Mark Zuckerberg shows off what Meta's next headset can do

Project Cambria can bring a virtual workout instructor and digital pets into a physical space.

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Workouts using Meta's Mixed Reality headset
Meta/Mark Zuckerberg

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has provided a first proper look at the company's next mixed-reality headset, codenamed Project Cambria, in action. The "high-end headset" is scheduled for release later this year and it will support a new augmented reality experience called The World Beyond.

We see Zuckerberg playing with and petting a virtual creature that's superimposed onto the real world. The clip also shows a user in front of a virtual workstation before looking down at a notepad and writing on it. Reports suggested that Cambria's image quality would allow users to clearly read text, and that seems to be the case.

In addition, the demo shows a virtual workout instructor who appears to be in the same space as the headset wearer. The World Beyond was built with Meta's Presence Platform, which is designed to help developers create mixed-reality experiences.

Project Cambria will support full-color passthrough. Its onboard cameras can seemingly provide wearers with a higher fidelity view of their surroundings for mixed-reality purposes than existing Quest headsets can offer. The World Beyond will be available on Quest soon through App Lab, though you won't be able to access the full-color passthrough experience just yet.

The new headset itself was blurred in the clip. However, it's not that hard to imagine roughly what it will look like, especially given the teaser Meta released last year. Project Cambria (or whatever it will actually be called) will reportedly cost over $799.

A recent report noted that Meta employees likened Project Cambria to a "laptop for the face," given that it's said to have similar specs to a Chromebook. It's believed Meta is planning to release a more advanced version of the Cambria headset in 2024 as well as two new Quest models over the next few years.

However, it seems Meta is scaling back some of its metaverse ambitions. On Wednesday, it was reported that the company is shutting down some projects at Reality Labs, the hardware and metaverse division that lost $10 billion last year, and putting others on hold. Meta is said to be hiring fewer staff than usual this year to reduce costs amid slowing revenue growth. Meanwhile, the company this week opened its first physical store for Reality Labs products.

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