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The ‘thinner and lighter’ Meta Quest 3 headset could be the Apple’s greatest mixed reality competition.

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Meta Quest 3

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman confirms and adds details to the rumors surrounding Meta’s upcoming headset that is set to release this year.

An in-depth examination of the Meta Quest 3 showcases a substantial array of enhancements incorporated into the Meta mixed reality headset, as outlined in Mark Gurman’s authoritative Power On newsletter for Bloomberg. According to Gurman, the Quest 3, codenamed Eureka, boasts a remarkably reduced weight and slimmer profile in comparison to its predecessor, the Quest 2. These improvements are promising indicators of enhanced comfort, especially during prolonged usage periods.

Several features mentioned by Gurman bear resemblance to what we anticipated to discover about Apple’s forthcoming “Reality Pro” VR/AR headset, such as advanced hand-tracking capabilities and pass-through video functionality. However, certain rumors suggest that the speculated Apple headset might come with a hefty price tag of up to $3,000. Gurman highlights that Meta has yet to finalize the pricing for the Quest 3, but it is conceivable that it could exceed the $400 price point of the Quest 2. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the Quest 3 will still offer a more affordable option compared to the underwhelming Quest Pro, which initially launched at $1,499.99 last autumn, only to receive a price reduction to $999.99 in March.

Meta Quest 3: What we know so far

According to a recent report, Mark Rabkin, an executive at Meta VR, provided insights to employees regarding the upcoming Quest 3 virtual reality headset. In his remarks, Rabkin highlighted that the Quest 3 would come with a higher price tag compared to its predecessor, emphasizing the need to demonstrate the value of the enhanced capabilities and features it would offer. Rabkin revealed that Meta had already achieved a remarkable milestone of selling 20 million Quest headsets thus far.

Rabkin further elaborated on the Quest 3’s design, emphasizing the team’s objective of creating a lighter and more user-friendly experience. The primary goal, as he stated, was to ensure that wearing the headset would provide a seamless and natural mixed reality experience. The intention was for users to be able to effortlessly navigate their surroundings, such as walking through their homes with perfect visibility. Additionally, the Quest 3 would enable users to place virtual objects on their physical desktops, facilitating tasks such as placing anchors or simply enjoying a cup of coffee. Rabkin also emphasized the enhanced comfort of the headset, which would allow users to enjoy extended periods of virtual reality immersion.

What’s new

The report confirmed several highly anticipated improvements in the Quest 3. One notable enhancement would be the inclusion of a second-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip, promising significantly better overall performance compared to its predecess

By providing these insights, Meta VR aims to generate excitement among consumers and highlight the innovative advancements that will be available in the Quest 3. The company seeks to deliver an unparalleled virtual reality experience, captivating users with its cutting-edge technology and improved performance.

What does the Meta Quest 3 lack

The report also delved into the notable omissions of the Quest 3, particularly the absence of eye-tracking technology. In contrast to Sony’s PSVR 2, which incorporates eye-tracking for foveated rendering, the Quest 3 lacks this feature. Foveated rendering dynamically adjusts the graphics processing power based on the user’s gaze, allowing for enhanced visuals in the specific areas of focus while conserving resources elsewhere.

Furthermore, the Quest 3 boasts design enhancements over its predecessor, the Quest 2. These improvements primarily revolve around the integration of additional sensors within three pill-shaped regions, housing a total of four cameras. Among these cameras, two are color cameras specifically intended for passthrough video. Moreover, the Quest 3 introduces an upgraded mechanism for adjusting the inter-pupillary distance, which is the distance between the user’s eyes. Instead of manually manipulating the display or removing the headset, users can conveniently utilize a built-in wheel while wearing the device to achieve optimal alignment of the lenses.

What can be further improved ?

A depth sensor in the middle of the device could improve AR performance compared to the Quest Pro’s camera-only approach. Redesigned controllers ditch the Quest 2’s rings, but the depth sensor may help to keep costs down by tracking the controller’s position without requiring cameras like the Quest Pro’s controllers. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg actually said the Quest Pro would get a depth sensor in a Protocol interview, but the feature didn’t make it to the final version.

Gurman called the pass-through video “almost lifelike,” a good sign after my colleague Adi Robertson called AR mode “murky in low light, washed-out or flickery in bright light, and sometimes luridly saturated in between” in her review of the Quest Pro.

It sounds like improvements there come mainly down to how the headset’s cameras handle light and color, as Gurman didn’t think it looked noticeably sharper, despite rumors of a higher-resolution display.

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