While doomsayers called a premature end of the metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg and the minds at Meta are all in, this after a thrilling Meta Connect session that revealed a bevy of fantastic developments. Zuckerberg opened up this year’s Meta Connect talk, sharing new details about the Quest 3 headset, developments in AI, and an update to Meta’s smart glasses collaboration with Ray-Ban.
CASSIUSLIFE sat in on the Meta Connect session on Wednesday (September 27) with Zuckerberg delivering the opening speech at the 10-year anniversary of the event from Meta’s headquarters in Mento Park, Calif., and breaking down the updated Quest 3 headset while briefly touching on its many bells and whistles.
The Quest 3 is the successor to the Quest 2, the critically acclaimed top-selling VR headset at the moment. And while the hardware of the Quest 2 remains impressive considering that it isn’t tethered to a console or computer, the Quest 3 dramatically improves upon the performance.
As Zuckerberg explained, it is the first VR headset for the general public made for mixed-reality usage. Clocking in at twice the graphic processing power of the Quest 2, the Quest 3’s Snapdragon XR2 will be working overtime to deliver a broader experience, and with full-color passthrough capabilities, your home literally becomes your metaverse playground.
Zuckerberg explained how Quest 3 owners will be able to pal around with friends in Horizon Worlds in ways they couldn’t do on the previous iteration of the device. The possibilities and impending developments along with software updates will also update live show viewing experiences such as live MMA fights via UFC Fight Pass, or using Xtadium to get up and close to NBA games as if you’re sitting at the sidelines.
Fitness, one of Quest 2’s best uses, will have an update to the LES MILLS BODYCOMBAT app known as MR mode, allowing you to turn your entire home playing area into a virtual gym.
In addition, FitXR will also bring Zumba to the app, so you’ll be sweating away the stress in no time. Speaking of stress, Headspace is set to launch an app to bring users to a more mindful space with a fully immersive experience. And for fans of Supernatural, one of the top fitness apps around, the price of the membership will now drop to just $9.99 per month.
AI is all but unavoidable as a topic these days and Meta is leaning into the fast-moving realm with their clever take on the medium. Now in beta mode, Meta AI is an advanced conversational assistant that will be a fixture on all of Meta products, including WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. Meta AI will eventually make its way to the smart glasses and headset too.
The AI segment of Meta Connect was especially fun with Snoop Dogg playing the role of Dungeon Master, one of 28 AI characters played by entertainment figures and social media stars with specialties in the world of MMA, gaming, cooking, sports, fashion, and more. Tom Brady, Kendall Jenner, and Naomi Osaka are also AI characters speaking to a variety of specific subjects.
There was also the introduction of Emu, short for Expressive Media Universe, which will aid in the almost instant generation of any AI image your imagination can muster and implementable through the full slate of Meta products
The Ray-Man Meta Smart Glasses were already a stunning innovation of form and function and the next generation is beefing things up in a major way. Partnering with EssilorLuxottica, the new Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses will now allow owners to launch a livestream straight from their glasses. Meta also introduced new voice controls with the built-in function of Meta AI, always at the ready to enhance the experience. The hardware is improved too with better speakers and audio for those who like to walk, talk, or listen on the go.
Pre-orders for the Quest 3 are open now with the device shipping on October 10. For the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, pre-orders are also open with the hardware shipping on October 17. The Quest 3 is retailing at $499 while the Smart Glasses are retailing at $299.
Learn more about Meta Connect and all things Meta here.
Check out a blog entry about all the new developments, which really gets into the nuts and bolts, here.
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