The Oculus Quest Pro might be Meta's next VR headset. So might Project Cambria, a mysterious high-end machine believed to be launching sometime later this year. The Oculus Quest Pro and Project Cambria could very well be the same all-in-one VR device.
Here's what we know: Meta (formerly Facebook) is working on a follow-up to the Oculus Quest 2 that will cost more than the best VR headset and come with advanced sensors curated for the Metaverse. The headset will also support exclusive mixed-reality experiences to justify a higher price tag.
Whether Project Cambria is a codename for an Oculus Quest Pro or an initiative that will exist separate from the Oculus Quest is not entirely clear. What's certain is Meta has mapped out its VR hardware plans to deliver a new headset during 2022.
This is everything we've heard about Meta's Oculus Quest Pro and Project Cambria, from a possible release date and price to design and special features.
Oculus Quest Pro vs. Project Cambria
The Oculus Quest Pro and Project Cambria could be the same device. Project Cambria could be a codename for the Oculus Quest Pro while Meta's next headset is in development. It's also possible Project Cambria won't be called the Oculus Quest Pro but a different name unrelated to the Quest lineup of headsets.
“This isn’t the next Quest,” Mark Zuckerberg said during the Project Cambria teaser event. “It’s going to be compatible with Quest, but Cambria will be a completely new and high-end product.”
It's obvious Meta is positioning Project Cambria as an elevated VR headset compared to the current Oculus Quest 2, but it sounds like it'll work with the best Oculus Quest 2 games and thus may not be completely split from the Quest brand. Either way, any of Meta's upcoming VR headset news, rumors or leaks, we'll speculate the Quest Pro and Project Cambria the same device.
Oculus Quest Pro and Project Cambria release date
We don't know the exact Oculus Quest Pro and Project Cambria release date yet, but Meta provided an estimation of when we can expect the company's new VR headset to launch. During the streamed Project Cambria event, it was said the device is arriving “next year,” referring to 2022.
Intel from an XR analyst claims that Project Cambria is coming in Q2 of 2022. That's the April-May timeframe, which isn't all that far off. If this information is accurate, we would expect to see an influx of rumors leading up to the launch.
Oculus Quest Pro and Project Cambria price
As you may know, the Oculus Quest 2 costs $300, which we'd consider a competitive price for a VR headset. The Quest Pro or Project Cambria will almost certainly cost more, though. It won't be one of the best cheap VR headsets.
Project Cambria will be a "high-end product and it'll be at the higher end of the price spectrum," Zuckerberg said in the aforementioned teaser event. Testing new features and functionality seems to prioritized more than affordability at the moment, with Zuckerberg saying Cambria has a way to go before the company can "hit the price points that we target with Quest."
In an Instagram AMA, head of Facebook Reality Labs Andrew Bosworth called out a question mentioning the Quest Pro debuting with a $600 price tag. Although Bosworth didn't provide an actual response, $600 is a compelling pitch, since It would make the Quest Pro or Project Cambria cheaper than the $900 HTC Vive Cosmos Elite or the $1,000 Valve Index.
Oculus Quest Pro and Project Cambria design
In the slightly-blurry teaser video below, you can get a glimpse of what Project Cambria looks like in a current prototype form.
As you can see, it looks like most modern VR headsets, complete with a casing for your eyes, a strap that fits around the head and a pair of controllers. The device in the video is black, though that could just be a tool of mystery, intended to create more of a silhouette than realistic render of the device.
A big question we'll have about the Oculus Quest Pro design is weight and comfort, especially if it's a machine we'll want to use to work all day in the Metaverse. Meta has expressed its efforts to make VR hardware easier to wear for a longer period of time.
“We’re pushing the limits of what’s possible with display technology and form factor with something called ‘pancake optics’,” said Angela Chang, head of VR devices at Meta. “They essentially work by folding light several times over to achieve a slimmer profile than current lenses.”
Oculus Quest Pro and Project Cambria features
The most interesting Project Cambria feature we've heard about promises to capture facial expressions through facial tracking sensors: "There’s a ton of new tech going into Cambria,” explained Chang. “For example, your avatar will be able to make natural eye contact and reflect your facial expressions in real time. This way people you’re interacting with will have a real sense of how you’re actually feeling.”
Apparently, the sensors will be able to accommodate a range of skin tones and facial features like beards or glasses. The sensors could also be used for body tracking, and perhaps limit how often a user needs controllers. We don't dislike the current Oculus Quest 2 controllers, but replacing the AA batteries gets old. At the very least, we'd like wireless charging. We've seen some alleged promo materials suggesting that could be the case for Meta's next VR headset, but we can't confirm if the images are real.
Beyond the sensors and controls, we'd expect the Oculus Quest Pro 2 to boast higher performance than Meta's other wireless headsets. A PC-linked headset would likely still win in terms of overall quality, but there are ways the all-in-one headset can improve.
For example, the Quest 2's 120Hz refresh rate could be boosted to 144Hz to match the Valve Index does. And if Meta implements custom silicone for the Quest Pro or Project Cambria, then we could see faster processing and better efficiency for battery life compared to the Quest 2.
Oculus Quest Pro and Project Cambria augmented reality
In the Project Cambria reveal, Zuckerberg also touched on the headset's augmented reality potential, suggesting it will be poised to compete with the rumored Apple mixed reality headset, Apple glasses, as well as Google's rumored Google AR headset.
“Imagine working at your virtual desk with multiple screens, while seeing your real desk so clearly that you can pick up a pen and write notes without taking your headset off,” Zuckerberg said. “Or you’re doing a workout with a virtual instructor in your living room."
Chang similarly promised that Cambria will support “high-resolution, colored mixed reality passthrough.” This will show the real world in your headset with a sense of “depth and perspective.” The Oculus Quest 2 already has some degree of passthrough, but it's crude.
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