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Meta #2: Metaverse is hardwired for hardware

Meta Quest 3 is presented as the world’s first mainstream headset built for mixed reality.

Meta said it will drop the price of Quest Pro virtual reality headsets by a third to $1,000 later this month
In March, Meta said it will drop the price of Quest Pro virtual reality headsets by a third to $1,000. - Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File SPENCER PLATT
In March, Meta said it will drop the price of Quest Pro virtual reality headsets by a third to $1,000. - Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File SPENCER PLATT

Speaking at the recent Connect event, Mark Zuckerberg outlined two new hardware developments that are designed to expand the metaverse. This follows on from an earlier pronouncement about the role of artificial intelligence for facilitating the metaverse (as Digital Journal has covered in a companion article).

Zuckerberg launched the Connect developer conference at the end of September 2023 with new AI products for consumers. He also considered new devices, including smart glasses that can answer questions and stream directly on Facebook and an updated virtual-reality headset.

Is the world ready for this type of technology? Are consumers willing to spend money and time experiencing the metaverse? Time will tell. In the meantime, Zuckerberg had new products to launch.

Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg is reported to have told employees that Quest virtual reality gear is meant to be affordable and social, which appears to be a different approach than Apple is taking with its coming $3,499 Vision Pro 'spacial reality display'
Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg is reported to have told employees that Quest virtual reality gear is meant to be affordable and social, which appears to be a different approach than Apple is taking with its coming $3,499 Vision Pro ‘spacial reality display’ – Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP WIN MCNAMEE

Meta Quest 3

Meta Quest 3 is presented as the world’s first mainstream headset built for mixed reality. With double the graphic processing power of Quest 2, the hardware of Quest 3 is the first device to feature the new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 platform (developed in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies).

To date, Quest 2 has sold some 20 million units.

The headset is completely standalone: no PC, no console, no battery packs. Users of Quest 3 can immerse themselves in an expansive content library with games and experiences to suit every taste and mood.

Meta Smart Glasses Collection

In partnership with EssilorLuxottica, Meta is developing a new generation of smart glasses. These are designed so users can stay connected and capture the moment without having to stop and take out their phone.

This functionality is intended to allow users to easily share their experiences with friends, family, or the world. The technology is an upgrade from the first generation including the new option to be able to livestream directly from the smart glasses to friends and followers on social media applications like Facebook and Instagram.

The smart glasses are set to ship with Meta AI built in. At present, this is only available in the U.S. in beta mode (and no indication is given about other countries). The reason for the development is because smart glasses are seen as an important platform in the future. This is not only because they are a straightforward way to see digital holograms in the physical world, but also because people will be able to let their AI see what they see and hear what they hear.

Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses collection will be available in 15 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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