Mark Zuckerberg has just unveiled the Quest Pro a new VR headset during an online event that was held for developers.
The Quest Pro is four times higher than the price of the Quest 2 which is Meta’s current headset. The Quest Pro’s price tag is £1,499 ($1,499).
The new VR headset has been built with thinner lenses, self-track controllers, facial expression sensors, and a curved battery at the back around the head strap. The headsets will also allow users to see on the screen’s periphery their real environment.
Unlike Quest 2, Quest Pro has combined reality capabilities so digital content can easily be viewed beside the real world. Mark Zuckerberg Meta’s boss has described mixed reality as “the next major step for VR.”
Tuong Nguyen an analyst from Gartner described the high launch price tag as evidence that the device is well-matched for “high-end, enthusiast and potentially enterprise users than the mass market.”
An announcement from Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella confirmed that Windows 365 suite will be available on the new headsets with Meta pushing boundaries to create mixed and virtual reality devices that can function as work tools and entertainment gadgets at the same time.
Meta, formerly known as Facebook has promised to deliver to the world metaverse – a virtual world where people in the form of avatars will be able to conduct their everyday lives and explore fantasy virtual spaces.
Other firms like Meta are working on creating their own versions of the metaverse but it will probably take quite a few years before this becomes a reality.
Meta already has an existing virtual reality world, the Horizons but it has received varied reviews plus reports of violence and sexual assault by avatars within it. The company tried fixing some of the problems in Horizons by introducing new features to the virtual reality world.
The Personal Boundary feature was introduced in February after some women had complained about being harassed as avatars by other avatars and are a boundary for personal space that any avatar can have to stop unwanted interaction. The company is expected to do more to create a comfortable experience and safe space for all avatars while moderating content.
Andrew Bosworth the Chief Technology Officer has acknowledged that “it will be a while before there are enough headsets out there.”
Paolo Pescatore from PP Foresight feels that the technology is being “fast-tracked” into the hands of people. He added that “there’s no demand, why rush,”
Virtual reality apps dominated the talk at the online event. Some of these apps have proved very profitable for developers like the VR version of Resident Evil 4 video game which in the first 24 hours of its coming out made revenue of $2m.
Gamers had been anticipating an update on VR Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas but the event did not provide any. Other VR gaming titles though were announced and include Among Us and Iron Man along with the impending partnership with Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming.
According to Andrew Bosworth, one of the most popular apps on the Quest store is YouTube VR.
Vishal Shah, Meta’s vice president of the metaverse said “the ultimate goal for the metaverse is to feel like any other social experience, great and small.”
While other developers are excited about the metaverse some tech giants have in the past expressed worry about how the new technology may affect people’s life. Tony Fadell, Apple’s iPod creator warned that the metaverse may create more trolls while damaging the fabrics of interaction between humans.
Mid this year Fadell expressed his thoughts on the metaverse which has seen billions of investments. For Fadell virtual reality from the metaverse will remove the ability for people “to look into other people’s faces” and “if you put technology between that human connection that’s when the toxicity happens.”
Another inventor who invented Sony’s PS game console Ken Kutaragi also commented about safety concerns that the metaverse has been surrounded with. He said “you would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self? That’s essentially no different from anonymous message board sites.”
The Quest Pro is definitely not cheap but the mixed reality technologies may be the selling point to Meta fans. The Quest Pro which was unveiled during the Meta Connect event for developers in the industry will start shipping on 25 October.
The new headsets come with a Snapdragon chip to create higher graphics has better hand tracking when compared to other headsets and new lenses so you can read better. With a team-up with Microsoft people should expect access to not only the 365 office suite but also the Team chat app and the Xbox service. The headsets’ batteries are also rechargeable.