Mark Zuckerberg shows demo of Meta’s mixed reality headset

The Meta boss showcased the mixed reality capabilities of the upcoming ‘Project Cambria’ headset.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has released a video showcasing the company’s next VR headset that it plans to launch this year, although the headset isn’t visible in the demo.

The video shows Zuckerberg wearing a blurred-out mixed reality headset and showing some examples of what users can do with the device, dubbed Project Cambria. In the video, he plays with a cartoon character that looks similar to a character shown in a Meta video released last October.

While the earlier video shows grey environments, the new video showcases the headset’s ability to have more detailed colour in mixed reality environments, which Zuckerberg called “full colour passthrough”.

Zuckerberg said the demo was powered by Meta’s Presence Platform, which was first announced last year as a way for developers to build mixed reality experiences. The company said this introduced a number of capabilities such as passthrough, spatial anchors and scene understanding to create more realistic mixed reality.

The Meta boss added that a mixed reality demo app, called the World Beyond, will be available for Quest 2 headset users from the App Lab soon.

“It’s even better with full colour passthrough and the other advanced technologies we’re adding to Project Cambria,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post yesterday (12 May).

In the video, he talks about how the headset can be used for gaming, exercise and work purposes. His mixed reality examples included pulling up a virtual workstation wherever you are or fitness training with a virtual instructor.

Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth said on Twitter that developers will be able to use the full set of Presence Platform tools with the next software development kit coming next week, including a recently updated hand-tracking API.

Bosworth added that the mixed reality experiences currently being developed on the Quest 2 will “now look even better with Cambria’s advanced technologies”. He mentioned examples such as new sensors, higher-resolution cameras and “active depth sensing”.

“I’m excited at the use cases these experiences will unlock across productivity, social and so much more, giving us a glimpse of what’s possible in the metaverse,” Bosworth said.

Last month, Meta recorded a first-quarter loss of nearly $3bn in its Facebook Reality Labs division, which handles the augmented and virtual reality operations of the company.

When the tech giant changed its name last year to show its commitment to the concept of the metaverse, it estimated that investment in this area would be $10bn for 2021 alone, with more to come in the next several years.

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Mark Zuckerberg shows demo of Meta’s mixed reality headset

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