The company announced the Meta Quest 3 headset and new Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. The new hardware comes with a vision for head-mounted computing that incorporates the real world a little bit more.
THE FACE-COMPUTING METAVERSE still hasn’t gone mainstream, but that isn’t stopping Meta from trying to make it so.
Today Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed full details about two new hardware products: an updated virtual reality Quest headset and a new set of Meta-powered smart glasses made by Ray-Ban. The announcements came at the start of the company's annual Meta Connect developer conference.
Meta’s latest VR headset is the Quest 3. Like its predecessors, the Quest 3 covers the wearer’s eyes and sides of their face like a pair of ski goggles. This has been one of its biggest barriers to widespread adoption, because most of us would rather bury our faces in the glass slabs in our hands than limit our vision in a full-fledged face computer. But this newest Quest—a tech device borne from Meta’s acquisition of Oculus nearly a decade ago—relies more on mixed reality, suggesting that the future of head-mounted computers might actually involve seeing the real world a little bit more.
Meta says the new glasses are lighter, with better weight distribution and a larger touchpad on the right temple. They record 1080p HD video and 12-megapixel still images. They also have louder speakers, and the company claims an additional microphone in the nose bridge of the frames can capture voice audio more clearly.
Those microphones and embedded speakers also let wearers converse with a new AI-powered chatbot assistant that Meta debuted today at Connect. Zuckerberg claims these conversational interactions with machine intelligence will be central to the future of products like these. “I think the AI part of this is going to be just as important in smart glasses being adopted as the augmented reality features,” he said during the keynote.
The new smart glasses go on sale October 17, starting at $299 for regular lenses, $379 for transition lenses, and probably a lot more than that for prescription lenses.
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