Apple is set to announce its long-rumored Reality Pro headset at WWDC next week and, suddenly, Meta has given a lot of detail about its upcoming Quest 3 headset.
As reported by Bloomberg, Mark Gurman got a hands-on look at a prototype of the Meta Quest 3 ahead of its projected release in October later this year. According to Gurman, the headset is getting a pretty big overhaul, especially in the area of mixed reality. It’s also definitely called Quest 3 as previously reported.
The third generation of the headset, according to the reporter, will feature a new front that contains “three vertical pill-shaped sensor areas across the front. The left and right pills each include one color video pass-through camera…the middle pill includes a depth sensor, a first for a Quest.” Gurman says he was even able to use his phone easily while using video pass-through from the headset.
Video pass-through is the heart of mixed reality. It relies on external cameras to let headset wearers see a live video feed of the real world, creating an augmented reality effect without the use of clear lenses. While I don’t believe the Quest 3’s video pass-through performance will come close to that of the Apple device (which will have about a dozen cameras), it is a night-and-day improvement over the Quest 2.
Gurman says that the headset also felt lighter and much faster. That’s good news since Meta has already stopped supporting the first generation of the Quest, largely due to the performance limitations of the chip powering the original headset.
While the current Quest 2 headset starts at $400, the reporter expects that the third generation may be a bit more expensive. While people may be bummed to hear that, the Quest 3 will certainly not come anywhere near the cost of Apple’s expected Reality Pro headset which is all but confirmed.
It seems that we may be close to a future where Apple owns the high-end market, and Meta owns the low-end market of the mixed-reality space. We’ll know next week since Apple is kicking off WWDC on Monday, June 5th. If its headset is coming, it’s coming then.