Meta launches the Quest Pro, the mixed reality glasses that will popularize the metaverse

The metaverse will cease to be something totally abstract as of October 25. That will be the day the Meta Quest Pro goes on sale, the new virtual and mixed reality glasses with which Meta wants to popularize that digital environment to which it has entrusted its future. The great novelty presented by the new lenses is that they work in mixed reality, that is, they are capable of integrating three-dimensional virtual objects (what is seen in virtual reality) in the physical environment that surrounds the user. For example, the avatar of a co-worker across the table. Or a massively large screen, which can make physical screens obsolete. Its price will be 1,799.99 dollars, a considerable jump compared to the previous model, the Quest 2, which cost about 400 dollars.

Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg showcased the capabilities of his new product at Meta Connect, an annual company event, where he made another important workplace announcement: Meta has partnered with Microsoft. Satya Nadella himself, CEO of the technology company, explained that Microsoft’s work tools, such as Teams, can be used with the Quest Pro glasses, so that the avatars of those who are connected remotely can appear next to the user while type on your computer.

Appearance of the virtual and mixed reality glasses Meta Quest Pro.

Appearance of the virtual and mixed reality glasses Meta Quest Pro.META (Reuters)

The system will also allow all connected people to share a virtual table in which papers, documents or models are displayed and that is visible to all meeting participants. Like the option to share desktop in video calls, with the difference that everyone can touch and interact with it. “We want to give the feeling that everyone is there when you work with them, even though they’re not really there,” Zuckerberg said.

The Quest Pro have a more advanced and compact design than the Quest 2. They also introduce new technologies, such as an eye tracking system and another capable of extracting facial expressions so that the avatar, the doll that represents the user, makes a more natural reproduction. and trustworthy of the guest. These sensors are incorporated into those that the previous Meta glasses already had, in addition to all kinds of cameras, microphones and speakers to recreate a fictitious world in the eyes of the wearer of the lenses. The glasses are used in conjunction with the Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers, a kind of game console controllers that allow you to grab and touch objects in the metaverse.

Microsoft isn’t the only company that has struck a deal to join the Meta metaverse. The consulting firm Accenture will also work with the two previous ones to design tailor-made virtual work spaces for companies. Zuckerberg also announced several collaborations in the entertainment industry, including with Universal or Dreamworks, to offer “new audiovisual experiences.”

A user wears Meta Quest Pro glasses, with which she interacts with real fruits.

A user wears Meta Quest Pro glasses, with which she interacts with real fruits.

A year talking about the metaverse

In last year’s edition of this same event, Zuckerberg broke down his commitment to the metaverse and officially announced that his company, Facebook, was renamed Meta. What Zuckerberg and his team showed was a mix of test products and recreations of how they expect their metaverse to evolve. The idea is to develop an immersive virtual environment that is accessed with virtual or mixed reality glasses. In this new world, which Zuckerberg sees as “the logical evolution of the Internet”, we will interact with our friends, play video games, work, shop, watch shows or learn. “Over time I hope we will be seen as a metaverse company,” said the tycoon.

Meta is not going through its best moment. In February of this year, Facebook, the jewel in the company’s crown, announced that, for the first time, it was losing users instead of gaining them. Until then, it had been able to compensate for the little interest of young people in the application with huge growth in other countries. Still, Facebook remains the largest social network in the world, with nearly 2 billion daily active users.

In July, Meta posted its first annual revenue drop. The figure is brutal, 28,022 million dollars, but it is almost 1,000 less than in the same period of the previous year. A few weeks ago, Zuckerberg warned that he was going to freeze hiring, something that has not happened since Facebook started in 2004. He also said that teams would have to be restructured and that, probably, in 2023 there would be fewer people than now, as revealed Bloomberg. He made these announcements in front of his team, in one of the weekly question-and-answer sessions he has with his employees.

The metaverse will be the gateway for young users to Meta. At least the directors of the company believe this, aware that some popular video games such as Fortnite or Roblox contain some of the fundamental dynamics of this environment. And that getting around in virtual reality is easier and more intuitive for the generations that have grown up in the digital age than for the rest.

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