Meta works on a flurry of AR/VR devices over the next 3 to 4 years
Mark Zuckerberg's Meta Platforms is doubling down on its virtual reality (VR) products and plans to rope in augmented reality (AR) experiences. It looks to define its position in the technology industry a few years from now. Thousands of employees of the Reality Labs Division at Meta were recently presented with a roadmap for the company's products, which was then shared with The Verge.
More than a year after Mark Zuckerberg famously pivoted his company's focus from social media to technology products through a significant rebranding, Meta has barely been in the news for good reasons. Its highly anticipated Meta Quest Pro was not received well, and the company laid off 11,000 employees amidst the economic downturn. The roadmap presented a glimpse of products that the company might introduce next.
VR, AR, and neural interfaces
Although Zuckerberg has spoken mainly of the metaverse that the company would build as the future of the internet, Meta now seems to have taken its foot off the pedal to make the metaverse itself and focus on the tools instead and improving them.
Coming out later this year is the Meta Quest 3, the flagship product from the company. It is expected to be twice as powerful but half the thickness of its predecessor—the Quest 2. Meta has sold more than 20 million Quest headsets so far, so the Quest 3 sales will be a benchmark to determine if customers are interested in these products.
Priced at $400, Quest 3 will also feature front-facing cameras that will make it less immersive than its predecessors but add the ability to deliver mixed reality experiences to users. Meta is hopeful that this will prompt users to keep the headsets on for longer and plans to ship 41 new apps and games with this headset.
he successor to the headset has been codenamed Ventura and is intended to attract a large base of users with an "attractive price point" in 2024. Before this, the Quest Store could see major revamping while users could also find it easier to share their VR experiences with others.
Much like Apple, Meta also realizes that the next big thing in the tech world will be augmented reality (AR), with AR-equipped glasses eventually replacing the smartphone. Meta's roadmap, however, only pegs the technology to arrive in 2027 to users while it ships its camera-equipped smart glasses, such as Ray-Ban Stories, in the meantime.
By 2025, users could expect Meta's smartglasses to perform tasks such as viewing text messages, scanning QR codes, and translating text in real-time. Control for these glasses would be through an imaginary D-pad where users could swipe or make gestures, which will be captured by a neural interface worn on the hand. Eventually, the band will work as an input device and replace today's smartwatch to help users control their machines and the world around them.
If all this sounds great, here is the dampener. These tools will work with Meta's other products like Whatsapp and Instagram, and advertising is how the company plans to make money off these devices.