Despite rumors telling of a Quest 2 Pro release before the mixed reality Project Cambria headset, Mark Zuckerberg announced during Meta’s Q1-22 earnings call that the premium MR headset will arrive later this year.
Project Cambria launching later this year
During a Q1-22 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg presented investors with new information about Meta’s next mixed reality headset codenamed Project Cambria, which is set to launch this year.
As Mark told Meta investors, “Later this year, we’ll release a higher-end headset, codenamed Project Cambria, which will be more focused on work use cases and eventually replacing your laptop or work setup.” Concluding his snippet with the tease, “We’ll share more details about Project Cambria in the months ahead as we get ready to launch it.”
This news clashes with previous rumors from the respected Ming-Chi Kuo that a Quest 2 Pro was to release before the premium Project Cambria.
What did Mark announce about Project Cambria
The four keywords of interest that Mark uttered were ‘building in eye tracking and face tracking’, ‘work use cases’, ‘improved ergonomics’, and ‘full-color passthrough’.
Eye and face tracking
Zuckerberg stated that the eye and head tracking was to mirror the real-life movements of the wearer to the virtual avatar inside of their Horizon platforms. Furthermore, eye and face tracking has a number of key benefits for enterprises.
Work use cases
Notably, Meta will be positioning their Project Cambria MR headset to the enterprise market. This will effectively broaden its metaverse plans to the business world: currently named Horizon Workrooms. Combining this premium headset with its eye and head tracking capabilities to the workplace.
‘Improved ergonomics’ refers to its new Pancake lens design that the recently released and intriguing HTC Vive FLOW was built with. The reason is that the Pancake lens design, in contrast with prior Fresnel optics, slims down the headset and sheds some weight. This is significant because it signals the Cambria headset will feature a premium aesthetic.
Lastly, ‘full-color passthrough’ seems like a subversive message to Tim Cook referring to Apple’s mixed reality headset, codenamed N301. In that, the premium and upcoming extended reality headset from Apple is believed to also feature a full-color passthrough in mixing virtual and augmented reality. In short, we are about to see Meta and Apple go toe-to-toe in the reality market, even though Apple is ‘off-limits’ from the metaverse.
As the release of Meta’s Project Cambria draws near, it becomes increasingly clear that this premium mixed reality headset is aimed partly at the enterprise market. With its eye and head tracking capabilities and sleek design, the Cambria is sure to be a hit among businesses looking to upgrade their extended reality capabilities.