During his recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Mark Zuckerberg’s comments about the FBI and the Hunter Biden laptop got a lot of attention. But in the same three-hour interview, the founder and CEO of Facebook’s parent company Meta also teased about an upcoming product.
As reported by Tom’s Guide, Zuckerberg said the company’s next virtual reality (VR) product will arrive in October, as a successor to the Meta Quest 2 that arrived in 2020. This is the first major VR launch since that the company changed its name to Meta last fall. Zuckerberg also announced that he is focusing on the Metaverse moving forward.
The product that will arrive this fall has been described in the past as “Project Cambria”, although it’s unclear what name it will use when released.
The new headset will provide “the ability to now have some sort of eye contact in virtual reality,” Zuckerberg said in the interview. “[Users can] follow your face so that your avatar – it’s not just that still thing, but if you’re smiling or frowning or pouting, or whatever your expression is, make that this is reflected in real time on your avatar”.
Techradar described Project Cambria as “an important step in Facebook’s meta transformation and joining the metaverse. Dubbed “the Oculus Quest Pro” by avid fans and experts, Project Cambria is a premium virtual reality and augmented reality hybrid headset. In May, Zuckerberg demonstrated some of the product’s functions but did not show what the product itself looks like.
There has, however, been some skepticism about Meta’s plans for the Metaverse. For one thing, the cartoon-like renders, often in the likeness of Zuckerberg, have been the subject of much mockery.
“The Metaverse is as dead as Zuckerberg’s cartoon eyes,” Fast Company recently wrote.
“The worst part isn’t how bad it looks, but the fact that it’s a symbol of how meta mismanages expectations for the metaverse. Anyone expecting this metaverse to end up be an actual version of the book and movie Loan player one expects a huge disappointment. The same goes for Zuckerberg, when he finally realizes that only an insignificant fraction of enthusiasts will adhere to this delicate dimension.
Speaking to South by Southwest in the spring, former Nintendo America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime also expressed skepticism about what Meta has planned.
“I am not a buyer of this idea. I don’t think their current definition is going to succeed. I say that because, number one…and I don’t know if anyone from Facebook is here, but you have to admit that Facebook itself is not an innovative company. They are not,” he said.
Stephen Silver, technology writer for national interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who also contributes to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. Co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.