The third generation of Meta's virtual reality headset, presumed to be called Oculus/Meta Quest Pro, is expected to debut by 2023. We don't know much about it just yet, except that it's most likely created with the Metaverse in mind and will—as Mark Zuckerberg puts it—help "unlock richer social interactions," presumably through features like special facial tracking sensors.
When Will the Oculus Quest Pro Be Released?
Meta has confirmed new hardware is coming this year, and we're expecting at least one device to be the Oculus Quest, given the release date schedule of the first two versions.
Some people use the name Cambria to refer to the Quest Pro since that's the code name Meta uses for the hardware, which will let you interface with the Metaverse. But as Mark Zuckerberg points out in this video about the Metaverse, the two might not be the same:
This isn't the next Quest. It's going to be compatible with Quest, but Cambria will be a completely new, advanced high-end product.
So, either the Quest Pro will go by Cambria, or they are different devices. We'll assume they're the same thing for now, but we'll know more about the name and how this device compares to similar ones from Meta as news unfolds.
XR analyst Brad Lynch originally said the device is planned for Q2 2022, but that estimate has been adjusted to 2023. Mark Zuckerberg says there is a VR device coming out in 2022, though, so it's unclear what will arrive in 2022 and what's coming out later.
Lifewire's Release Date Estimate
The first two Oculus Quest headsets were released about 1.5 years apart, so if the trend were to continue this time around, the 2022 Meta headset would arrive this summer.
Oculus Quest Pro Price Rumors
Oculus Quest 2 starts at $299. Assuming it's true to its name and the Quest Pro will come with pro-level features, it's a given it'll cost more than that.
Zuckerberg himself said Cambria would be "at the higher end of the price spectrum," so some estimates target the $600–$800 range.
We'll update this section with a pre-order link for the Oculus Quest Pro whenever it becomes available. There's a chance it'll go on sale the same day it's announced, without a pre-order timeline. We'll have to wait to see.
Oculus Quest Pro Features
Meta's head of VR devices, Angela Chang, says, in the video linked at the top of this page, there's lots of new tech going into this device, like avatars that "will be able to make natural eye contact and reflect your facial expressions in real-time." She goes on to point out the idea is to provide not just your voice to the people you're interacting with but also a "real sense of how you're actually feeling."
Conveying emotions and split-second reactions during conversations has always been subpar over text and audio calls, so video calling is the best way to mimic real-life interactions. But that's not how shared VR like the Metaverse works, so the next best idea is to load your headset with enough sensors to recreate some of the components of your face important during interactions. And it might not stop there; full-body tracking could eliminate controller requirements.
Along those same lines, a future headset, either this one or something totally different, will reportedly offer mixed reality features. One example given in Meta's video about it is the ability to work out with an instructor in your house while still seeing your furniture, walls, etc. Or to be able to work with virtual monitors and your real environment so that you can see things like your hands, papers, and keyboard, without losing your digital screens or whatever else you've built in your virtual office space.
Project Nazare is another headset Meta is working on, but it's neither VR nor MR, but instead the code name for their AR (augmented reality) glasses.
Oculus Quest Pro Specs and Hardware
Chang points out that Meta is "pushing the limits of display technology and form factor with something called Pancake optics," which works through a light folding technique to slim down the size of the device's lenses.
According to UploadVR, Pancake optics are "seen as a promising path to compact headsets, because the display can be much closer to the lenses and physically smaller." So, the Meta Quest Pro might be smaller than some VR devices currently on the market.
Lynch has revealed a patent that was submitted in 2019 that appears to cover Cambria's controllers:
There's still a lot left to learn about the next Quest headset, like what even to call it! We'll include a table of specs here whenever those details emerge.
The Latest News About the Oculus Quest Pro
You can get more smart and connected life news from Lifewire. Here are the latest rumors and related stories regarding the Metaverse and Oculus Quest Pro: