Mark Zuckerberg just shared a short demo video showing some of the capabilities of Meta’s upcoming high-end virtual reality headset, Project Cambria. While the device itself remains cloaked, Meta highlights the upcoming headset’s ability to perform high-resolution, full-color passthrough, allowing wearers to interact with virtual objects overlaid on their real-world surroundings.
The mixed reality experience is based on Meta’s Presence Platform, launched last fall. Current Quest headsets can only display passthrough content in shades of gray, but Project Cambria will have much higher resolution image sensors so the real world looks better inside the headset.
Meta also posted this two and a half minute video highlighting their Presence platform which shows the massive difference in experience between the Quest and Cambria headsets. Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth wrote on Twitter that an SDK update next week will “include the full set of Presence Platform tools built on machine perception and AI – Passthrough, Spatial Anchors, Scene, Interaction and Voice SDKs, as well as our recently updated Hand Tracking API.”
The demo reel mainly features Zuckerberg gesturing at the cartoon character from that Oppy video and seeming to paint his surroundings over the real world. It also includes clips from other Meta AR projects, again showing the possibility of you wearing one of these to visit a virtual office environment and work on your cloud workstation using augmented reality.
We have not received any new details about the hardware itself. But Janko Röttgers protocol was able to try the device briefly with the same demo and said that the video quality produced by Cambria’s sensors is still not photorealistic, but closer to “decent quality home video”. Zuckerberg also told him that another benefit of improving sensors to pick up full color is that they can better distinguish between different real-world objects, so they know where to place the virtual ones.
The demo, shown during last year’s Facebook Connect event, is called The World Beyond, and Meta says it will soon be available for developers to try out in the App Lab. Project Cambria is just one of several virtual reality headsets Meta plans to launch over the next few years, and using its technology to help developers build augmented reality experiences that more people want to visit is just one step in Meta’s plan for mainstream AR devices. Cambria is slated to come out “later this year.”
Update May 12, 12:07 p.m. ET: Added Meta Project Cambria preview video and note to tweets by Facebook CTO Andrew Bosworth.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/5/12/23068536/meta-project-cambria-vr-ar-demo-mark-zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg’s Project Cambria demo shows their full color passthrough