Facebook held its Facebook Connect (formerly Oculus Connect) annual augmented reality and virtual reality conference this week--virtually, of course--and it was highlighted by the debut of the Quest 2 headset. The social network said the Quest 2 was redesigned to be smaller and over 10% lighter than the original Oculus Quest, and its suggested retail price starts at $299, $100 below the original Quest. Pre-orders are open here, and the Quest 2 is slated to ship Oct. 13. The new headset runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform, giving it its highest-resolution display ever, at 50% more pixels than the first-generation unit. Oculus said in a blog post, "Our goal with the original Quest was to bring stand-alone VR to as many people as possible. We're doubling down on that goal with Quest 2. It combines the performance gamers want with the flexibility people need, all at a price significantly lower than similarly featured headsets on the market. Quest 2 is more than just the next step in all-in-one VR. It represents years of feedback from developers, gaming enthusiasts and the broader VR community, and we couldn't be more grateful for this ongoing support."
Facebook's first pair of smart glasses -- made in collaboration with luxury eyewear manufacturer Ray-Ban -- is to be released next year, the tech firm has revealed. The announcement coincided with CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealing his vision for the future of augmented reality (AR) -- bringing holograms of friends into your home. While this dream may seem especially appealing amid present coronavirus-related restrictions, however, such a future may still be some way off. In fact, the smart Ray-Bans will not have an integrated display, the Verge reported -- but may feature recording capacity or a voice-activated assistant. Facebook has confirmed that the product will operate by pairing with a phone.
During its Oculus Connect live stream event on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the rumored partnership between his social media platform and eyewear conglomerate EssilorLuxottica (which owns the RayBan and Oakley brands, among myriad others) is indeed very real and that the pair are actively developing AR-enhanced glasses which should be ready for release next year. The only issue is that they won't be made available for sale to the general public. Heck, Facebook doesn't even want you to call them "prototypes." Dubbed Project Aria, these smart glasses are more of a research platform than consumer-ready face gadget. In fact, the company explicitly states that Aria is not even considered a prototype.
Oculus' Project Santa Cruz has an official name: Oculus Quest. The standalone virtual reality headset, introduced by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerburg during the Oculus Connect 5 keynote on Wednesday, operates without phones or cables and will sell for $399. During his brief time on stage, Zuckerberg said he believes the future of VR is tether-free, with greater degrees of freedom that open the door to more engaging VR experiences. Zuckerberg also pledged to port many PC-based VR games and apps to the Quest, bringing the device closer to the higher-end PC-based Oculus Rift. But while gaming is clearly core to Facebook's VR strategy with Oculus headsets, Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's VP of consumer hardware, demoed a workplace scenario that alludes to a mixed reality future-of-work where real world objects are integrated into VR.
Mark Zuckerberg has admitted his firm's $2bn bet on virtual reality has not gone according to plan. The Facebook boss took to the stage at the Oculus connect conference in San Jose today to unveil a new wireless version of the firm's VR headset which no longer requires the user to connect it to a phone or computer. However, in a rare self-deprecating moment on stage, Zuckerberg recalled setting a goal of getting a billion people into virtual reality after buying Oculus some four years ago in a deal valued then at $2 billion - before admitting things hadn't gone according to plan. The Facebook boss took to the stage at the Oculus connect conference in San Jose today to unveil a new wireless version of the firm's VR headset which no longer requires the user to connect it to a phone or computer. 'Last year we talked about how our long term goal is to get a billion people into virtual reality,' he said.