Zuckerberg Introduced An Expensive VR Headset. Will The Metaverse Be Swallowed By A Black Hole?
The Meta Connect 2022 event previewed the news from the meta universe. After it started to be rumored that not even the developers themselves visit it, Meta introduced an expensive VR headset that will mainly appeal to wealthier users and professionals.
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It's been a year since Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook to Meta for a stronger connection to the meta universe. The social network Facebook is currently in a different position than it was then. The younger generation of users is more attracted to the rival TikTok, so the numbers of new Facebook rise much slower than ever before.
Meta's shares have fallen by 60 percent since the beginning of the year, it has suspended smaller projects, and the hiring of new employees is also in the same "frozen" state.
What makes Quest Pro interesting
In the Connect presentation, Zuckerberg hinted that his team is building "whole new category of things," and the Quest Pro VR headset brings several improvements over the existing Quest 2, which has been very successful in the VR gear market so far. The positive news is that the Quest Pro has its own battery, so there is no need to worry about cables that could spoil the virtual experience.
However, the new set is not intended only for use in virtual reality. In fact, it can handle mixed reality and is equipped with external cameras for exactly this purpose. They can stream real time image of the environment around the user, and the user can use elements from the virtual world in the real one. For example, hang a virtual picture on a real wall or put a non-existent mug on a real table.
To make the user avatar in the metaverse as realistic as possible, the headset includes a system for tracking eye movements and facial expressions. This gives it the ability to directly express emotions, which is another step towards bringing VR a little closer to real human contact.
Meta also cooperates with content creators and is already preparing several interesting game titles for Meta Horizon, which is supposed to be the main environment of the meta universe from the company's point of view. However, the metaverse and the new headset are not just for fun. Quest Pro will also serve as a device for fitness and work productivity, so the manufacturer is thinking of professionals such as designers or architects and other creative people. As a taster, the company gave journalists a preview of the Tribe XR app, which offers a virtual environment for training and DJ work.
Word in mixed reality
Despite the fact that they basically compete with each other in the field of augmented reality, Meta also cooperates with Microsoft and offers products such as Word, Outlook or Teams.
The construction of the headset is less massive compared to its predecessor. However, the Quest 2 will probably still remain in the company's portfolio, since with an affordable price of around $400, it will complement the new significantly more expensive headset rather than give way to it.
However, it must be said that the company emphasized an important fact in the presentation. Metaverse isn't meant to be just for those who own VR gear. The environment is meant to be accessible from virtually any device, and that's one way to bring the metaverse to the masses.
The founder of Meta appeared in the presentation not only as a person, but also as a 3D avatar. Among other things, he also presented an environment that should be a kind of home for the user who steps into the digital world.
Houston...ehm, California, we have a problem here
Billions of dollars are pouring into the metaverse project, but it was recently revealed that even the very employees who work on its development somehow do not like it. According to the Futurism server, the main problem is that the Meta Horizon environment in which to live this second digital life is full of technical bugs.
In this situation, the presentation of the new VR headset sounds a little strange. According to Mark Zuckerberg, it is intended for "the 200 million people who buy new computers every year and would like to start working in virtual reality". It should appear on store shelves on October 25 and its price is set at $1,500. Yes, you read that right. Zuckerberg intends to lure the masses into the metaverse, but the price of the Quest Pro obviously contradicts this.
On the other hand, the road to headset success should also lead through professionals. In this context, its price is not so incomprehensible. It is quite high for a mere mortal, but compared to, for example, the Microsoft Hololens 2 professional headset, the price of which starts at $3,500, it is not so terrible, and Meta seems to be betting on this very card.
By the way, Reality Labs, the division responsible for bringing the metaverse to life, lost $10.2 billion in 2021, and so far this year, its loss looks to be less than $6 billion. The future of the metaverse, in which Meta wants to be the leader, is therefore very uncertain, and whether the mentioned news will change anything is in the stars.
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