Although almost everyone still calls it Facebook, changing its official name to Meta shows how much the company, or at least CEO Mark Zuckerberg, believes that the metaverse is the future not only of computing but also of social media. After a few months of hype and hype, some of the narratives surrounding the metaverse have faded a bit. There is also news that Meta itself is taking a step back to reflect on its grandiose plans. This is not to say that Meta has given up on those ambitions, and, in fact, is making an even bigger bet on that future. She just launched a new mixed reality headset that aims to take the metaverse beyond gaming and entertainment, but it comes at a pretty steep price point that almost makes that dream even more unattainable for most people.
The Meta Quest Pro is the latest headset produced by the company formerly known as Facebook and combines two of its main designs and strategies when it comes to virtual reality. Like the Quest 2, the Quest Pro is a standalone device that does not require connection to a PC which would limit the mobility of the wearer. Like the older Oculus Rift system, however, it boasts enough power and features that allow for a wider variety of experiences and, in Meta’s words, enable the metaverse.
It definitely looks more refined and leaner than Meta Quest 2, so in the end you won’t look ridiculous wearing one for “serious business”. It is no heavier in the front like almost all standalone VR headsets due to the battery transfer to the back of the strap, creating a more balanced design. Pancake lenses also help thin the whole assembly while also providing an even better view of the wearer’s field of vision. More than just a design update, however, Meta Quest Pro also offers more power and flexibility in the way it mixes virtual and real.
The outward-facing color cameras, for example, will allow you to see the real world beyond the headset, allowing Meta’s system to seamlessly merge virtual objects with physical objects or vice versa. Inward-facing cameras, on the other hand, are able to track not only where your eyes are pointing, but also your expressions which can be reflected on your avatar’s face. The new controllers themselves also have their own cameras so you can track your location and location independently and with greater accuracy.
All of this results in a metaverse-oriented device that offers more flexibility and more options that go beyond the usual VR and AR applications. In fact, Meta sees Quest Pro more as a productivity and work tool that can help you get your job done, no matter where you are in the physical world. However, all that power comes at a high price; $ 1,499, to be exact. It’s nearly four times the price of $ 399 Meta Quest 2, but it also offers a lot more features. However, it’s a costly investment even for companies that could afford it, especially for a future metaverse that few people can see.