Facebook is rebranding to "Meta." Why? According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, "Facebook" only captures the essence of one product (i.e. its social media network) while "Meta" encompasses all the services the company plans to offer.
Meta is the prefix of "metaverse," a word that's growing in popularity in the tech realm. To keep it short and simple, metaverse refers to shared virtual worlds. To give you an example, thanks to Facebook's Oculus Quest 2 headset, I've been able to attend virtual open mic nights, play laser tag and sit through a meeting with Facebook — all while interacting with other Quest 2 users halfway across the world.
Facebook is bringing the metaverse to all aspects of human lives, including fitness (check out our FitXR review), the workplace and social media. Of course, you can't have powerful software without robust hardware, and that's why Zuckerberg announced Facebook's plans to release a new, high-end VR headset.
Project Cambria: Facebook's new high-end VR headset
The Oculus Quest 2 is an excellent headset for users who want to ease their way into the VR world. For a standalone device that doesn't need to be tethered to a PC, it's impressive. But if you want to play hardcore, highly immersive games, this budget-friendly headset won't give you the graphical fidelity you're looking for.
This is why Facebook is working on a new, high-end headset. It's codenamed Project Cambria.
It will, of course, cost more than the $299 Quest 2 and will be able to execute actions that other headsets on the market can't do. The headset's sensors can mimic your facial expressions and eye contact. As such, Cambria will be able to convey your true feelings, as expressed via your visage, to other fellow virtual avatars in the VR space.
Facebook also claims that Cambria will provide a mixed-reality experience, allowing users to interact with objects in the real world. On top of that, the headset can detect depth and measure perspective. Most importantly, Cambria will feature better graphical fidelity, which is important for virtual-reality gamers who want to forget that they're wearing a headset and fully immerse themselves into simulated worlds.
Facebook didn't announce a release date for Project Cambria, but while we're waiting for this high-end headset to arrive, perhaps the upcoming Grand Theft Auto VR experience will be of interest to you.
Grand Theft Auto is coming to Oculus Quest 2
Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar Games' cash cow, is in development for the Quest 2, namely San Andreas.
"This new version of what I think is one of the greatest games ever made will offer players an entirely new way to experience this iconic open-world in virtual reality," Zuckerberg said.
It's a smart move for Facebook. VR adoption has been slow to catch on in the mainstream, but GTA has such a massive, passionate fanbase, so perhaps this collaboration will help to bring more gamers to the Quest 2 world.
"This is a project many years in the making, and we can’t wait to show you more of it," Facebook said in a recent blog.
I'm not sure if I can get on board with this "Meta" rebranding, but I can't wait to see whether Facebook ends up taking over the AR/VR market.