Meta’s VR Headset Will Use Cameras to Mix Virtual with Reality: Report

Meta is investing in virtual and augment reality (VR and AR), and a new report states that the company plans to release four headsets within the next two-years.

The Information reports that Meta will soon release its high-end virtual real headset. The headset codenamed Project Cambria is described as a “laptop-for-the-face” device that will have similar specs to the Google Chromebook, but it will be powered using an in-house operating software that is Android.

Engadget reports, that although Meta wants Cambria to be used for the future work or any vision of Mark Zuckerberg, it may not be able run standard PC desktop applications. Its utility as a tool for work would be severely hampered.

Cambria’s hardware looks promising. Two displays, one for each eye, are supposedly high enough in resolution to allow the reader to see small lines of text clearly. This is similar to what would be seen by a software engineer reading lines of code. This is where Meta might be aiming for its vision of the “future” of work.

Cambria’s second trick is similar to others in the space, such as Canon’s: The integration of at least one front facing camera that mixes virtual elements and a live stream of reality. Meta’s Cambria features a “full-color passthrough” feature that is said to be designed to support mixed and augmented reality experiences.

Meta first revealed Cambria last year and confirmed that it would ship equipped with facial recognition and eye-tracking features. This indicates that Cambria will have more cameras than a single front-facing camera. Meta’s metaverse advertising features many cartoonish avatars of users. Cambria will apparently be able read facial expressions and translate them into digital avatars.

Cambria is expected to hit the market in the near future. It will be more expensive than $800 and weigh significantly more than Oculus Quest 2. This is due to the larger battery and additional hardware Meta has added to it. It’s still a lot cheaper than Canon’s MREAL X1 headset, which offers many of the same features, but is made for enterprises.

While Zuckerberg has been promoting the metaverse as his next big venture, investors aren’t convinced. While Zuckerberg may proclaim that the virtual world he is creating will be a huge hit, Meta’s slow investments in this area suggest that he might be reconsidering.

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