Facebook Teases New High-End ‘Project Cambria’ VR Headset

Facebook Teases New High-End ‘Project Cambria’ VR Headset

Facebook’s current Oculus headsets clock in at much lower prices than the headsets of yesteryear, and yet they’re still impressive pieces of hardware. However, the social media giant is working on a headset that isn’t going to compete on price. The company teased the upcoming Project Cambria VR headset at the Connect conference, saying it will be a high-end experience rather than a replacement for the Quest. It won’t launch until 2022, though.

It’s hard to judge from the teaser, but the new headset does look more svelte than the current Quest 2. A big part of that is apparently thanks to the “pancake” optics. These new lenses work by bouncing light back and forth several times to allow for a more compact form factor. According to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the result is a more compact, comfortable headset. The company also announced it was pulling a Google to reorganize under a new parent company called Meta. So technically, Oculus and Facebook are both Meta companies now.

Project Cambria should also be a much more immersive experience than current VR headsets. According to Zuckerberg, the premium headset will include eye and face tracking, so your virtual avatar will be able to maintain eye contact and change expressions to match your own — it sounds a bit like Memoji on Apple devices. Zuck also hinted at body-tracking, which could let you interact with virtual and augmented reality spaces in a more intuitive way.

Facebook Teases New High-End ‘Project Cambria’ VR Headset

It’s also a safe bet that Project Cambria will include higher resolution displays. It will include high-resolution cameras that can pass full-color video to the headset’s display. This opens the door to augmented reality applications and virtual workspaces that can be overlaid on your boring old desk.

We haven’t seen the device in the flesh yet, but the silhouette above sure does look like a recently leaked “Oculus Pro.” That headset is alleged to have body-tracking capabilities, augmented reality features, and a controller dock. However, the leaked videos hardly constitute confirmation. Facebook says the Project Cambria headset won’t launch until next year, and a lot can change in the meantime.

Zuckerberg didn’t talk about pricing during his keynote except to say it would be more than the Quest 2, which starts at $299. That’s a good value for what is arguably the most capable and well-supported VR headset on the market. But how much can Facebook push the price before the burgeoning interest in VR peters out? Probably not as much as Zuck would like.

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