Andrew Bosworth looked back at 2022 and emphasized that Meta remains committed to its own vision of the future, i.e. VR and AR. At the end of the article, the technical director also confirmed that Meta Quest 3 will be released next year.
If you read carefully, you will find a remarkable promise at this point: Meta 2023 will present several devices at the same time.
“Meta is far from the only company working to push the boundaries in these areas, and we expect to see new competitors join us in the development of AR and VR over the next year. With the launch of new devices, our industry will enter a new era of growth and competition that will bring tremendous benefits to users and the developer community. And Meta will be sharing new devices with the world of its own, including the follow-up to the Meta Quest 2, our best-selling VR device.”
What kind of device Meta Quest 3 could it be?
The wording is vague: Bosworth doesn’t actually say that Meta will put all new devices on the market, even if Meta Quest 3 will definitely be released in 2023. It could also mean that Meta only wants to present or tease the rest of the hardware. But even that is noteworthy, as Meta hasn’t announced anything along those lines so far, and Bosworth’s teaser raises the question of what VR and AR devices it might be.
Is Meta already planning next year with a Meta Quest Plus, i.e. a better-equipped Meta Quest 3, which is priced between this and the 1,800 expensive Meta Quest Pro? Or a technically slimmed-down and cheaper Meta Quest Lite that comes without a VR controller and only relies on hand tracking?
According to a roadmap leaked in May 2022, Meta wants to launch two new consumer-oriented Quest devices in 2023 and 2024. Bosworth could therefore mean a second Meta Quest product.
But the timing would be strange, at least if it were to appear at the same time as Meta Quest 3. Another product of this kind would unnecessarily complicate the portfolio at an inopportune moment and dilute the advertising message that will focus on Meta Quest 3. Instead, I’m betting on a completely different device class.
Is it data glasses?
Meta’s chief technology officer could be referring to a new version of the Ray-Ban Stories video glasses that Mark Zuckerberg and EssilorLuxottica’s wearables boss Rocco Basilico already teased at Meta Connect 2022 – without going into details or giving a timeframe for the market launch.
Basilico indicated that the new Ray-Ban Stories could get a display and thus decide to develop further. The new set of glasses is being developed to “build a portal into the Metaverse,” Basilico said.
That doesn’t mean that the next Ray-Ban Stories will be in the direction of data glasses. For its two-year anniversary, the new version could just get a more powerful chip and better cameras and speakers. But a display would be a big step forward technically and could equip the glasses with more useful features than they currently have.
Of course, Bosworth could have something completely different in mind. In any case, Meta for 2023 has other surprises up its sleeve than Meta Quest 3.