Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has reportedly halted its development of the VR/AR project, including a pause on the development of Quest Pro and Quest Pro 2, reports The Information.
Mark Zuckerberg’s tech giant has cancelled the new projects for one of the most anticipated VR headsets, Meta Quest 3, and discontinued the ongoing work on Quest Pro 2.
New from @waynema: Meta Platforms has ditched plans to use AR displays made by Plessey in its second-generation AR glasses, the latest setback in Meta’s AR efforts. https://t.co/YTAnimhEGD pic.twitter.com/FsVV7X9a3f
— The Information (@theinformation) July 19, 2023
Goertek, the manufacturer of Quest Pro headsets, has stated that they will continue production as long as they have an adequate supply of materials. On the other hand, Meta has informed its suppliers since the beginning of the year that they do not require any new components for the Quest Pro, according to The Information.
The report further suggests that the company is even shutting down the development of a second-generation Quest Pro.
$META Scales Back Ambitions for AR Glasses – The Information
– Development of Plessey’s technology has stalled, say people with direct knowledge of the effort. Facebook, now called Meta Platforms, has struggled to make Plessey’s displays bright enough for use in its AR glasses…
— Kaushik (@BigBullCap) July 19, 2023
The Meta Quest Pro was launched in October after much anticipation from the mixed reality community. Meta positioned it as a VR/AR headset targeted towards professionals rather than just a gaming device.
Meta has faced intense criticism due to its questionable design choices and underwhelming software platform of Quest Pro. Users have expressed dissatisfaction with its heavy weight and awkward fit along the forehead, as well as a perceived cheap feel.
The initial price of $1,500 also sparked outrage among potential buyers, prompting Meta to lower it to $1,000 in response to the backlash.
Quest 2’s successor after 3 years
After almost three years since the launch of Quest 2, Meta is planning to launch its successor, which will reportedly offer a superior XR appearance to users.
Quest 3, the new headset, anticipated as the arch competitor to Apple’s Vision Pro, will feature a higher resolution, a depth sensor, and two 4MP cameras instead of one.
Artemis, the new Meta AR glasses, also will not include the initially planned high-end displays. Instead, they will utilize Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS), an older glass lens and display technology.
However, this choice poses a significant issue as LCoS lacks the required brightness for effectively displaying graphics on objects in well-lit environments.
Meta upgrading VR headset
Despite of The Information’s report, Meta’s latest update, v56, for its Quest VR headsets promises an array of exciting enhancements.
Among the welcome upgrades are improved hand tracking, system-level live captions, and the highly anticipated return of Facebook livestreaming functionality.
“Meta Quest is here to help you make the most of it. Our v56 update is jam-packed with new features to improve your experience, including improvements to hand tracking, a new way to squad up in Meta Horizon Worlds, live captions at the system level, the triumphant return of livestreaming to Facebook, and more,” said Meta.
Hand Tracking 2.2 improves ‘hands responsiveness,’ bringing ‘the experience closer to controllers,’ explained Meta.
To demonstrate this, they introduced the Move Fast demo app as part of their App Lab.
Additionally, Meta is introducing swipe typing on the virtual keyboard, offering an easier way to spell things out rather than hunting and pecking on virtual keys midair.
As Meta forges ahead with updates and improvements to its Quest VR headsets, the decision to halt the development of Quest Pro and Quest Pro 2 marks a turning point in the company’s VR/AR journey.
VR enthusiasts now eagerly await the release of the highly anticipated Quest 3, which promises to take the immersive experience to new heights with superior XR features.