If Meta wants to see his metaverse vision become a reality, he needs to get more people into VR headsets – because the majority of examples we’ve seen of the metaverse envisioned by Zuck and Co. so far involve fully immersive virtual reality. , and digital spaces that allow for an infinite range of interactions.
With that in mind, Meta plans to release four new VR headsets over the next two years, according to a new report from Information based on plans from Meta.
According to Information:
“Meta plans to launch Project Cambria, a high-end virtual reality and mixed reality headset that it touts as a device for the future of work, around September, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cambria was originally slated for release last year, but its launch was delayed by supply chain and other pandemic-related issues.
Indeed, Meta provided a first look at the Cambria headset late last year, which appears to be a more closed-back type device.
The Cambria helmet would include high resolution image quality, for more granular applications, while also allowing the wearer to view their real surroundings using outward-facing cameras, which could facilitate all new mixed reality experiences.
Cambria will also be the first of Meta’s headsets to include eye-tracking and facial expression recognition, which will provide even more ability to engage in the digital environment.
It seems, at the moment, that the most advanced model is aimed at business users, with a particular focus on facilitating remote meetings and collaboration, while at the same time enabling more general purpose VR applications. .
Following the launch of the first iteration of Cambria, Meta is also planning another, even more advanced type of VR headset, currently slated for release in 2024, while it will also release two new versions of its popular Quest headset in 2023 and 2024. respectively.
Meanwhile, Meta’s AR glasses, currently titled Project Aria, are tentatively slated for retail release in 2024, and will essentially extend to the initial release of its Ray Ban Stories smart glasses (Note: Meta is now also doing referring to its AR glasses as ‘Project Nazare’, which could mean that there are also two variants of these in development).
The timeline will see Meta push hard on VR, in line with its metaverse shift, which ideally will both accelerate VR adoption and help Meta earn more money faster from its level digital environments. higher – because right now, Meta shareholders are understandably a bit worried about Meta’s decade timeline to see major returns on its metaverse efforts.
As part of his First Quarter Earnings ReportMeta shared last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the company’s long-term vision and how many of its projects currently in development won’t come to fruition for some time:
“WWe’re now basically funding product teams to build our future products, two or three versions into the future. Because when you design hardware, it’s multi-year plans that you build that sort of determine all the pieces that are going to go into it. […] It is only when these products really hit the market and grow significantly and this market eventually becomes large that it will bring significant income or profit to the company. That’s why I gave past calls the color I expect we’ll be later this decade, right? Maybe that’s mostly laying the groundwork for what I anticipate to be a very exciting 2030s, as that’s sort of more established as the primary computing platform at this point.
Thus, Meta itself is under no illusions that this is a long-term strategy, with the metaverse having to go through many iterations before becoming the fully functional immersive engagement experience that the company is considering (take note, for anyone peddling their NFT projects and the like, claiming the metaverse is already here).
But it also means the company’s shareholders will have to hang in there for a while, as costs and expenses continue to rise, in the hope that Zuckerberg’s grand vision actually comes to fruition.
Which seems to be the case, but even so, the market is generally not a patient environment, which is why Meta is now looking to cut costs where possible to improve its bottom line, while also coming up with new products to drive adoption of virtual reality, and start generating real money from this element of the business.
The opportunity here is clearly evolving, and Meta now wants to accelerate that momentum, with the launch of its first retail store, focused on VR unit sales, and this new effort to launch new types of headsets. VR to appeal to different use cases.
Combine that with its growing roster of VR titles and you can imagine Meta’s headsets will be in high demand again this upcoming holiday season, ahead of the next big push into the metaverse environment.
That’s where these new devices will come in, with its AR glasses also fueling the wider metaverse push, and potentially becoming a key connecting device for consumers looking to tap into the growing activity in space.
This is what Meta really needs. It’s one thing to brag about the next level of engagement, but if there’s nothing too engaging out there in the VR space, no one will care about the advanced tech in these new headsets.
It looks like the current situation. VR worlds do exist, and there’s an ever-expanding array of options available in Meta’s digital environment, but really, it’s not a hugely compelling option, while motion sickness and headset itch are also factors that can limit the amount of time people will spend in VR in any session.
Really, Meta needs more compelling apps and tools, and maybe Horizon Worlds, its VR creation platform will, while VR versions of popular games like Grand Theft Auto and resident Evil could also help boost word of mouth and see even more participation.
There are also sanity considerations inside of this, and I hope Meta takes those into account as well as it ramps up its push, with the more closed VR environment expected to be even more damaging than platforms current social media.
Meta has also launched a creator funding program for VR to fuel more innovative, next-level experiences, but all of that will take time, and it’s hard to see VR becoming a “go-to” option as long that there will not be a really strong critical mass. type the reason for logging in every day.
I suspect he’s coming, but we haven’t seen him yet. But when it does, you can expect VR adoption to grow very rapidly – and Meta’s stock price to rise with it.