Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has released a short video preview of the ‘Project Cambria’ headset that’s set to be the portal into the company’s upcoming mixed reality platform. Sort of.
You see, the second-most striking aspect of the 56-second preview is that you don’t actually get to see the headset. And the most striking aspect of it is that the pixelation effect used to hide the headset inadvertently makes it look like the CEO has put something NSFW on his face. This is the successor headset to the Quest 2, a product so popular that we're constantly at work updating our best Oculus Quest 2 deals post.
Maybe this just is my problem, not Zuck's. But it makes it much, much harder for me to appreciate the Artist Formerly Known as Facebook doing a great job of adroitly mimicking hu-man emotion as he shows off what the new Project Cambria headset will be capable of, especially when the pixelation effect is exacerbating his already unnerving vibe.
But to try and be serious for a moment, the whole concept behind Project Cambria is "mixed reality", meaning a platform where VR elements blend seamlessly into the real world. In the demo, titled “The World Beyond” (opens in new tab), Zuck hangs around the Meta offices and plays with a virtual blue pet (Pokemon Go-style), then plans a trip to Lake Tahoe, quickly reads some messages, and finishes off by doing a workout with a virtual instructor.
So if you, like me, are absolutely sick and tired of having to use separate devices to check your email, do a Yoga with Adriene and feed your Tamagotchi, then the successor to Meta’s Quest VR headsets (formerly Oculus) will presumably be of interest.
Whereas previous VR experiences and devices have largely focused on gaming and play, Meta clearly wants its devices to be tools for professionals – hence the preview of the “VR home office” we were treated to back in April. In this vein, the team at Meta have also reportedly referred to the headset as a “laptop for the face”, which, I’m sorry, is objectively funny.
Project Cambria is possibly named after the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, which I assume represents its aspirations to be the first step into a new world for humanity, etc, etc. Or, like a lot of Meta projects, named for a region of California. However, until Mark Zuckerberg personally comes round to my house and tells me otherwise, I’m going to assume it comes from the Latin name for the country of Wales (opens in new tab).
According to Zuck’s video, Project Wales is due to come out “later this year”, though there’s no specific date yet. The World Beyond demo is going to be available to try out on Quest VR in limited fashion. For the full colour passthrough (i.e. fully interactive and blended with the real world) version, you’ll have to wait until Mark Zuckerberg unblurs his headset for the unwashed masses.