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Mark Zuckerberg demos AR game with upcoming high-end headset — could it be a new pet simulator?

Project Cambria unofficial renders
(Image credit: @SadlyItsBradley/Marcus Kane)

Meta released a video of CEO Mark Zuckerberg showing off the mixed-reality capabilities of Project Cambria, the upcoming, high-end VR headset poised to hit store shelves later this year.

In the video, Zuckerberg is wearing Project Cambria on his head, but unfortunately, we can't see the headset clearly because it's deliberately obscured with a pixelated, blur effect. However, we can see what the head-mounted display is capable of as Zuckerberg demos a cool AR game called The World Beyond.

Mark Zuckerberg demos The World Beyond with Project Cambria

Mark Zuckerberg demos The World Beyond with Project Cambria (Image credit: Meta)

Upcoming Meta VR headset blends physical and virtual worlds

Viewers can see the Meta CEO interact with an adorable, blue-and-purple creature. The cute pet is Oppy, a character Meta showed audiences during the 2021 Facebook Connect livestream.

The World Beyond demo

The World Beyond demo (Image credit: Meta)

According to Meta, The World Beyond is made possible with the Presence Platform, a set of machine learning and AI capabilities, as well as natural hand and voice interactions, that help developers build mixed reality experiences.

Oppy

Oppy (Image credit: Meta)

The video shows that Project Cambria can blend two worlds, the simulated and physical realms, as the Meta CEO throws a virtual ball against a real-life wall and Oppy chases it.

When Zuckerberg bends down to pet Oppy, it happily accepts his affectionate caressing. Meta didn't dive into what, exactly, The World Beyond is, but it seems like it's a pet simulator — a game niche that's surprisingly underrepresented in the Oculus Store.  

The demo also reveals Meta's new-and-improved passthrough, a feature that lets users see their surroundings in real-time. On the Quest 2, passthrough is a hazy, blurry, grayscale nightmare — not ideal for AR apps and games. Now, thanks to Project Cambria, passthrough seemingly mirrors one's environment more realistically: it's sharper, clearer and more colorful. 

Mark Zuckerberg with Project Cambria

Mark Zuckerberg with Project Cambria (Image credit: Meta)

As such, Zuckerberg explains that one can use Project Cambria to beam simulated fitness trainers into their living rooms and follow their guided workouts. Productivity-minded users can use Project Cambria as an AR tool for work; they can look at multiple displays in the virtual world while looking down at their notebooks in the physical realm. 

Meta's colorful passthrough feature is exclusive to Project Cambria, on the plus side, Quest 2 users will get to demo The World Beyond in the near future.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!