Along with the Quest Pro headset, the company also launched self-tracking controllers.
Meta Platforms, at its annual Connect conference on Tuesday, unveiled its high-end virtual and mixed reality headset – Quest Pro for $1500 that targets serious, creative working professionals.
Quest Pro can be seen as a successor of the Quest 2 headset that was launched in 2020 and the new device is whoopingly pricier than Quest 2 by almost three times. The much-hyped headset is a milestone in the company’s chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for an immersive digital future and will be shipped on October 25.
With the purchase of the new device, users will also get Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers, stylus tips, partial light blockers, and a charging dock. Pre-orders have begun and the headset will be available in countries where Meta Quest products are supported. These are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the U.K., and the U.S.
“Meta Quest Pro is the first entry in our new high-end line of devices, and it’s packed with innovative features like high-res sensors for robust mixed reality experiences, crisp LCD displays for sharp visuals, a completely new and sleeker design, plus eye tracking and Natural Facial Expressions to help your avatar reflect you more naturally in VR,” Meta said in a blog.
Talking about Quest Pro specifications, Meta claims that the headset is the first-ever device powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ platform, “which is optimized for virtual reality to run at 50% more power than the predecessor Quest 2 with better thermal dissipation, resulting in significantly better performance.” The device comes with 12GB RAM, 256GB storage and 10 high-res sensors, five of which are inside the headset and five are outside, for enhanced immersive experiences. Meta Quest Pro is the slimmest and most balanced VR device the American multinational tech giant has made so far.
VR is all about the visuals, and Meta Quest Pro features an entirely new optical stack with thin pancake optics that fold light several times over, reducing the depth of the optical module by 40% while providing clear and sharp visuals. The two LCD displays provide richer and more vivid colors, while the company’s custom local dimming tech can control more than 500 individual LED blocks independently, giving the displays 75% more contrast. More pixels per inch make tasks like reading text and playing games look better.
Further, the Quest Pro headset has an all-new sensor architecture with high-res outward-facing cameras. These capture four times the pixels as Meta Quest 2’s external cameras and unlock a high-definition, full-color mixed reality experience.
As the new device also promotes mixed reality or MR, users can combine their physical environment with virtual elements in a realistic way. “Instead of being confined to the dimensions of your desk, you can set up a big virtual workspace with multiple screens spread all around you while still using your physical keyboard and mouse in productivity apps like Immersed,” Meta explained.
“Or if you’re a furniture designer, you can create detailed 3D models with other people in real-time using Arkio and Gravity Sketch, and then see how they look in your actual living room,” it added.
With eye tracking and Natural Facial Expressions, which are off by default, Meta Quest Pro takes a step closer, and more personal, to show the user’s authentic self in the metaverse. Users can turn it on as and when they choose to and the company assures them to not share the related data with itself or any third party.
Along with the headset, the company also launched self-tracking controllers. These feature three built-in sensors in each controller to “track their position in 3D space independent of the headset.” This gives users a full 360-degree range of motion. As mentioned earlier, these come along with the purchase of Meta Quest Pro but can be bought separately for $299 a pair. These controllers can be used with Meta Quest 2 also.
At last, Meta is promoting the headset as an important tool for remote working and has teamed up with Microsoft to offer Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 office-productivity software on the new devices.