He bet his company on building the metaverse a year ago by rebranding Facebook to Meta. Now, it’s time for a progress update.
During Meta’s annual Connect conference later today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will reveal “Project Cambria,” the high-end VR headset he has been teasing in interviews and social media posts all year. The device is expected to focus on more than just VR by adding mixed reality, technology that blends the virtual and physical. Face and eye tracking will also enable more realistic avatars and higher-fidelity graphics. Expect a price point that is significantly higher than the Quest 2’s $399 price tag.
Zuckerberg has been hyping the promise of virtual reality for a long time. But this year, he arguably has more to prove than ever. Investors are doubting his expensive pivot to the metaverse. His main business of social media is under pressure like never before, and he recently put in place a hiring freeze for the rest of the year. Quest sales are growing quickly, with estimates saying they have surpassed 15 million. But VR remains a nascent, money-losing business for Meta for the foreseeable future.
During Connect today, all eyes will be on whether Cambria — or the Quest Pro as it has been rumored to be officially named — will be enough of an advancement to expand the market for VR. Meta knows its flagship metaverse app, Horizon Worlds, is riddled with software bugs and underused by even its own employees, so any updates to that platform will also be notable.
Meta Connect is being held virtually this year and will be streamed online for anyone to watch. If you have a Quest 2, you can also watch in VR using Horizon Worlds. The Verge will be covering the event as it happens, which kicks off at 10AM PT / 1PM ET.