- On Tuesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled his company's new $1,499 Oculus Quest Pro virtual reality (VR) headset during the live-streamed Connect 2022 conference.
- Unlike its Quest 2 predecessor, the Quest Pro headset — available starting Oct. 25 — has outward-facing cameras that capture a 3D live stream of the surrounding physical world, creating a mixed reality for the wearer.
- The announcement comes as Meta's stock — down 60% so far in 2022 — continues to suffer amid ongoing competition from TikTok in the advertising market and recent privacy updates from Apple that restricts Meta's ability to target iPhone users.
- Since announcing his plans for the Metaverse and changing the company name from Facebook to Meta last year, Zuckerberg has poured billions of dollars into the project. However, Reality Labs — the VR division of Meta — lost $10.2B in 2021 and almost $6B in 2022.
- Though Quest VR sales are growing, with estimates of more than 15M headsets sold, VR is so far a losing business for Meta. The company's social media businesses, too, are under increased pressure causing Zuckerberg to issue a hiring freeze for the remainder of the year.
- Despite the losses, Meta has continued its shift toward VR, with Zuckerberg and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the conference talking about bringing Microsoft Teams and Windows into Quest Pro and vice versa.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by The Washington Post. Just because Zuckerberg changed Facebook's name to Meta and poured billions of dollars into his VR dreams doesn't mean it's necessarily a good thing. Besides the obvious issues of the new Quest VR being an overpriced and unimpressive gadget, the bigger concern is one of privacy: Is drawing on a mediocre virtual whiteboard really worth allowing Meta to collect data on the most minute details of your face?
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Digital Friends. With the business world already shifting to at least a partial work-from-home model, we should embrace the possibilities created by Meta's Quest VR in the workplace. With graphics and eye-scanning technology quickly improving, we'll soon be able to transport ourselves into a personable, realistic office setting with our peers without the hassle of a commute. This is an exciting device.