Thursday, September 28, 2023

Meta Connect event scheduled for October 11

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Meta has announced that its Connect Conference will be livestreamed on October 11 at 1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT. In a post on the Oculus blog, the company says it will cover the progress it’s made on the metaverse and take “a look at what’s to come in the near and distant future.” The announcements may not match last year’s Connect, where the company changed its name from Facebook to Meta, but the company has said we’ll see information about the Horizon Worlds virtual reality app and hinted that it will be “high-end.” Project Cambriaā€¯ headset is also displayed.

Last month, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the company is announcing a new VR headset in October, and Tuesday supported that idea with an image he posted to Facebook. The device he’s wearing in the photo is very similar to what we’ve already seen from Project Cambria.

Photo of Mark Zuckerberg wearing a largely obscured black VR headset.

Looks like Cambria to me (although that probably won’t be the final name).
Image: Mark Zuckerberg

According to Zuckerberg, the headset will include eye and face tracking and color passthrough, and it’s rumored to have a higher-resolution screen than what’s currently on the Oculus Quest 2. It is also expected to be significantly more expensive than the Quest 2, which recently increased its price to $399.99.

Last month, Zuckerberg also announced that details about “Major updates to Horizon and avatar images” would be revealed during the Connect conference. Horizon Worlds is the company’s flagship metaverse app, which allows people to create their own experiences and hang out in virtual reality (similar to programs like VRChat). Zuckerberg recently posted a screenshot of Horizon that got a lot of ridicule – and generated a lot of memes – for its relatively low quality graphics. The Meta CEO responded to the memes by promising major upgrades, which we should hear more about on October 11.

Screenshot of an Instagram post by Mark Zuckerberg, showing a digital avatar and an old-looking courtyard.

A taste of the upgrades to Meta’s Horizon Worlds
Image: Mark Zuckerberg

The company has made a big bet that the metaverse will be the future and spends billions of dollars a year making that happen. I suspect we’ll see it try to justify that cost at Connect, and try to convince the public that it should actually pay attention to the metaverse rather than make fun of it.

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