As the Meta Connect event draws near, anticipation for the Meta Quest 3 continues to grow, thanks to a recent teaser that offers a sneak peek into the highly-anticipated headset. Set to be unveiled during the two-day virtual event, which commences on September 27, the Meta Quest 3 is poised to be the star of the show, alongside other revelations on “AI, virtual, mixed, and augmented realities.”
The teaser, released ahead of Apple’s WWDC 2023, keeps the suspense alive with a focus on the three cameras/sensors embedded in the front of the Quest 3 headset. Speculations suggest that these cameras may consist of two color passthrough cameras and an infrared (IR) projector to facilitate mapping of the user’s surroundings.
One of the most noteworthy enhancements touted by the teaser is the full-color passthrough capability, a significant upgrade from the black-and-white passthrough seen in the Quest 2. This breakthrough feature will enable users to experience the real world in vivid color while engaging with virtual content.
Moreover, the teaser also provides a glimpse of the redesigned Touch Plus controllers, designed to offer users a more comfortable and immersive experience. Enhanced haptic feedback in the controllers is expected to elevate interactions within virtual environments, allowing users to feel a heightened sense of realism during activities like virtual boxing.
While the Meta Quest 3’s hardware advancements have caught the attention of tech enthusiasts, there is also eager anticipation surrounding the software and mixed-reality experiences that will be made possible by this groundbreaking headset. The official Meta Connect page hints at a comprehensive look into the realms of VR, AR, and mixed realities, leaving users excited for what lies ahead.
Adding to the intrigue, there are whispers of Meta introducing new AI chatbots with distinct personalities. Though the specifics remain shrouded in secrecy, the mention of AI on the Meta Connect page has ignited curiosity about potential AI-related announcements during the event.
Meta’s endeavors in the AI domain have not gone unnoticed, with the company developing its own AI chip and a speech-generating AI tool that is generating buzz for its potential, despite being held back due to safety concerns.
While AI is a focal point of Meta’s ambitions, the Meta Quest 3 is expected to be the highlight of the Connect event, as indicated by the teaser. The upcoming headset promises full-color passthrough, double the graphical performance of the Quest 2, and a 40% slimmer design compared to its predecessor. However, leaks have suggested that it may be slightly heavier than the Quest 2.
Price points have also been revealed, with the Meta Quest 3 set to be available for pre-order at $499 / £499 / AU$829 immediately following the Meta Connect event. Convincing existing Quest 2 owners to upgrade will be a key challenge for Meta, considering the current state of the Quest Store and the limited number of widely-acclaimed hits.
To address this, Meta appears to be focusing on enhancing the software experience, particularly for its social VR app, Horizon Worlds. Recent additions, such as the game Super Rumble, showcase Meta’s efforts to improve graphics and introduce more sophisticated games to the platform. The introduction of a smartphone version of Horizon Worlds is also anticipated, expanding the user base beyond those with VR headsets.
Furthermore, rumors of a new Smart Guardian feature may prove to be a game-changer for Quest 3 owners, making room mapping and navigation even more user-friendly.
As the Meta Connect event draws closer, the tech community eagerly awaits the unveiling of the Meta Quest 3 and the announcements that will shape the future of AI, VR, AR, and mixed realities. The full extent of the impact of the reported $21 billion loss by Meta’s Reality Labs in the last 18 months on the Quest 3 remains a mystery, but all will be revealed on September 27.