The medium “The Verge” reveals Meta’s roadmap for the coming years in connected glasses. A first pair would see the light of day in 2025, while it will take two more years to see a pair dedicated to augmented reality. However, Mark Zuckerberg’s company is not abandoning virtual reality: several other headsets are already planned.
The trend of the MWC 2023 that is currently being held in Barcelona is connected glasses and augmented reality: we were able to discover the first Xiaomi model as well as the Oppo Air Glass 2. Samsung would be working on a first iteration and Apple Glass is eagerly awaited .
For its part, Meta would also be developing this type of product very hard: the edge reveals internally shared details about the company’s roadmap for the coming years.
On the programme: a first pair of glasses” elegant “from 2025, controllable with a connected watch” with neural interface as well as a pair of real AR glasses in 2027. VR isn’t being left out, though: Meta has at least three new VR headsets in its plans.
What is Meta planning for its future connected glasses?
In Alex Heath’s article, we learn that a presentation of Meta’s VR and AR roadmap has been shared with thousands of employees. They are part of the company’s Reality Labs division and were able to learn about Meta’s plans for the coming years. The company would bet on consumer products to prevail in the market, where it is thought that Apple would bet on professionals at first.
This presentation comes against a difficult backdrop: VR figure John Carmack left Mark Zuckerberg’s ship a few months ago. He then denounced a lack of effectiveness of the equipment. But that’s not all: last November we learned that 11,000 company employees were going to be laid off, that is, 13% of the total Meta workforce. On the other hand, VR seems to be working within Meta: VR division VP Mark Rabkin is quoted as saying that Meta has sold almost 20 million headsets worldwide.
2023’s Meta Quest 3 and two other headsets planned: VR is still relevant
Mark Rabkin acknowledges that new buyers of Meta Quest 2 (those who bought one for Christmas, for example) are less involved in using their headset than previous buyers. According to him, the strategy to adopt is to facilitate the sharing of virtual reality content on other platforms, rethink the Quest store and ” give developers the ability to do things like automatic promotions “, note the edge. The objective assumed by the leader is the growth and retention of users.
The other important item to remember is the arrival of Meta Quest 3, codename: Stinson.
According to information obtained by the edge, this virtual reality headset would be twice as thin and at least twice as powerful as the Meta Quest 2. Price-wise, it would launch at $400, which is slightly more expensive than the previous version. The goal of charging a little more ” would be fully assumed, because for Rabkin, Meta must ” show people that all this power, all these new features are worth it. »
This headset would be comparable to the Meta Quest Pro in that it would highlight mixed reality experiences through front-facing cameras that live stream what’s happening in the real world. This would also be the main selling point of the product. Mr. Rabkin even imagines that users will be able to walk around their houses with the helmet on their heads: according to him, we can use it for much longer.
The other challenge is obviously the software: Meta must offer many experiences, which is more qualitative. Forty-one new apps/games would be part of the Quest 3.
A more affordable VR headset
However, this would not be the only virtual reality headset planned by Meta: a more accessible model would arrive in 2024, to attract a broader audience and democratize Meta technologies. No further details were revealed, just the code name: Ventura.
A sequel to the Meta Quest Pro really reserved for ” advantages »
The vice president of the VR department did not specify anything about a future version of Meta Quest Pro released last year. A model closer to it would be planned, but ” far into the future “, with the code name La Jolla.
This product would have higher definition screens for professional use. The comfort of the Quest Pro and the way it is used would be maintained, but the architecture would be modified.
It is clear that Meta has by far the most complete VR ecosystem, both in terms of the experiences it offers and the products it markets. However, the competition also tends to develop: this is the case with Apple and its future mixed reality headsets.
For its part, Sony consolidates its experience with its PS VR 2 launched a few weeks ago. However, virtual reality headsets are not the only reality simulation products that could become more popular: augmented and connected reality glasses could also be part of it. A game in which Meta would like to participate.
For Meta, augmented reality glasses will replace our smartphones
Meta seems to believe in connected glasses and augmented reality: the company employs thousands of employees to design the first models, as well as ” wrist devices to control them “. Some time ago, Mark Zuckerberg referred to this type of product as the ” Holy Grail “, WHO ” will redefine our relationship with technology by 2030.
The sequel to Ray-Ban Stories planned for 2023
The vice president of Meta’s augmented reality division, Alex Himel, is said to have outlined Meta’s plans for augmented reality through 2027. Among the current plans is said to be the release next fall first of a second generation of Ray- Ban Stories. These are glasses called ” elegant » equipped with a camera to be launched in collaboration with Luxottica, Ray-Ban’s parent company.
When the first version was released in 2021, we criticized this product mainly for its price: 409 euros at launch. Although no pricing details were given during this presentation, we can think that Meta is working to reduce the costs of these future Ray-Ban Stories.
The first truly connected glasses by 2025
Himel would have continued the presentation by indicating that the third generation of these glasses would be equipped with a screen, described as ” viewfinder “. would allow” view incoming text messages, scan QR codes and translate text to another language in real time “, Reports the edge.
These glasses would be equipped with a bracelet with ” neural interface »: With hand movements, you can control the glasses. A control that would also be possible with the fingers, for example to use a virtual keyboard. The ultimate goal would be to be able to type as fast as with your smartphone.
A connected watch to control your glasses
Indeed, rumors suggested that Meta had stopped designing smartwatches with detachable screens and cameras. If the project were put on hold, Himel would have confirmed the development of a connected watch to control these glasses.
The media the edge continues to report a demonstration by Alex Himel in front of employees. During a video call, ” the glasses cameras showed the front perspective of the wearer at the same time the watch camera showed a selfie view “We can read.
In fact, this connected watch would have an option to add a neural bracelet that comes with the glasses. TO usable WHO ” it will also integrate with Meta’s social media apps such as WhatsApp and offer health and fitness features. In addition, Meta last month announced new fitness features in its virtual reality headsets – also an opportunity to gain experience in this area.
AR lenses not before 2027
But the first true model of Meta’s augmented reality glasses would come later: commercialization would be scheduled for 2027. Internally, the project would be codenamed Orion, would be in development for eight years, and would be more technically advanced. It would be a more expensive product designed” to project high-quality holograms of avatars onto the real world writes journalist Alex Heath. In addition, an internal testing phase would be scheduled for next year.
Therefore, in 2027, Meta would plan to launch a range “ Innovation “of these AR glasses for early adopters, but also a range” Scale “, updated version of the connected glasses controllable with a connected watch (which would be accompanied by a second generation of the bracelet).
Meta strongly believes in augmented reality
For the vice president of the augmented reality department, his target market today represents two billion glasses and hundreds of millions of connected watches sold each year. He reportedly said that ” if we can get a great product on the shelves at a great price at the right value, we think we can get into those upgrade cycles and have a lot of growth for our devices. ».
However, the direct sale of products would not be the core of Meta’s business model in this area. This would continue to be advertising, the company’s historical source of income. Himel added that he believes he can achieve a higher average revenue per user than Meta can generate with its social media. It would be possible” through a combination of selling virtual goods, features like cloud saves, and AR ads », written by Alex Heath.
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