.
“When you’re on a video call you don’t actually feel like you’re there with the person. To me, what virtual reality unlocks is that it really convinces your brain that you’re there [in person],” he added.
Since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, the company has redesigned the entire company as a “metaverse” business rather than a social media business, coordinating its strategy of building multiple virtual world universes for all its users. While some may be skeptical of the premise and motivation behind the messaging pivot, the company is moving forward and striving to better connect the different kinds of experiences it’s developing. Worlds is a social platform tailored for VR headsets available in select countries. However, it has been criticized for its hacky graphics and tested claims about a VR headset that captures the following facial expressions.