Mark Zuckerberg has provided a quick look at the mixed reality capabilities of Project Cambria, Meta’s next virtual and augmented reality headset; only he did so without actually showing off the headset.
In a short video posted to Facebook and Instagram, Zuckerberg showed how the headset uses high-resolution passthrough to provide clear and colorful virtual objects superimposed upon the real world. Now this tech isn’t new, as AR has been around for some time, but the clarity and colors the upcoming headset appears to offer are a marked upgrade over other AR headsets.
The demo shows Zuckerberg interacting with virtual objects using his hands rather than VR controllers, meaning Project Cambria is using hand-tracking technology rather than needing external controllers. This is all part of Meta’s Presence Platform, which will provide developers with a suite of tools to power VR and AR apps and experiences.
“With the next SDK release coming next week, devs will be able to use the full set of Presence Platform tools powered by machine perception and AI—Passthrough, Spatial Anchors, Scene, Interaction and Voice SDKs, and our recently updated Hand Tracking API,” explained Meta’s chief technology officer Andrew Bosworth.
Why would you want a load of virtual objects projected over your home? Well, the video showed how it could be used for entertainment, with Zuckerberg patting a cartoon-ish virtual creature, or how it could be used with a virtual instructor when working out at home.
Or perhaps it could be used to extend a workstation with multiple virtual screens on offer in a space that might only support a single monitor. There's certainly a whiff of potential here, beyond playing the likes of the best Oculus Quest 2 games on a new Meta headset.
However, the headset itself was blurred out, so we’ve yet to get a full look at its design, though a render image if Project Cambria was shown off. When combined with the rough look of the headset Zuckerberg was wearing, we could expect Project Cambria to be a similar size and shape to the Oculus Quest 2, which is a rather compact all-in-one VR headset.
We’re expecting to see Project Cambria make its debut later this year, but how consumer-focused it will be remains unclear. Meta has plans to make more AR and mixed reality devices in the coming years, so Cambria could be the first step towards Meta really going deep into the so-called Metaverse.