Meta has just announced that Meta Connect 2022 will take place on October 11, and we can finally take a look at its next VR kit: Project Cambria.
While this year’s Meta Connect may not be as crazy as last year’s event – where the company announced its bold metaverse ambitions and changed its name from Facebook – it should give us a better look at the Meta Oculus Quest 2 successor, the so-called Project Cambria VR headset.
It’s worth noting that while Meta hasn’t made it clear that Cambria – which will most likely officially be called Quest Pro – will be present, it’s strongly implied.
For starters, at Connect Meta in 2021 it was promised that we will see the premiere of Cambria in 2022, i.e. in a few months from the end; in combination with this year’s program promise (opens in a new tab) to give participants a “glimpse of what is to come in the near and distant future” due to its metaversal ambitions and we can safely guess that Cambria will get some time on stage.
But it is not everything. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased that Meta’s “next VR headset” will be seen in October at the Joe Rogan Experience; plus post on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page (opens in a new tab) which says “See you at Meta Connect on October 11”, we see him wearing some dark VR headset that is nothing like the Quest 2 but very much like the Project Cambria Meta render released in 2021.
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So we are almost guaranteed that Meta will show its next VR headset during the October event. But will Apple beat it to a blow?
Analysis: Will Apple VR Goggles arrive later today?
As of this writing, we’re just hours away from the next Apple event – which will almost certainly be the iPhone 14 launch party.
But aside from Apple’s new best smartphone, we’ll likely see the much-anticipated Apple Watch 8 and AirPods Pro 2 on stage as well. Is that all there is?
Apple is also (not so) secretly working on its own VR headset – what we creatively call the Apple VR Headset – and hopefully we’ll finally see it announced today. With more VR headsets from Apple and Meta that seem to target the same demographic (people with advanced VR and AR experiences that are not limited by the higher cost of the kit), it would make sense for Apple to want to stay ahead of the Meta and start building hype before Meta can steal the show.
Unfortunately, it probably won’t; today’s event will be about the iPhone 14.
While this is only our speculation, it does contain a few points to support it. First, most rumors point to the launch of the Apple VR headset in 2023. Apple has a tendency to announce and release its products in a relatively short amount of time, so it’s unlikely that it will announce the headset today and hold off for several months before it goes on sale.
Additionally, since the iPhone is such an important mode in the Apple machine, it won’t want to risk overshadowing today’s announcement with the presentation of the headset. The headset is quite unique in terms of Apple devices, and will almost certainly overshadow any products that will be launched. The iPhone 14 headset and VR headset can only cannibalize each other in terms of media coverage, which can result in one or both devices not getting as much of the spotlight time as they need.
Instead, we’ll likely have to wait until October for a new VR kit to be revealed when Meta shows Project Cambria.
Then there will be a race between Apple, Sony (with PlayStation VR 2 goggles) and ByteDance – with supposedly Pico 4 and Pico 4 Pro.