Mark Zuckerberg Just Showed How Meta’s Next Mixed Reality VR Headset Will Work

For now, the next post-Quest 2 Meta VR headset will be called something like Project Cambria. It’s a mixed reality headset that’s set to launch sometime in 2022, and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg just revealed how it’ll work for the first time.

Unlike AR headsets like the HoloLens 2 and the magic jump 2, which have transparent lenses and semi-transparent holographic images on top, Meta Cambria is a VR headset that uses more advanced cameras to let through color video and overlay VR into the feed. The existing search 2 can do this to an extent, but with grainy black and white video. Meta Cambria will provide higher resolution color video to make the experience more realistic and useful.

The technology existed before, but in high-end professional headsets. I tried those Varjo XR-3a lidar-equipped VR device that also blended video feeds with VR for surprisingly compelling AR effects.

Meta seems keen on the Cambria headset being used for work and professional purposes. Zuckerberg also points to its use for fitness (putting trainers in your room) and expanding virtual monitors for work. In a conversation with CNET last year, Zuckerberg told us that this pro-focused headset would also help realize his vision of a work metaverse. In the meantime, Meta will enable mixed reality app development through its so-called Presence platform, which will allow it to develop experiences for Quest 2 and the next-gen headset. Quest 2 may have mixed reality, albeit at a lower quality, with the idea that when these apps are released they will eventually work at higher quality on Cambria.

Zuckerberg also announced that a mixed reality demo app called The World Beyond will soon be available for download in the Quest 2 App Lab. The app, briefly teased at last year’s Connect conference, appears to be a way to explore what mixed reality could do on VR headsets.

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