Meta Connect 2022 took place October 11 and held many exciting reveals, teases, tidbits, and items of interest for existing Meta users, VR fans, and anyone keen on following advances in virtual and mixed reality technology, as well as the future of social media and online communication.
Here are some of the more noteworthy news items revealed at Meta Connect 2022.
- Meta Quest Pro went on pre-sale and began shipping on October 25. Priced at $1,499 USD, the standalone VR/MR unit sports impressive specs roundly considered an upgrade over the already strong Quest 2. Pancake lenses, color passthrough, a curved rear-mounted battery, and expression tracking are among the key elements set to make Quest Pro a standout device for some time to come.
- Touch Pro controllers arrive with Quest Pro and bring self-tracking, a compact form, realistic haptic feedback, and rechargeable internal batteries for more intuitive and precise control. Touch Pro controllers will also be compatible with Quest 2 and can be purchased separately for $300 USD.
- After much anticipation, Metaverse avatars will soon have bottom halves, legs included! Zuckerberg showed off his newly bipedal virtual self during his Connect keynote and promised these revised avatars would be arriving sometime in late 2023.
- Also in the works are photorealistic Pixel Codec Avatars that use expression tracking and facial scanning to render a lifelike representation of a user’s face – coming in the “near future.”
- Lending weight to the belief held by many pundits that Meta will become increasingly focused on wearable MR devices, the company revealed that it is working on wrist-mounted motor neuron sensor that can turn small gestures into control signals and operating commands.
- Work and productivity tools from Microsoft will be coming to Horizon Worlds, increasing Meta’s focus on shaping Worlds to be a meeting place for fun and work alike.
- On the ‘fun’ side of things: a new Fitness API beta will be coming to developers soon, allowing for greater use of user metadata and bio stats in the creation of new fitness tools, games, and experiences. A Fitness Pack for Quest 2 (and likely Quest Pro) will also bring additional functionality to VR and MR exercisers in the form of hardware add-ons aimed to improve fitness activities in VR.
- Meta is developing a means to scan real world objects and bring them into VR/MR via Neural Radiance Fields (NeRFs). You will soon be able to scan, say, a basketball then bring it into a virtual space to use in myriad ways.
These were the breakout stories from Meta Connect 2022 but if anything can be said with certainty it’s that Meta undoubtedly has more exciting developments cooking that will be revealed at a later date.