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Is Project Cambria the Oculus Quest Pro? Here’s everything we know so far

Project Cambria VR headset teaser
(Image credit: Meta)

While Facebook was grabbing headlines for its corporate rebranding to Meta, it found time to tease its next big VR product: Project Cambria. 

The “high-end” headset will feature a lot more sensors than the company’s previous headsets, including the most recent Oculus Quest 2, but is it just the previously teased Oculus Quest Pro with new branding? 

Here’s everything we know about Project Cambria. 

Project Cambria expected release date and price 

As you’d expect from a teaser, very little substantial was revealed about Project Cambria’s release date and price. 

All that we know is that Project Cambria will be released “next year” (2022) and it will be “at the higher end” of the price spectrum.

“Our plan here is to keep building out this product line to release our most advanced technology before we can hit the price points we target with Quest,” explained Mark Zuckerberg during the Project Cambria introduction. 

For reference, Oculus Quest 2 starts at $299, so it’ll be more than that, and likely a lot more.

Project Cambria design 

Thanks to a slightly blurry teaser video, we’ve got a good idea of what Project Cambria looks like in its current prototype form… which is to say, like a VR headset. 

But video may not tell the whole story here, and one thing that does sound promising is Meta’s continued efforts to make VR comfortable to wear for extended periods. 

“We’re pushing the limits of what’s possible with display technology and form factor with something called ‘pancake optics’,” explained Angela Chang, head of VR devices at Meta. “They essentially work by folding light several times over to achieve a slimmer profile than current lenses.”

Of course, that’s not to say that Project Cambria will be lighter than an Oculus Quest — after all, it has a lot more sensors to pack in...

Project Cambria features 

The main thing Meta showed off about Project Cambria is the sensors it has included in order to capture facial expressions. 

“There’s a ton of new tech going into Cambria,” explained Chang. “For example, your avatar will be able to make natural eye contact and reflect your facial expressions in real time. This way people you’re interacting with will have a real sense of how you’re actually feeling.” 

Apparently, this will support a diverse range of facial features and skin tones, and will be able to cope with beards, glasses and other things that could potentially interfere with the sensors. 

Zuckerberg also briefly touched on the augmented reality potential, where digital things are placed in the real world. “Imagine working at your virtual desk with multiple screens, while seeing your real desk so clearly that you can pick up a pen and write notes without taking your headset off,” he said. “Or you’re doing a workout with a virtual instructor in your living room,” he continued. 

Chang promised that Cambria will offer “high-resolution, colored mixed reality passthrough.” This will show the real world in your headset with a sense of “depth and perspective.”

Is Project Cambria the Oculus Quest Pro? 

In the very literal sense, no. Mark Zuckerberg was quite clear that Project Cambria is something different to the Oculus Quest line of stand-alone VR headsets. “This isn’t the next Quest,” he said. “It’s going to be compatible with Quest, but Cambria will be a completely new and high-end product.”

However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t the Oculus Quest Pro which Facebook’s President of Augmented and Virtual Reality, Andrew Bosworth, mentioned in passing during an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) earlier this year

In the same Q&A, he was asked about eye tracking — something which is presumably necessary for the avatar eye contact mentioned above — and confirmed this is something the company was looking at for future headsets. He added that this could “dramatically improve performance by only rendering things that are in the field of view of the fovea.”

In a later Twitter Q&A, Bosworth confirmed that the Quest Pro wouldn’t be arriving in 2021, so perhaps Project Cambria is the same thing? It certainly seems likely, though with Facebook’s new branding it will be the Meta Quest Pro, if anything — Oculus is dead.

Will Project Cambria require a Facebook account? 

It seems unlikely. Despite taking a lot of flak for insisting that Oculus Quest users log in with Facebook, it seems Meta is backtracking fast. 

“As we’ve focused more on work, and frankly, as we’ve heard your feedback more broadly, we’re working on making it so that you can log into Quest with an account other than your personal Facebook account,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.

With that in mind, we’d be surprised if Facebook login was still a requirement by the time Project Cambria rolls around.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.