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This is Meta’s AR/VR hardware roadmap for the next four years

Meta plans to release its first smart glasses with a display in 2025, alongside a neural interface smartwatch designed to control them. The edge has learned. Meanwhile, the first pair of full-fledged AR glasses, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg has predicted will eventually be as widely used as mobile phones, are scheduled for release in 2027.

The details were shared with thousands of employees in Meta’s Reality Labs division on Tuesday during a roadmap presentation of its AR and VR efforts that was shared with The edge. Taken together, they show how Meta intends to continue investing in consumer hardware after a series of setbacks and broader cost-cutting across the company. A Meta spokesperson declined to comment on this story.

Regarding the VR roadmap, employees were told that Meta’s flagship Quest 3 headset coming later this year will be two times thinner, at least twice as powerful, and will cost slightly more than the $400 Quest 2. recently announced Quest Pro, will feature prominently with mixed reality experiences that don’t completely immerse the wearer, thanks to front-facing cameras that pass through video from the real world. Meta has sold nearly 20 million Quest headsets to date, Mark Rabkin, the company’s vice president of VR, told employees at the presentation.

(I’ll have more of this meeting and my thoughts on Meta’s roadmap in the Thursday issue of my Command Line newsletter.)

Three new Quest models

The Meta Quest 2, released in 2020.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales/The Verge

Meta’s biggest challenge with the Quest 3, which is internally codenamed Stinson, will convince people to pay “a little bit more” money than the cost of the existing Quest 2, according to Rabkin. “We need to get enthusiasts excited,” he told Tuesday. staff. “We have to prove to people that all this power, all these new features are worth it.”

Meta has sold nearly 20 million Quest headsets to date

Mixed reality will be a huge selling point, and Rabkin said there will be a new “smart guard” to help wearers navigate the real world while wearing the device. “The main north star for the team has been from the moment you put this headset on, the mixed reality has to make it feel better, easier and more natural,” he said. “You can effortlessly walk around your house knowing that you can see perfectly. You can place anchors and the like on your desktop. You can bring your coffee. You can stay there much longer.”

41 new apps and games will ship for the Quest 3, including new mixed reality experiences to take advantage of the updated hardware, Rabkin said. In 2024, he said Meta plans to ship a more “accessible” headset codenamed Ventura. “The goal of this headset is very simple: to pack the biggest punch we can at the most attractive price point in the VR consumer market.”

Rabkin did not say whether it is a second generation of the recent Meta Quest Pro, which received poor reviews The edge and others, coming soon. The closest thing to what sounds like a successor will be “way out in the future” after Ventura in 2024, when Meta plans its most advanced headset codenamed La Jolla with photo-realistic codec avatars.

“We want to make it higher resolution for work use and real nail work, text and stuff like that,” Rabkin said of La Jolla. “We want to take a lot of the comfort stuff from Quest Pro and how it sits on your head and the split architecture and bring that in for comfort.”

Meanwhile, he acknowledged that the current Quest struggles to keep new users engaged. “Right now we’re in our third year of Quest 2,” he told employees. “And unfortunately, the newer cohorts coming in, the people who bought it last Christmas, just aren’t as interested in it” or engaged as “those who bought it early.”

Rabkin urged employees to make sharing VR content on other platforms “trivial”, redesign the Quest store to make it “more dynamic” and give developers the ability to do things like automated promotions .

The current Quest struggles to keep new users engaged

“We have to be better at growth, preservation and resurrection,” he said. “We need to get better at social media and make it even more reliable and intuitive so people can count on it.”

Despite these issues, Meta built an early lead in virtual reality hardware. But the big swings in the coming years are a testament to the serious competition that is about to arrive. Apple is expected to announce a high-end virtual reality headset sometime this year, while Sony just released the well-received PSVR 2 for console gamers. Meanwhile, Apple, Google, Snap, and others are all racing toward something even bigger: augmented reality glasses — which is where Meta hopes its early efforts in the mixed reality space will really pay off.

AR glasses and neural interfaces

A demo from late 2021 illustrates how Meta envisions AR glasses could work to allow someone to play chess with a hologram.
Image: Meta

Aside from the Quest lineup, Meta also has thousands of employees building future AR glasses and wrist devices to control them. The main difference with VR is that the company plans to eventually wear AR glasses all day long as a replacement for smartphones. Zuckerberg called them the “holy grail” device that will “redefine our relationship with technology” by the end of this decade.

During Tuesday’s roadmap presentation, Alex Himel, the company’s vice president of AR, laid out the plan for a large number of devices through 2027. The first launch will be this fall with the second generation of Meta’s camera-equipped smart phones. glasses released in 2021 with Luxottica, the parent company of Ray-Ban.

In 2025, Himel said the third generation of the smart glasses will come with a display he called a “viewfinder” for viewing incoming text messages, scanning QR codes and translating text from another device in real time. language. The goggles come with a “neural interface” strap that allows the wearer to control the goggles through hand movements, such as swiping fingers on an imaginary D-pad. Ultimately, he said, the band lets the wearer use a virtual keyboard and type at the same words per minute as cell phones allow.

The smartwatch will integrate with Meta’s social media apps and offer health and fitness features

While Meta shelved its plans for a smartwatch with a detachable display and cameras, it is still working on another smartwatch to accompany its 2025 glasses, Himel confirmed.

“We don’t want people to have to choose between an input device on their wrist and smartwatch functionality they’ve grown to love,” he said. “So we’re building a watch for neural interfaces. First, this device does input: input to control your glasses, input to control functionality on your wrist, and input to control the world around you.

Himel showed employees a demo of the glasses in which during a video call, the cameras on the glasses showed the wearer’s forward-facing perspective, while simultaneously showing a selfie view from the camera on the watch. He said the smartwatch will be an optional upgrade from a tethered neural band that comes with the goggles, and will also integrate with Meta’s social media apps like WhatsApp and offer health and fitness features.

Released in 2021, Meta’s Ray-Ban Stories will have two cameras for taking photos and videos.
Photo by Amanda Lopez for The Verge

Meta’s first true AR glasses, which the company has been developing internally for 8 years under the code name Orion, are more technically advanced, more expensive and designed to project high-quality holograms of avatars onto the real world. According to Himel, there will be an “internal launch” in 2024 for employees to test the glasses. A version won’t be released to the public until 2027, when Meta will launch what Himel called its “Innovation” line of AR glasses for early adopters, alongside a “Scale” line of the less advanced and second-generation smart glasses. of his neural glasses. smartwatch.

Himel outlined the market opportunity around the nearly two billion regular glasses and hundreds of millions of smartwatches sold each year. “If we can put a great product on the shelves at a great price with the right value, we think we can get into these upgrade cycles and grow a lot of our devices,” he told the room. “It’s up to us to deliver.”

“A company like we’ve never seen on mobile phones before”

Meta plans to rely on its existing advertising business model to monetize these future devices. Himel said the company believes it can generate a higher average revenue per user than what it currently earns on social media, thanks to a combination of virtual goods sales, optional add-ons such as cloud backups and AR advertising.

“We should be able to run a really good advertising business,” he said. “I think it’s easy to imagine how ads would appear in space when you’re wearing AR glasses. Our ability to track conversions, which we have put a lot of focus on as a company, should also be close to 100 percent.”

“If we get anywhere near projections, it’s going to be great business,” he said. “A company like we’ve never seen on mobile phones before.”


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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