Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., demonstrates an Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset and Oculus Touch controllers.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Meta will hold its annual virtual reality conference, Connect, on Oct.11, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Tuesday.
In an announcement post on Facebook, Zuckerberg appears to be wearing a new headset, which is likely Project Cambria, a highly anticipated and powerful mixed-reality headset.
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The product and how it is received will be a key test of Zuckerberg’s efforts to pivot the Facebook parent company to creating virtual reality and augmented reality hardware. Meta has spent as much as $10 billion a year on Zuckerberg’s vision of creating the next major software platform, and the company has said one reason the technology hasn’t taken off is that the hardware isn’t good enough yet.
The release timing of the product will give Meta an opportunity to gain a foothold in the market before Apple releases a competitive mixed reality headset of its own, reportedly as soon as next year.
Zuckerberg said last month in an interview with podcaster Joe Rogan that the company planned to release Project Cambria in the fall. It’s a hotly expected headset with the computing power to capture the real world with external cameras and display them inside the headset in real time and in color.
The headset, which will likely cost $800 or more, will be significantly more expensive and capable than the current best-selling headset, the Meta Quest 2.
Meta didn’t announce a conference lineup on Tuesday, but the event is expected to last an entire day. It will be streamed online.
In addition to revealing Project Cambria, Meta will also discuss updates to Horizon Worlds, its metaverse social networking app that has drawn mockery in recent weeks for its cartoonish graphics. The vice president in charge of Horizon is leaving the company, Meta confirmed in August.
“The graphics in Horizon are capable of much more — even on headsets — and Horizon is improving very quickly,” Zuckerberg posted in August.
In addition to Project Cambria, Meta is developing a slew of various virtual reality and augmented reality prototypes. The company believes the technology will eventually be used in a pair of lightweight glasses that can replace a user’s smartphone.