Meta recently came out with Meta Quest Pro: their newest VR headset. The price? A whopping $1,500.
But we aren’t here to talk about the price. We are here to talk about the product.
Meta is trying to foster a new baseline level of tech designed to make the digital world (metaverse) feel more lifelike and immersive. Despite the astounding price tag for the product itself, looks like they are well on their way to doing just that.
While the gadget is a tad heavy, Meta did a great job creating a sleek-looking design.
Zuckerberg’s company used a curved battery built into the back of the headset, so no wires are needed. A soft forehead cushion and a handy dial for adjusting the headband make the feel of the headset comfortable.
Despite this, some users are reporting that the weight of the headset makes their forehead a bit sore after having it on for an extensive period of time. Meta Quest Pro weighs just around 1 ½ pounds. As with any product in its early stages, improvements will assuredly occur over time to make the device more durable and comfortable.
EYE & FACIAL TRACKING
Meta is betting on the metaverse. Part of achieving the success of the metaverse is continually improving the optics of it. The Quest Pro’s eye and facial tracking to deliver more lifelike expressions does just that.
Unlike before, you can now interact with someone in the metaverse and their avatar will reflect their exact facial expressions. This is huge. After all, so much of human interaction is done non-verbally. I am of the opinion that this step will be huge for hybrid collaboration in the workplace. More on this is to come below.
From reading some reviews online, Meta’s scene understanding only works most of the time. Not all of the time. Scene understanding refers to the ability of the headset to pick up walls and boundaries of where you are working to set up your “virtual workspace”. Unfortunately, Meta’s scene understanding seemingly lacks a bit of accuracy when confronted with a room that is relatively cluttered.
HURDLES TO OVERCOME
There just aren't a lot of optimized apps that really take advantage of the Quest Pro’s upgraded capabilities. I have written time and time again about the future of VR. How through a headset or glasses we would revolutionize how we go about our day due to the effectiveness of the VR world, largely thanks to the ability to aid our lives in the sects of leisure and in the workplace. We are here. Now we just have to build. But the first brick has been laid. Unfortunately, as of now, there are not many applications to go along with the Quest Pro’s capability. It’s going to take a while for developers to take advantage of the Quest Pro's new features.
Sidenote: It will be interesting to see if Meta attempts to sidestep Apple’s application purchase fee of 30% going forward.
Two and a half to three hours, so users say. Not bad. But will the battery life get better in years to come? Just as I have written about in the past with Apple products, their entire model is to always get you to invest in their newest product. How do they do this? By upgrading previously mediocre features. These tech companies are evil nitwits, sometimes.
“For virtual reality to reach its full potential, we need to get to the point where 200 million people who buy new PCs each year for work can do some or all of their work even better in the metaverse,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Make no mistake about it: the idea of cutting-edge VR technology is cool for the average well-off techy person who can afford to purchase and play around with it. But Meta’s overall target is not for leisure but instead is geared toward amplifying and transforming the professional workplace.
To further their goal to incorporate the workplace into their long-term vision, Meta recently announced a partnership with Microsoft to bring Windows 365 and Teams to Meta’s VR repertoire next year. Teams are Microsoft’s version of Zoom and are highly utilized for virtual meetings in the workplace.
“We think VR can be very powerful for social connection, and with Quest Pro, we want to bring more of that into the work context as well where Microsoft already has some incredibly successful products in the market,” Zuckerberg.
Another side note: Without COVID transpiring, perhaps these developments would not have even taken place and been given the priority that they clearly are as we speak here today.
Listen to this quote: “One thousand, five hundred dollars is a lot for a consumer, but it’s probably less than one business trip,” Daniel Newman, principal analyst at Futuram Research.
This quote summarizes beautifully what Meta is betting on with the metaverse and the meta quest pro. Yes, undoubtedly, the Meta Quest Pro is just the beginning of a technology that will be refined over time. But Zuckerberg believes in this so much that he even changed his company name to promote his vision. As a refresher, roughly a year ago Zuckerberg changed the Facebook name to Meta. The change, then and currently, has been met(a) (haha!) with mixed reviews. No turning back now. Only time will tell…
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