MARK Zuckerberg has unveiled a brand new virtual reality headset that can track your eyes and face.
The high-end VR glasses Meta Quest Pro are the latest VR glasses from Facebook – and I’ve already tried them.
For months we’ve been hearing about a mysterious new gadget in MetaHQ called Project Cambria.
Now it’s official: The Meta Quest Pro headset was announced at today’s Meta Connect.
It’s a step up from the $399/£399 Meta Quest 2 and costs a whopping $1,499/£1,499.
But I spent some time using it last week and it certainly goes a long way toward reaching that price point.
First off, it’s a virtual reality headset – so you get access to all the sci-fi apps and games you’d expect.
Do business in a virtual office with Horizon Workrooms, swing lightsabers to dance music in Beat Saber, and take a robotic vacation in Vacation Simulator.
The list of content available in VR is constantly growing and improving, so there’s plenty to enjoy.
These are the building blocks of the metaverse being touted Mark Zuckerberg – an endless series of connected worlds and experiences in which to live, work and play.
The whole experience is extremely immersive, but that was the case with the old Meta Quest 2.
Out with the old man
What’s new in Meta Quest Pro? There is a brand new design.
It’s much more visually stunning with a glossy black exterior and a new balanced form factor.
The battery has moved to the rear and the lens system on the front has shrunk so it’s no longer a heavy block strapped to your forehead.
Padded pads in the front and back contribute to this increased comfort. It feels way better than the Quest 2.
The sides are more open so you can see the space around you. It’s meant to help with the VR experience, but you can close it with accessories if you want.
There’s also a new camera system that allows for a full-color passthrough mode so you can see what’s happening in front of you.
On the Meta Quest 2, the pass was a poor quality grayscale.
This means you can now get a great mixed reality experience by merging the real world with computer images.
It also allows for some cool mixed reality experiences. Some demo footage I saw showed a virtual robot climbing real walls and ceilings and avoiding objects as it moved.
The Meta Quest Pro is powered by a Snapdragon XR2+ chip that offers a big boost in performance – expect 50% more performance according to Meta.
The lenses have been greatly improved.
The new optical stack uses a thin “pancake optic” that folds the light and massively shrinks the front of the headset.
The colors are richer, the contrast is improved and the resolution is also increased.
And there’s a new eye-tracking system that knows where you’re looking, so the headset can increase resolution in the exact area you’re staring at.
There is also a new face tracking system.
It uses a series of sensors to monitor your face’s movements, which can then be used to control the face of your Metaverse virtual avatar.
It’s incredibly impressive and managed to sync even the smallest of my facial movements to an avatar. I was really shocked how accurate it was.
Now you’re probably panicking at the thought of Meta monitoring your face forever.
Thankfully, there’s a data protection system built in, which means face tracking is turned off by default and the data stays on the headset – before being erased after processing.
It’s not shared with any meta or third-party apps, so you can grin and wink with relative safety.
The controllers have been redesigned – now also in black finish – and are fully rechargeable.
Both the headset and controllers sit on a dock that’s included to power them up.
The headset is used for around one to two hours, while the controllers last between two and three hours.
And a full charge takes about two hours.
One of the big improvements is that the Quest Pro controllers are self-tracking.
That means they don’t rely on optics and can even be tracked when they’re behind your head.
This worked very well in practice during my demo session and will prove very useful for games: think archery, sword fighting and dance simulators.
They feel and look great – much more premium than Quest 2’s offerings.
And you can even attach pen tips (included) to use the controllers as markers on virtual whiteboards.
It’s hard to say how good the Meta Quest Pro is until we try a real test device.
But with an early start it seems fantastic – there are huge improvements over Quest 2.
Unfortunately, the price is almost four times that of a Quest 2.
That puts it out of reach for most buyers, and that’s probably okay.
After all, the Quest 2 is awesome – and the Quest Pro is really geared towards early adopters, geeks, professional users, and folks with some cash to spare.
We’d also expect that much of the technology in the Quest Pro would eventually make its way into the regular Quest series – namely Quest 3 and 4, which Meta admitted during our briefing are in the pipeline.
The Meta Quest Pro will be available on October 25 for $1,499/£1,499.
In the box you get the headset, Meta Quest Touch Pro controller, stylus tips, partial light blockers, and a charging dock.
All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing but may have changed since then.
Always do your own research before making a purchase.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9550764/meta-quest-pro-hands-on-review/ I tried Mark Zuckerberg’s new Meta Quest Pro VR face tracking headset – I was shocked