Meta’s VR roadmap reportedly has four new headsets, with both high-end and cheaper Quest units
Last month we took a deep dive into Mark Zuckerberg’s grand metaverse plan, and some of the hardware Meta is working on to deliver it, in the form of Project Nazare augmented reality glasses. Now The Information reports on a roadmap for virtual reality hardware that runs through 2024 with four headsets on the schedule, starting with the previously-teased Project Cambria VR headset we expect to see later this year.
According to its sources, The Information says that Meta plans to release Project Cambria, which is a higher-end device than its current Quest hardware and known internally by the name Arcata, in September, followed by an updated version, currently codenamed Funston, following in 2024.
The sources also indicate that the first Project Cambria will cost around $799, well above the $299 / $399 price for Quest VR headsets. The Information reports a Meta spokesperson told the outlet the price for Cambria would be “significantly higher.” As far as what it offers for the extra price, the sources say it has high-resolution image quality that’s clear enough for reading text so that you can type emails or code within the VR environment.
Even with its price and high-res display, the headset will run Meta’s Android OS and will have processing power more like a low-end laptop, like a “Chromebook for the face” that runs web apps, as well as at least some Quest software that’s already available. Still, the main selling point for Cambria should be its ability to manage full-color passthrough for mixed reality, a bigger battery than the Quest 2 that’s mounted on the back to make it more comfortable to wear, and sensors inside that can track eye movement and facial expressions to map to the user’s virtual avatar.
As for the other two VR headsets, The Information reports that upcoming versions of the Quest headset are codenamed Stinson and Cardiff, with release dates currently projected for 2023 and 2024.
The Nazare AR glasses are also due for release in 2024, along with the cheaper Hypernova smart glasses and a differential electromyography wrist band that would let wearers control them through thoughts. While Alex Heath reports that Project Nazare is built to work independently of a mobile phone, and without the constraints of Apple or Google’s app stores, Hypernova will pair with a user’s smartphone to put notifications and messages on a heads-up display. After that, a lighter version of the high-end AR glasses could arrive in 2026, and the third revision in 2028. When you add that product roadmap together with Meta’s recent acquisitions, the smartwatch we expect to see this year, and another version of the Ray-Ban smart glasses, you can see what Zuckerberg is spending so much money creating.