The Meta Quest Pro announcement at Facebook Connect 2021 — the momentous livestream that informed the world the social media giant is now "Meta" (groan!) — electrified the VR sphere with awe and wonderment. Meta’s working on a new VR headset, a high-end, fancy one, and we’ve got questions.
What does it look like? What are its specs? When will it be released? Will it have better graphical fidelity? Will the headset be lighter à la Ready Player One? Will we ever get used to Meta’s cringeworthy name change? Inquiring minds want to know!
The possibilities seem endless. However, thanks to a few bean spillers in Meta’s network, we can narrow down our wild guesses to a few well-informed predictions. Here’s everything we know about Project Cambria (the code name Meta uses), also known as the Quest Pro (its rumored official name), the upcoming Meta-developed VR headset.
Meta Quest Pro news as 'Connect 2022' draws near
- Sept. 6 - Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience and unveiled that he plans to reveal its high-end AR/VR headset in October.
- Sept. 12 - A not-yet-released Meta Quest Pro unit was reportedly found inside a hotel room, according to Reddit. A man by the name of Ramiro Cardenas discovered it and leaked images and videos about the device. Adding credibility to the fact that this is, indeed, Meta's upcoming VR headset, the words "Meta Quest Pro" is emblazoned across the device.
Meta Quest Pro release date
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, and during the interview with the former Fear Factor host, Zuckerberg announced that the highly anticipated VR headset will launch in October at the Connect 2022 event.
The official date of Meta Connect 2022 is October 11.
Meta Quest Pro price
According to VR hardware analyst and leaker Bradley Lynch, the Quest Pro is $1,500. It will come with the head-mounted display (of course), a charging bad, controllers, cables and documents.
Experiencing sticker shock? Well, it was expected. After all, at Facebook Connect 2021, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Project Cambria is a "completely new, advanced and high-end product, and it will be at the higher end of the price spectrum." As such, there's no way in heck its price tag will align with the budget-friendly Quest 2, which starts at $399.
Meta Quest Pro design
Lynch alleged that he’s “200%” certain he’s secured accurate renders of Project Cambria’s final production model from a supposed credible source in Meta’s supply-chain network.
Looking at these renders, I can’t help but hear Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" playing in my mind. Bom chicka wow wow! This onyx head-mounted display looks sleek, lightweight and much closer to the Ready Player One design nirvana VR engineers hope to achieve one day.
Meta Quest Pro looks like a snazzy ski mask, no? You may be wondering, “OK, so what on earth are those three circular holes on the headset’s frontbox?” According to Lynch, they’re cameras. The middle lens, which gives the VR headset a Cyclops-esque vibe, is a 16MP high-definition camera designed to overlay colors and enhance resolution on top of the data the bottom two cameras’ collect (e.g., depth perception).
This trio works in harmony to offer a more visually pleasing passthrough experience. For the uninitiated, passthrough is a feature that lets you see your current real-life surroundings without needing to remove your headset. Currently, the Quest 2's passthrough quality is unattractive; it’s a grainy, grayscale nightmare. Thanks to this odd-looking trio of cameras, Meta Quest Pro's passthrough should render one's surroundings with better clarity. This tells me that, in addition to VR, augmented reality (AR) will be one of the core features of this highly anticipated headset.
A recent leak on Reddit set the rumor mill churning at full speed with an alleged Meta Quest Pro unit found inside a hotel room. A man by the name of Ramiro Cardenas discovered it and leaked images and videos about the device. Adding credibility to the fact that this is, indeed, Meta's upcoming VR headset, the words "Meta Quest Pro" are emblazoned across the device.
Zuckerberg hinted that users will have the option to work with multiple screens in VR — as if they have several monitors in front of them — while seeing one’s real desk (sans taking one’s headset off) for a productivity-focused, mixed-reality experience. Another use case for enhanced passthrough is having a virtual fitness trainer in your living room. It’d be like having a hologram in your house while you’re lifting weights!
Lynch’s renders also reveal that Cambria has a built-in Elite Strap (opens in new tab), an add-on accessory Meta sells for its Quest 2 headset to make the head-mounted display fit more snugly. As a result, the headset doesn’t slip and slide while users dive into high-movement games like Superhot or FitXR. Meta reportedly introduced the same mechanism to the Quest Pro, which is brilliant. Quest Pro should fit users’ faces like a glove.
Similar to the Quest 2, there’s a USB-C port on the right side of the headset, allowing users to connect the headset to their PCs and/or transfer data between devices.
According to Lynch, adjusting for IPD on Meta Quest Pro is much more precise. Why? Well, on Quest 2, one needs to physically grab the lens and pull them closer together (or further apart) to find the ideal IPD setting. However, only three IPD settings are locked in with clicks. An ill-matched IPD setting increases blur and reduces focus. As such, some users may feel that their Quest 2’s IPD adjustment doesn’t quite “hit the mark.”
Meta Quest Pro, on the other hand, allegedly doesn’t have fixed IPD adjustments via clicks. Users should be able to drag the lenses smoothly, allowing them to establish precise, personalized IPD settings. Woot!
Speaking of goggles, Meta Quest Pro will have pancake-style lenses. Chang said this design “folds light several times over to achieve a slimmer profile than current lenses,” adding that it will improve the headset’s optics.
There are some downsides to the Quest Pro’s overall design, though. Lynch says that the material that touches the forehead is faux leather, which may make users sweatier than usual. He also wonders whether this design will let in too much light, taking users out of VR immersion.
Proud of the research Michael Abrash's team is working on at FRL-R Redmond—excited to get an early look at some of the technologies that will underpin the metaverse (we work on several prototype headsets to prove out concepts, this is one of them. Kind of. It's a long story.) pic.twitter.com/Yi9xjy5HmGOctober 13, 2021
If you need more confirmation of the Quest Pro’s design, take a look at this picture Meta CTO Andrew Bozworth posted on Twitter last October. He said that the headset he’s wearing is one of the prototypes Meta’s VR team conceptualized.
Meta Quest Pro specs
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 5G|
|RAM||12GB LPDDR5 RAM|
|Goggles||Dual Tianjin-3 OLED panels, 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye, miniLED backlighting for local dimming, Pancake lenses|
|Sensors||10 sensors that facilitate hand tracking, depth, passthrough, IR constellation tracking, face tracking, and eye tracking.|
Lynch compiled a predicted specs list for the Meta Quest Pro, which can be seen above. Lynch claims that the Quest Pro's main selling points will be eye and face tracking. Basing his assertions on sources who have experimented with the Quest Pro, Lynch says the headset's facial-expression tracking is top-tier — one source said that the device could even pick up his flaring nostrils. The headset will have at least five infrared sensors to facilitate spot-on face tracking.
To my dismay, Lynch's sources said they could still see the “screen-door effect” with the Quest Pro, a quirk that makes it look like netting is overlaying your VR surroundings. On the plus side, it reportedly has better edge-to-edge clarity.
Ming-Chi Kuo, another respected leaker in the tech industry, also offered speculations about the Quest Pro, which align with Lynch's claims. Meta's upcoming headset will have two 2.48-inch, 2160 x 2160-pixel mini-LED screens (a step up from the Quest 2’s dual 1832 x 1920-pixel LCD panels). It will also feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 5G chipset, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, WiFi 6E capability, and a 5,000 mAh battery.
The Quest Pro will reportedly come with 10 sensors that facilitate IOT, passthrough, IR constellation tracking, depth perception, as well as face, eye, and hand tracking. The goggles are dual Tianjin-3 OLED panels, offering 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye. According to Lynch, they also come with a quantum dot layer for "better color gamut," miniLED backlighting for local dimming, and feature a pancake-lens design.
The Meta Quest Pro should be lighter, slimmer and more comfortable than Quest 2. It’s also more focused on AR experiences, allowing users to incorporate their real-world surroundings into VR applications. Face tracking is the Quest Pro’s alleged best feature, so I expect this headset launch to come with a major social VR push from Meta. There are plenty of social VR apps, but none allow you to see others’ real-life facial microexpressions. I suspect this is the gap Meta will fill with improved software and hardware.
However, according to Lynch, “don’t expect Cambria to be something that different [from the Quest 2]. It’s different, but not that much.” I suppose this is why Project Cambria is allegedly called the Quest Pro — not Quest 3.
Keep in mind, though, that Kuo, Lynch and other leakers mentioned may be wrong, so take everything with a grain of salt. As mentioned, the Quest Pro may get announced at Meta’s next Connect event and it will likely be available for purchase the following day. However, only time will tell. As new, juicy Quest Pro leaks trickle in, we’ll be sure to keep this page updated.