Mark Zuckerberg explains why Meta built his Cambria VR headset

Mark Zuckerberg explains why Meta built his Cambria VR headset

Hello and welcome to Protocol Entertainment, your business guide to the gaming and media industries. This Friday, we look back on a conversation we had with Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year and share some of his never-before-seen thoughts on Meta’s upcoming work-centric VR headset.

Why Meta Built Cambria

Meta is set to unveil its next-generation VR headset, dubbed Project Cambria, at its Meta Connect conference on Tuesday. The device is expected to have a higher resolution screen as well as a smaller form factor and better weight distribution than Meta’s Quest 2 VR headset.

Cambria will also be much more expensive, and Meta probably won’t market it as a consumer VR headset at all. Instead, the company should position it as a device that helps knowledge workers be more productive and creative. I had a brief demo of Cambria earlier this year and also spoke to Mark Zuckerberg about his vision for the metaverse.

Zuckerberg told me why Meta built Cambria and why the company thinks it’s a great workhorse – a topic worth revisiting ahead of next week’s reveal, especially since not all of its remarks made it into my stories in may.

  • He told me that the company could have built a super-powerful Quest gaming headset with high-end features, but a lot of the technology that made its way into Cambria would have made it unaffordable for consumers.
  • “It’s just going to be a higher priced device,” he said. “From a market perspective, you can either position it as an innovation-driven thing that enthusiasts [might] want, but it’s probably going to be a bit too expensive for most consumers.
  • “Or you can actually go after use cases where there’s a market for it,” he added. “And I think in the work there are clearly some.”
  • Zuckerberg told me during this interview that Meta was looking to establish two lines of VR devices. “We think there’s some sort of consumer-grade device out there, in that $300-$500 range, for gaming, social use cases, things like that,” he said. “But then there will be a professional-grade device, which will eventually [be] replacement of a laptop or workstation. »
  • “By the end of this decade, your VR mixed reality device will be your centerpiece [of hardware]“, he predicted. “And you will be able to see your desktop, snap your fingers, view your screens.”

Zuckerberg also touted VR as a better solution for virtual collaboration, arguing that it offers a much better sense of presence than a Zoom call.

  • “You don’t make eye contact, you don’t have spatial sound. Every meeting you’re in kind of feels alike,” Zuckerberg said of Zoom calls. reality, even if you actually see someone’s true face.”
  • “Getting an avatar version of someone, but having them anchored in space with spatial sound, feels more real,” he said.

Cambria will only be a first step. Zuckerberg also clarified that Meta is looking to invest in virtual reality for work for years to come.

  • “This is the first device in this bundle,” he said, adding that he expects the device category to grow over time.
  • He also predicted that VR headsets will be a staple for many companies in the future. “If we can get our engineers to be 2% more productive, I’d buy them all expensive headsets,” he said.

Zuckerberg delivers the keynote at Meta’s Connect conference, which will be held online in its entirety, Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. PT. The talk will also once again feature Meta Reality Labs consulting CTO John Carmack with one of his free-wheeling “unscripted” interviews.

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