Meta Connect 2022 | Building the metaverse | Future of virtual reality
The Meta Connect, annual developer conference took place yesterday, digitally for another year due to current world affairs. The Meta company promised to the community to present the building of the metaverse and future of virtual reality. And that’s exactly what was delivered.
Leader of the keynote, naturally, was CEO Mark Zuckerberg for the day-long event. Additionally, the keynote of Developer State of the Union followed with latest updates on the developer ecosystem from Reality Labs. Throughout the day a dozen of Developer Sessions were held live and on-demand after the event. The highlight of the one-day conference, as always, was the unscripted chat of Consulting CTO John Carmack providing so much insight on the company’s projects to the audience. The event was offered as well, after registration, with the VR experience in Meta Horizon Worlds.
Meta Quest Pro
The structure of the program more or less was the same as last year’s Connect, digitally held as well. Between the more highlighted features presented on this day was the revelation of Meta Quest Pro, successor to the successful Meta Quest 2. Mark Zuckerberg himself unveiled the brand new innovative virtual reality device that will begin shipping in October 25th with a staggering price tag. Possibly aiming at prosumers audience, the starting price will be at $1499.99.
The community already expected a new device launch because of Meta CEO’s mentioning. During the almost three hour long podcast he let it slip that a new device would be coming out in October. The future of virtual reality, as showcased, is considered to be a breakthrough, only to follow the road paved by the predecessor.
It will be the first in the line of more advanced VR headsets packed with advanced tech features. The field of virtual reality meets new innovations day-to-day, becoming a fundamental platform embracing the progress on the metaverse.
Equipped with 2Gb RAM, storage of 256Gb and sensors of high resolution. On a comparison with the Meta Quest 2, the device possesses 37% more pixels per inch, improved colors and peripherals. The headset utilizes a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ chipset and 1800×1920 mini-LED displays for each eye. Using four cameras, it captures and displays the space outside of the device. The headsets are adjustable, balanced with a curved battery on the back. One weak point will possibly be the battery life, because Meta has claimed that it will last 1-2 hours before charging.
The headsets integrate inward-facing sensors to capture natural facial expressions and eye tracking. This will set mixed reality in another level, because anything the user would do, would be replicated by the virtual avatar.
The next generation of avatars is introduced. They will be applicable inside and outside the virtual reality. After a brief preview, the Meta Avatars presented were more detailed, expressive and complete. The avatar would be a representation of you. To be more inclusive, Meta has added near infinite ways to implement the avatar’s appearance, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, many body types, realistic skins etc.
On this day, Meta announced a collaboration with Microsoft to bring more content to the Meta metaverse. Alongside Meta CEO stood Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to explain the way the Meta Quest devices will display Microsoft apps. Users will be able to interact with apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
The Meta Quest Pro, according to Mark Zuckerberg’s statements, is designed for work. One ambition is to bring the headset into businesses adding a Personal Office feature for employees working from home, without only limiting to that. “In VR, one of the best things is to create environments to go beyond what’s possible in the physical world”, marked the Meta CEO.
Another partnership was announced on this day. NBCUniversal, with its Peacock streaming app will integrate with the Meta virtual reality headset. They will co-create, according to statements, experiences around The Office, DreamWorks, Halloween Horror Nights and many more. You can learn more through the social VR app, Horizon Worlds.
VR headsets for Business
Indeed, there is a similar app on the Oculus Rift, called Virtual Desktop, launched back in 2016. Ideally, the Quest Pro would be the only monitor needed.
Workrooms like that will even be available via Zoom Meetings. These rooms won’t be just suitable for brainstorming or long conversations, but will also work perfect for architects or designers. Creators will be able to review their work on 3D models within the Workrooms.
We are certainly excited for all new technologies that will be introduced in the future. As of now, though, we have some concerns. To only have a virtual workspace for eight hours straight on workdays sounds extremely difficult. Apart from eye strains, strong headaches and vomits would follow and that would result not only on discontinued and ineffective workflow, but also quite serious health problems. At this point, though, this still sounds as a far-fetched aspiration.
Xbox Cloud Gaming
Microsoft Teams will integrate with Meta and Xbox Cloud Gaming will arrive on the Meta Quest Store. This would mean that users could connect Xbox controllers to the headsets in order to play console games from Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Library.
Meta Horizon Worlds
The metaverse wil bring many changes. Virtual worlds would be accessible without a headset starting with Meta Horizon Worlds social app that will be cross-platform available. Imagine hanging out in a virtual room and calling a friend that doesn’t have a headset. The full VR experience will soon be accessible for everyone.
Developers are working on creating videos on Worlds visual living room and sharing on Instagram, even as reels. Another aspiration is to obtain a virtual personal space, like a home in metaverse.
Reality Labs Chief Scientist Michael Abrash shared, alongside Mark Zuckerberg, everything their research team has been working on. He, thus, provided audience with updates on Project Aria, Codec Avatars and the first human-centric computing interface.
Briefly the aforementioned technologies will integrate into future devices and the metaverse. With Project Aria, visually impaired people will be able to navigate more easily around their surroundings. The photorealistic Codec Avatars will gradually include more facial expressions. In the metaverse, two technologies will build and manipulate 3D objects, the neural radiance fields and inverse rendering.
Gather more information on the Meta Connect 2022 on the conference’s official website by following the link, https://www.metaconnect.com/en-us .
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