Facebook boss shows off Meta’s Cambria VR headset, mixed-reality demo

Facebook parent company Meta teased its new high-end virtual reality headset, codenamed Project Cambria, on Thursday, showing CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself playing with the next-gen VR display. Zuckerberg didn’t show the headset itself — it’s mosaicked out — but he did show off a new mixed-reality experience, which appears to involve a virtual pet, called The World Beyond.

The World Beyond, Zuckerberg says in a video posted to Facebook, uses Meta’s Presence platform “to blend the physical and virtual worlds together.” In this case, it’s a mix of the real-world (Meta’s offices) and a colorful virtual fantasy world, complete with a little blue pet monster that users can interact with. Zuckerberg plays with and virtually pets that creature, then appears to paint a virtual world over physical walls.

The “full-color passthrough version” of The World Beyond will only be available on Meta’s upcoming Cambria headset, but a demo version will be available through Meta’s App Lab soon, Zuckerberg said.

Project Cambria is due to launch later this year. The headset, described in a recent report as “a laptop for the face” that aims to bring remote work into virtual reality, is reportedly priced at $799 and higher. Cambria is one of four new VR headset models said to be coming from Meta. In 2023, there will be a new version of Meta’s low-end Quest headset, which currently starts at $299. Then, in 2024, both Cambria and Quest will be refreshed with newer versions.

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