A Four-Headset Roadmap
Meta plans to release four virtual reality headsets between now and 2024, according to an internal road map seen by The Information (subscription required), including two new Quest headsets.
According to The Information, the Quest headsets are code-named Stinson and Cardiff — both names that take after locations in California. This internal naming trend is one that Meta (formerly Facebook) have followed since 2014. Crystal Cove was the code name for what would become the Oculus Rift DK2, for example, and Monterey for the original Quest headset.
Meta also plans to ship its higher-end Project Cambria headset later this year, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg said will be more focused on remote work use cases. While The Information’s report suggested Cambria could retail for $799 or higher, Meta confirmed to UploadVR that the final price point will be “significantly” above $799.
The road map rounds out its four-headset plan with code-name Funston, a second version of Cambria, set for release in 2024.
All in all, that’s two new Quest headsets and two versions of the higher-end Cambria line releasing between now and the end of 2024. As noted in the report, these dates are all subject to change. The nature of developing such complex hardware, along with now-common pandemic and supply chain delays, means that targeted ship dates will often slip.
Quest 3 and 4?
In a March 2021 interview with The Information, Zuckerberg said Meta was already “working on the next few generations of virtual reality and what Quest 3 and 4 are gonna look like.”
It’s unknown whether Stinson and Cardiff are the Quest 3 and 4 that Zuckerberg referred to last year. While Quest 2 followed this numbered naming convention, releasing as the second generation of the Quest product line, Stinson and Cardiff may not be full generational leaps. There’s a chance either headset releases as a mid-generation refresh or as a variation of an existing Quest headset at a higher or lower price point, with different features.
Eye & Face Tracking On Quest
Cambria (which, at one point, was referred to as ‘Quest Pro’ internally) is targeting launch this year and will ship with both face and eye tracking capabilities, alongside color passthrough for mixed reality. Zuckerberg previusly noted that his excitement to bring this eye and face tracking technology to future Quest headsets, when possible. Given Quest’s standalone hardware optimizes for low cost and currently starts at $299, Meta will face significant technological and financial challenges in bringing this technology to Stinson and Cardiff.
Leaked photos suggest that Cambria will feature controllers that ditch the traditional tracking rings, instead using built-in tracking cameras on controllers themselves. This would alleviate headsets of some tracking responsibility, allowing the controllers to track themselves using IR cameras instead.
Zuckerberg told investors at his Q1 2022 earnings call that Meta will “share more details about Project Cambria in the months ahead as we get ready to launch it.” The headset will not replace Quest 2, which Meta reiterated will have a “long life” just a few months ago.
According to The Verge, Meta also plans to ship its first generation of true AR glasses, Nazare, in 2024, following by more advanced second and third generation models in 2026 and 2028 respectively.
Meta confirmed it will “share the latest on our VR, AR, and metaverse platform offerings” later this year at its annual Connect conference, which usually takes place around September.