Don’t mock Facebook’s $1,800 headset, it could change everything

Marketed from October 25, the Meta Quest Pro is not a virtual reality headset but a new kind of product. It could be the first of a long series, before the arrival of augmented reality glasses.

After virtual reality and while waiting for augmented reality glasses, make way for mixed reality!

Tuesday, October 11, during its (long) Meta Connect conference, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and Oculus (the former name of headsets) unveiled the Meta Quest Pro, the first device in its category. At 1,799 euros, the Quest Pro takes the risk of venturing into a sector in which no manufacturer is found, even if everything suggests that Apple will offer something very similar in early 2023. The Quest Pro is not presented as a consumer product, but in any case it shows what the tech giants are capable of today. The technological promise is enticing, it remains to be seen what the developers will do with it (and if the users will want it).

The Quest Pro charging cradle. You have to attach a magnetic accessory to go into virtual reality. // Source: Meta

Meta unveils its mixed reality

Most headsets available today are virtual reality headsets. This technology means that the user is placed in a virtual world thanks to screens installed in front of the eyes, which create a virtual 3D environment, like a video game. Mixed reality is different.

If the Meta Quest Pro is technically capable of virtual reality (in record quality, thanks to mini-LED screens with 37% higher resolution according to Meta), it is above all designed for a new kind of use. Thanks to several cameras equipped all around the helmet (including some in color) and optimized sensors that monitor facial expressions, the Meta Quest Pro can reproduce reality in the virtual world. In other words, by wearing it, one can see his apartment in a quality that Meta presents as authentic. Mixed reality then makes it possible to display virtual elements in simulated reality, without cutting yourself off from the world. It is close to augmented reality which is also added from the virtual to the real. But without a helmet.

Strangely, Meta was very shy during his presentation. The company mostly talked about virtual reality experiences dedicated to professionals (like 3D drawing or meetings), but didn’t show many examples of mixed reality. Probably to avoid criticism. However, we could see an excerpt from the game beat the saber straight from a living room, with notes floating in its real surroundings. Meta has promised that most mixed reality uses will arrive “soon”. That still leaves a bit of time for Apple to be the first to impress.

Beat Saber in mixed reality, with cameras that reproduce reality.  // Source: Meta
Beat Saber in mixed reality, with cameras that reproduce reality. // Source: Meta

Why the Meta Quest Pro is interesting

Only one seems certain today: the Meta Quest Pro at 1800 euros does not exceed the sales of the Quest 2 at 450 euros (350 euros before inflation). However, simply making fun of its price is probably a mistake. The Meta Quest Pro is here to lead the way and prepare consumers for the potential future “technology revolution”.

In May 2022, Numerama met Lynk, a French start-up which is also working on mixed reality. His helmet is stunning and we had made people want to believe in this technology. We tend to think that Meta’s proposal will be even more impressive, even if it will not meet the expected success for lack of usage.

Technologies announced by Meta on October 11, 2022 will likely land in Apple’s future headphones which, according to rumors, could even cost even more.

While Quest Pro isn’t for everyone, it’s arguably an important first step in creating a major new category…and Meta’s hope of creating an ecosystem as powerful as iOS, Android or Windows. Will the brand make it? Today, the question that inhabits us is rather: “when will we be able to test the Meta Quest Pro? “car pissed off.

Leave a Comment