Meta is not holding its annual F8 conference this year, but will still host the VR & AR focused Connect later in the year.
“Similar to years past, we are taking a brief break in programming and will not hold F8 in 2022 while we gear up on new initiatives that are all tailored towards the next chapter of the internet, and the next chapter of our company too: building the metaverse“, Meta said in a blog post.
F8 is normally held in the first half of the year, between March and June – though F8 2011 was in September and it wasn’t held at all in 2009, 2012, and 2013.
F8 is mainly focused on Meta’s traditional businesses; Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. It hasn’t been the venue for VR or major AR announcements since F8 2019, when Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S were launched and body tracking research was teased.
Since September 2014 Facebook has hosted a separate annual conference for VR and AR later in the year, originally called Oculus Connect. The consumer Samsung Gear VR was launched at Connect 2, the Oculus Touch controllers were launched at Connect 3, Oculus Go was announced at Oculus Connect 4, and Oculus Quest was announced at Oculus Connect 5. Controller-free Hand Tracking and Oculus Link PC VR for Quest were announced at Connect 6, as was the Horizon metaverse platform.
In 2020 Facebook rebranded Oculus Connect to just ‘Connect’, dropping the number sequence too. Quest 2 was announced and launched at Connect 2020. At last year’s Connect Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s rebrand to Meta, revealed the upcoming high end headset Project Cambria, and teased an AR glasses prototype.
Each year’s Connect also almost always sees Chief Scientist Michael Abrash show off research and development towards the long term future of VR and AR – technologies that won’t be seen in products for many years if ever.
Meta confirmed Connect will continue to take place “later this year”, saying “we’ll share the latest on our VR, AR, and metaverse platform offerings”.