Skip to main content

Live

Meta Connect 2023 LIVE: Meta Quest 3, Ray-Ban smart glasses, and AI in the Metaverse!

The latest news and updates on everything coming out of Meta Connect 2023!

Meta Connect 2023 Live Blog
(Image: © Meta)

Welcome to Laptop Mag's Meta Connect 2023 live blog! Your one-stop shop for all the latest and breaking news surrounding Meta's keynote address from Menlo Park, California!

Meta are kicking off today's event with Mark Zuckerberg taking to the stage to unveil the Meta Quest 3 (again)! However, today we'll be seeing the Meta Quest 3 in full along with its innovations in Augmented Reality (AR) and how Meta plan to incorporate its ever expanding library of AI tech into the VR experience!

There's also the potential of Meta showcasing a follow-up to its Ray-Ban Stories — with improved cameras and battery life for even better content creation and live streaming potential while out and about.

Refresh

Meta Connect 2023: What we expect to see!

Meta Connect 2022

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta doesn't have a huge catalog of hardware to speculate on at the moment, so it's highly likely that we'll be seeing the Meta Quest 3 and Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses featured front and center.

Much of the two-day event's agenda will be split between highlighting Meta's advancements in VR, AR, and AI as well as how developers can make the most of these innovations going forward.

While not exactly riveting for everyone, these presentations will give us a closer idea of what to expect from the Meta Quest 3 or Ray-Ban smart glasses and the direction Meta are hoping to move in going forwards

So let's focus on hardware first as we highlight both the Meta Quest 3 and Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses next...

Meta Connect 2023: Meta Quest 3

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta Quest 3: No doubt, the big takeaway from today's keynote will be the Meta Quest 3. The new VR headset is set to be Meta's most powerful to date and features new LCD pancake lenses, 40% less bulk, full color passthrough cameras, and potentially a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor offering up to twice the graphical performance of the Quest 2!

If you want to learn more about the Meta Quest 3 check out some of our coverage of the upcoming headset below:

Meta Connect 2023: Ray-Ban Stories 2 smart glasses

Meta Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses

(Image credit: Ray-Ban / Meta)

Ray-Ban Stories 2: Augmented Reality (AR) has seen a swell of interest ever since Apple announced its Vision Pro headset earlier in the year, but companies are already scrabbling to make use of this tech in smaller, more face-friendly tech like glasses.

Meta were ahead of the curve with this, having partnered with luxury sunglasses brand Ray-Ban to produce the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses all the way back in 2021.

However, whether it be that Meta were a little too ahead of the curve at the time or if a general mistrust of the companies spotty track record on privacy were to blame, these smart glasses never quite found their feet with a wider audience.

The glasses, outfitted with a microphone, touchpad, open-ear speakers, and dual cameras, allow you to capture first-person snaps or video up to 60 seconds in length, use voice commands, take calls, and listen to music.

The smart glasses were praised for their comfort but ultimately found too limited in what they offered for most. If we're to see a follow-up today we'd expect improved cameras, a longer battery life, and wider AR adoption.

Meta Connect 2023: What's on the cards?

Meta Connect 2023

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta's multi-day event will kick off with a Zuckerberg-led keynote with "special guests" joining for the official 're-reveal' of the Meta Quest 3. However, there are 20 presentations stretched out over the next two days focusing on everything from AI advancements to deep dives helping developers decipher the depths of VR/AR integration.

Obviously, the event's opening keynote will be where the majority of eyes are focused. According to Meta's agenda CEO Mark Zuckerberg will take to the stage bright an early on the west coast at 10 a.m. PDT, 1 p.m. EDT, and 6 p.m. BST.

However, if you want to see more of what's on offer over the next two days of presentations, check out Meta's full agenda for times and details of what's to come.

Meta Quest 3 leaks see Apple win on specs, Meta win on price

Ignore the Meta Quest 3, buy that Apple VR/AR headset anyway — I dare you

(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

Apple's plunge into the VR/AR market with the Vision Pro caused quite a stir, but that was nothing compared to the brow sweat and heart palpitations triggered by the reveal of its price.

The Apple Vision Pro will cost a staggering $3,500 at launch — but that's ok, because Apple have made it crystal clear that it'll be worth every penny due to its cutting edge processing and visual technology. Tim Cook assures us all that VR/AR is only made possible with the power of the R1 and M2 chipsets after all. So what other choice do we truly have?

Well. escaping the Apple reality distortion field for just a moment, a recent leak does point to an alternative indeed. According to X (neé Twitter) user @Lunayian, a source at GameStop has revealed the Meta Quest 3's pricing starting at just $499.

See more

If you're not good at math, that's one fifth of the price of Apple's upcoming headset. Meaning you could buy a Quest 3 for yourself and four friends, and still be left with pocket change ahead of purchasing Apple's ultra-deluxe, snorkeling mask with AR capabilities. 

Sure, Apple may have the best specs, but when it comes to headsets people can actually afford? Meta looks set to win over VR/AR enthusiasts the world over through their wallets.

Meta Connect 2023: AR is the new VR

Meta Connect 2022

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta's successes with the Quest 2 have proven there's an audience of budding VR enthusiasts out there to market to. However, Augmented Reality (AR) is rapidly becoming equally important to users as they seek to blend reality with the virtual.

From what we know so far, the Quest 3 is pushing things to the next level in order to cater to that demand. Not only will Meta's new headset feature full color passthrough, a large portion of the Meta Connect 2023 event's presentations are focusing on Mixed Reality — and how developers can better leverage the headsets new passthrough cameras.

Paired with the Quest 3's slimmer form factor, mixed reality could play a starring role in this generation of Quest headset, and for others that follow.

Meta Quest 3: What are pancake lenses?

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

Of the many improvements heading to the Meta Quest 3, one of the more noteworthy additions is the headset's new pancake lenses — which, beyond sounding delicious, will afford the Quest 3 an improved per-eye resolution of 2.2K.

Pancake lenses replace the Quest 2's Fresnel lenses, offering less distortion and a more compact form. This is partially what allows the Meta Quest 3 to be so much slimmer than its predecessor.

Pancake lenses also absorb more light than Fresnel optics, meaning there's less chance for glare occurring, though they do require considerably brighter displays to function as needed for VR and Mixed Reality experiences which could put a strain on the Quest 3's battery life.

These are also the same lenses found in the Quest Pro (not that anyone would know judging by how well that headset sold). However, while the Quest Pro was doomed by its high price-tag, the tech lives on in the Quest 3 reducing ghosting and glare dramatically while maintaining a sharp image from edge to edge.

Meta Connect 2023: How to watch the keynote live

Meta Connect 2023

(Image credit: Meta)

We're still some way off from Meta Connect 2023, but if you're interested in watching along live later today then there's plenty of ways to do so.

Those of us mere mortals not invited to the Menlo Park, California event in person can at least attend in virtual spirit through the Meta Connect Event site. There will of course be livestreams popping up on YouTube and Twitch as people react to the reveal of the Meta Quest 3 and next-gen Ray-Ban smart glasses.

However, if you own a Quest headset you can also follow the event live directly from the Metaverse. Check your upcoming events menu for details on how to join the virtual festivities through Meta Horizon Worlds!

Meta Connect 2023 kicks off today from 10 a.m. PDT, 1 p.m. EDT, and 6 p.m. BST. Looking for your local time zone to see when things begin? Check below for our full guide on how to watch Meta Connect 2023 online!

Meta Connect 2023: Is the cat out of the bag for the Meta Quest 3?

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Future)

A recent leak from a Redditor in possession of an official specifications sheet from retail training on the Meta Quest 3 may have left Zuckerberg with little to reveal when he takes to the stage later today.

The training sheet details everything from specifications to launch prices and completely pulls the rug out from under Meta's big reveal.

However, that's not anything new, as earlier in the year the Zuck himself decided to unexpectedly unveil the Meta Quest 3 hours before the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase — completely detracting from the day's following reveals.

It's this unpredictability and lack of secret keeping potential that makes me believe he might not be a part of the illuminati after all.

Let's take a look at what the spec sheet reveals:

  • Snapdragon XR2 Gen2 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • Full-color mixed reality passthrough
  • Dual RBG cameras
  • 4MP color, 18 Pixels Per Degree (PPD)
  • 128GB storage (with additional available for those who want it)

In terms of pricing and availability, the same document reveals the following:

  • Starting at $499.99 for 128GB
  • Coming to all Quest 2 markets
  • More information at Connect 2023 on Sept. 27th, 2023

Check out the full spec sheet along with our coverage linked below!

Meta Quest 3: All-new controllers, and better hand tracking

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

Keen observers may have noticed that the Meta Quest 3's controllers have ditched the iconic Oculus ring. The ring would previously house infrared LEDs to help the Quest headset accurately track the position of each hand in 3D space. However, thanks to improvements in the Quest 3's sensors and tracking tech, these rings are no longer required for the Quest 3's Touch Plus controllers.

The same improvements have also allowed hand tracking to become much more accurate. Quest 2 users can already make use of hand tracking and gesture inputs following the "Hands 2.2" update from last month, but combined with the Quest 3's new depth sensor the new Touch Plus controllers are free from the bulk and clashing of the Quest 2's ringed-controller design.

Better still, the new controllers will also feature TruTouch haptics, presenting realistic feedback across the grip, thumb and triggers of the controller similar to the Quest Pro's Touch Pro controller — which you can also use to control the Quest 3 if you'd prefer.

Meta Quest 2 Vs. Meta Quest 3

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

Taking the recent spec sheet leak and everything we've learnt so far into account, how does the Meta Quest 3 measure up against the current Quest 2? Let's go through a quick comparison to see how things may have improved since the affordable portal to the Metaverse launched back in 2020!

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Meta Quest 2Meta Quest 3
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon XR2Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2
RAM6GB8GB
DisplayLCD, FresnelLCD, Pancake
Resolution (per-eye)1832 x 19202064 x 2208
Refresh rate90Hz120Hz
Passthrough?Yes, B&WYes, full-color
ControllersMeta Quest TouchTouch Plus
Price$299.99 (128GB), $349.99 (256GB)$499.99 (128GB), $649.99 (256GB)

The Meta Quest 3's improvements to refresh rate, per-eye resolution, and the switch to Pancake lenses over Fresnel will no doubt result in a much smoother VR/AR experience for users than the Quest 2.

Factor in the power of an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 processor with 8GB of RAM and we should find that the Quest 3 is leaps and bounds above what the Quest 2 is currently capable of, especially when it comes to Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities thanks to the Quest 3's full-color passthrough.

The $200 price increase over the Quest 2 seems steep at first glance, but once you factor in the improved controllers with their TruTouch Haptics the overall value of the upgrade seems reasonable — especially when considering that the similarly spec'd Quest Pro's Touch Pro controllers alone cost $299.99!

Meta Connect 2023: Can the Quest 3 match the Quest 2's success?

Meta Quest 2

(Image credit: Meta)

The Meta Quest 3 is looking to be an impressive headset for VR/AR enthusiasts and newcomers alike. But let's take a moment to reflect on the impact of Meta's impact in the VR space.

Since Meta acquired Oculus VR in 2014, the company has reportedly gone on to sell ~20 million Quest headsets. Over 18 million of which are the Meta Quest 2 alone! That's a phenomenal success for Zuck and co. with the brand effortlessly securing a huge portion of the VR market.

But with Apple closing in on the release of the Vision Pro, Samsung planning their own VR headset, rumors swirling of Valve releasing a new Index headset, and the PSVR2 already out in the wild, is the same kind of success even a possibility for the Quest 3?

While Meta have sold headsets like hotcakes, user retention appears to be suffering with owners allowing their headsets to gather dust. The result of which could be a large percentage of those Quest 2 owners being unwilling to return to the Meta well for the Quest 3. Does Meta's new headset have what it takes to retain its market share against the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Valve? Time will tell!

Check out some of our wider VR coverage for more!

Ray-Ban Stories 2: The 'Being John Malkovich' bifocals?

Ray-Ban Stories

(Image credit: Ray-Ban)

Switching things up to the Ray-Ban Stories 2, a rumor appearing last last month indicates that Meta and Ray-Ban's latest smart-shades will allow for video streaming directly to Facebook and Instagram. Not only that, but the glasses can also relay viewers comments through the glasses' built-in headphones.

Personally I find nothing more horrifying than the thought of someone living vicariously through the view from my own eyeballs. But that's just me. If the rumors are to be believed this could make the Ray-Ban Stories 2 the ideal companion for IRL streamers or even more so cinema pirates and concert bootleggers the world over.

What a weird world we live in.

Meta Quest 3: Avatars with expressions?

Rec Room avatar

(Image credit: Future)

Wild speculation, but a worthwhile mention, immediately following today's keynote from Mark Zuckerberg is a post-keynote featuring Meta's Michael Abrash and Andrew "Boz" Bosworth. Here's where the two will go over Meta's progress in areas such as contextual AI, neural interfaces, and ultra-realistic codec avatars.

Codec avatars are representations of a user shown in real-time through an avatar form — think along the lines of the Vision Pro's digital persona. This is something Meta have been working on since at least 2021 and have made some impressive progress with.

Pair this mention of codec avatars with the description of Zuckerberg's upcoming keynote promising we can "hear how AI will help people connect and express themselves in new ways" and you can begin to draw the assumption that the Meta Quest 3 could make use of AI-assisted face tracking to render accurate emotions on its Metaverse avatars — a sizable improvement over a similar feature found in the Quest Pro.

Of course, once again, that's wild speculation on behalf of a man sat behind a keyboard rapidly running out of things to say about Meta's upcoming Connect 2023 event. This is how rumors start, so let's just keep this between you and me.

Meta Connect 2023: Games! There has to be games, right?

Meta Oculus Store

(Image credit: Meta)

Games! Having ruined the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase with his impromptu premature release of the Meta Quest 3, I'd hope the Zuck at least has a few games in tow as he skitters onto screens far and wide throughout the Metaverse.

The overshadowed fiasco that was the Meta Gaming Showcase did have a few interesting titles to keep an eye out for including Assassin's Creed Nexus, Stranger Things VR, Arizona Sunshine 2, Ghostbusters: Ride of the Ghost Lord, Bulletstorm VR, and one particular title Meta seemed to give a little extra room to shine — Asgard's Wrath 2.

While any of those could return for a second viewing, my money being on Meta's favorite child Asgard's Wrath 2 for instance, there are a host of new titles making their way to the Quest 2 and presumably the Quest 3 in the near future also including Thrill of the Fight 2 and the sequel to Into the Radius.

Asgard's Wrath 2

(Image credit: Meta)

Of course, Zuckerberg could also pull something completely out of left-field here and remind the world at large that Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas VR is still a thing and still heading our way. But I won't hold my breath on that one, and nor should you.

Meta Connect 2023: We'll be in the Metaverse today!

Meta Horizon Worlds

(Image credit: Meta)

If you're a Quest headset owner you can follow along with today's event live from inside the Metaverse via Meta Horizon World's upcoming Meta Connect 2023 Event!

Not only will you get the watch the Keynote live, you'll get to do it in the company of other Quest owners as you receive exclusive Meta Connect quests and virtual rewards!

Better still, I might be there too! Sneakily infiltrating the Metaverse community to gain all your thoughts and insights on what you love most about the Meta Quest 3 and the things you aren't so impressed by! Catch me under the tag @r43l (that's an L) or look for the floating LaptopMag.com nametag to voice your opinions.

If you're still having trouble locating me, just listen for the sound of retching as I slowly regain my VR-legs amidst the bright outlandish colors of the Metaverse.

Dear God, what am I doing with my life. Dear Metaverse, please be kind.

Meta Connect 2023

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta Connect 2023 has been...delayed?

This is odd! We've all been told that the event was set to begin at bang on 1PM ET, but there seems to have been a 30-minute delay. Either this was accounted for, or something's gone awry behind the scenes.

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

5 minutes to go...

Settle in! The show has started...

Meta Connect 2023

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta stream cut-outs be damned - the event is off to a start!

First up, Meta Quest 3!

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

Mark is currently showing off the Mixed Reality capabilities of the device with games such as the adorable Lego BrickTales!

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

Xbox Cloud Gaming comes to Meta Quest 3!?

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

As far as we know, this is the first wireless VR headset to support Xbox Cloud Gaming! We're looking to trying this.

Meta Horizons are getting expanded

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

New experiences are coming to the free-to-play Meta Horizon, including a new FPS-esque multiplayer game!

Meta Quest 3 is launching on October 10 for $499!

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Meta)

Time for some AI news...

Meta Connect 2023

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta has been tight lipped about this... We should get something interesting!

You can now create AI stickers within chat apps

Meta Connect 2023

(Image credit: Meta)

Say you want to make entirely new stickers to use in the likes of Whatsapp. Meta has now implemented AI so all you need to do is provide a prompt to make it work! Not only that but you can also edit images on the fly with prompts too.

These are definitely more of a humorous implementation of AI, but I can see a lot of people having fun with it!