Meta has just wrapped up its 2023 Connect keynote. As promised, the company had a lot more to share about its Meta Quest 3 headset. It also announced the latest pair of smart glasses it created in collaboration with Ray-Ban. In an astoundingly shocking turn of events, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also had some AI updates to discuss.
Meta Quest 3 release date
Meta first showed off the Quest 3 back in June to preempt Apple's announcement of the Vision Pro. However, we had to wait a few months to get all of the details about Meta's mixed reality headset (which we've already had some hands-on time with).
The Meta Quest 3 has full color passthrough and it's able to blend augmented reality elements into your physical surroundings. It's the first consumer device that runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip and Meta claims it delivers double the performance of the Quest 2. Expect higher resolution and a larger depth of field, but the refresh rate is staying the same at 90Hz.
The latest model should be more comfortable for those who wear glasses (hi) and there's a dial for adjusting inter-pupillary distance. Meta has revamped the Quest controllers by adding haptic feedback and ditching the tracking rings — it says new sensors can handle tracking instead.
Along with a bunch of native VR games and experiences that are on the way, the Quest 3 will gain support for Xbox Cloud Gaming in December. You can use the headset to get some work done, if you're so inclined. Microsoft 365 apps will be available on Quest by the end of the year, and you'll soon be able to access Windows on the headsets.
Pre-orders for the Meta Quest 3 are open now. It starts at $500 for a version with 128GB of storage and you'll need to pony up $650 for a variant with four times the storage. The 512GB model comes with a six-month trial of Meta Quest+ and, for a limited time, the company is bundling in Asgard's Wrath 2 with both versions. The headset will be available on October 10.
Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses
Meta had another hardware device to show off at Connect. It teamed up with Ray-Ban to whip up another set of smart glasses.
The inventively titled Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses offer vastly improved specs compared with the Ray-Ban Stories. There's a 12MP wide-angle camera that can record 1080p video at 60fps. There's a 60-second time limit on video capture, but that works out quite nicely for Instagram Stories. The glasses have 32GB of storage as well.
There are five mics that can capture spatial audio. The speakers are louder and leak less noise. Meanwhile, there's a second frame design option and the charging case looks just like a regular Ray-Ban protective pouch.
Pre-orders for the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses open today. They start at $299 and the device will ship on October 17.
There's no escaping AI in 2023, so of course Meta had some updates on that front. The company is starting to offer a couple dozen AI chatbot personalities voiced by a who's who (literally, in some cases) of celebrities. Its new generative AI assistant, the on-brand Meta AI, will be available on platforms including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and the new hardware.
Meanwhile, generative AI image editing is on the way to Instagram. You'll be able to switch up the looks of images by, for instance, giving them the appearance of a watercolor painting. A generative AI-powered green screen feature similar to the one YouTube just unveiled is coming soon. In addition, AI-generated stickers are coming to Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook Stories.