Meta missed the turn to smartphones, and today it is paying dearly. Indeed, Mark Zuckerberg’s company is dependent on the platforms of Apple and Google, on which its services are used.
But for the next major evolution, the transition to augmented reality and virtual reality products, Meta does not intend to repeat the same error. After having bought the Oculus company for several billion dollars, Meta has become the main player in the field of virtual reality and augmented reality, which is currently struggling to become more democratic.
As a reminder, Meta’s flagship product today is the Oculus Quest 2 headset, a mid-range product that reconciles price and quality of the virtual reality experience. But for a while we have known that the company is developing a new, more advanced headset that will mix virtual reality and augmented reality: the Cambria headset.
The company has already previewed this headset, and revealed some information as well. For example, we know that unlike the Oculus Quest 2, the Cambria headset, which might be called the Quest Pro, will cost a blind. Indeed, in the United States, Meta will sell this one at a price above $800.
And recently, during an interview with the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Mark Zuckerberg shared some new info on the Cambria project. He indicated that this new product will be presented in October. And it is very likely that Meta will make its presentation at the annual Connect conference, an annual event organized by the group to present its latest innovations in hardware.
Project Cambria: a headset that will focus on social interactions
Besides that, Mark Zuckerberg also mentioned a feature of the future AR/VR headset that will make it a perfect product for social interactions in the metaverse. This feature will accentuate the feeling of social presence during interactions between users, since it will improve the non-verbal communication of avatars.
How ? Project Cambria’s helmet includes gaze tracking technology as well as face tracking. And thanks to this, user avatars will be able to reproduce their facial expressions.
“There is more non-verbal communication when people are together than verbal communication”explained Mark Zuckerberg in the interview.
In essence, the Cambria headset would make it possible to have virtual conversations closer to those we would have in real life.
Unfortunately, unlike the Quest 2 headset, which is quite affordable, the Cambria headset will have a high price tag. In addition, the macroeconomic context could force Meta to sell this product at an even higher price than initially expected.
Moreover, in July, Meta increased the price of its Quest 2 headphones. In Europe, the price of a model with 128 GB of memory rose from 349 euros to 256 euros.
This increase is however normal, given the inflation, as well as the financial difficulties Meta faces, while for the moment, the hardware division of the group is still a money pit. In 2021 alone, the company’s metaverse projects generated a loss of $10 billion.