Meta’s big product showcase for 2023 focused on its new headset, the Quest 3, which Mark Zuckerberg claims is “the first mainstream mixed reality headset,” hurting the feelings of the Quest 2, which preceded it.
The Meta Quest 3 has full color passthrough on its external cameras, able to blend augmented reality elements into your surroundings. It’s also 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, thanks to upgrades to the screen and lenses. Meta has also revamped the Quest controllers, ditching the weird tracking rings and letting new sensors handle tracking instead.
Meta teased a handful of new games and experiences — mostly underwhelming — with an extra push towards fitness apps and upgrades. (You know Zuckerberg is hench now, right?) That said, Xbox Cloud gaming is coming to the Quest 3 in December, unlocking a bigger range of (admittedly non-VR) games with no need for a TV or monitor.
The event also revealed next-gen Ray-Ban smart glasses, AI updates and more – read on for those.
— Mat Smith
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New frames and major upgrades to the hardware.
The Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses might actually do what you want smart glasses to do. They’re less clunky than the original Ray-Ban Stories, and now pack a 12-megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p 60 fps video — the bare minimum in 2023 — although they are restricted to 60 seconds. For longer things, you can now livestream footage while tethered to your phone, although Meta will calibrate video quality based on your connection speed.
Another major change is the addition of a second frame called the Headliner, alongside Wayfarers. As well as the shiny and matte black frames, there are three new semi-transparent colors: jeans, caramel and a smoky Rebel Black. There’s also the option to add polarized lenses or even prescription glass.
Former Microsoft executive Panos Panay will take over as the head of Amazon’s Devices and Services division, the company confirmed. He’ll start his new role at the end of October, CEO Andy Jassy said. It emerged last week that Panay was leaving Microsoft after a 19-year run, most recently as the chief product officer, where he oversaw Surface devices and Windows 11 development. Rumors quickly suggested Panay would move to Amazon to lead the Alexa and Echo teams.
You can fold the Playseat Challenge X up and stow it away.
Logitech has introduced a $299 cockpit chair for racing sims. It worked with Playseat to release the Playseat Challenge X, a fold-up chair with room for pedals and even a gearshift mount. While the chair doesn’t include the actual accessories to play racing sims, it is compatible with Logitech’s G wheels and driving force shifters. I am also fully aware it looks like a baby seat.
New password sharing restrictions will take effect this fall.
Disney+ will restrict its Canadian users from sharing accounts with people outside their households unless they’re willing to pay more, starting November 1. The company sent out an email to subscribers notifying them of the change, which Disney CEO Bob Iger foreshadowed in an earnings call back in August. Disney specifies a household includes only “the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence,” used by the people who live there.