The mysterious Project Cambria was announced at the Facebook Connect event on 28th October 2021 and as always, the first thing we wanted to know was its release date.
The announcement certainly brought up more questions than it answered, so let's try and get the bottom of this and pin down exactly when we can expect to see Project Cambria hit stores.
Project Cambria Release Date Speculation
While Project Cambria is said to be in development, there is no official announcement of a release date just yet, however, there are some clues as to when we could expect it.
Most recently Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook Connect will be going ahead on October 11th with a post on Facebook.
The post also shows him wearing a VR headset, which we'd think is highly likely to be Project Cambria (especially when we look at how it matches up with the design in the teaser trailer released last year).
We'd put money on the headset being revealed on October 11th, and alongside it, a release date.
This also aligns with what Zuckerberg mentioned on the Joe Rogan podcast, where by we can expect to see Meta's 'next device' in October. While he didn't explicitly name the device Project Cambria, with the recent information we can certainly assume this will be it.
In addition, it looks like Project Cambria isn't going to be the only high-end headset that is announced or released in the coming year as Apple's own AR headset could also be announced by then with a release date some months later.
PSVR 2 is also on the horizon which could be set if recent rumours are to be believed, to drop in Q1 2023. According to a Bloomberg report with industry insiders, this could even be earlier with their report stating the holiday period in 2022.
With this could come greater adoption of virtual reality which could make the idea of realising the metaverse that little bit easier.
As things stand, the PS5 has reportedly sold over 17 million units and it may be fair to say a good proportion of those may invest in PSVR 2 as an accompanying VR headset, for instance, especially with how good it looks, according to Sony's recent unveiling of the PSVR 2's design.
It's not only 2022 that could be the start of this new, virtual age, but also the following years are likely to see more devices released to suit an increasingly interconnected society, like that are Apple Glasses possibly on the way too, alongside more incredible smart glasses, and lighter VR headsets like the MeganeX and Magic Leap 2., and more classically gaming-oriented headsets like the rumoured Valve Index 2.
There may also be another big tech player entering the AR and VR arena by then as the following years could also see the potential release of Google's Project Iris headset that is reportedly in development.
The good news is that we do have some information about Project Cambria that can keep us going for now...
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What We Know About Project Cambria
Here's everything we know so far about Project Cambria.
The Cambria will have 'pancake lenses', which will likely mean a thinner profile headset, a big improvement on the Oculus Quest 2's somewhat bulky frame.
Alongside this, to power the pancake lenses, the headset will reportedly be using two 2.48-inch Mini LED panels with a resolution of 2160x2160 which should offer some rather incredible contrast and brightness in contrast to the Quest 2's LCD displays.
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It also looks like Project Cambria won't be the only headset to be using pancake lenses as more manufacturers are looking to use them on their headsets, including Arpara's upcoming crowdfunded VR headset that should also be utilising a 5K Micro OLED display, and also Apple's own AR headset is reportedly utilising pancake lenses and OLED tech.
For such powerful lenses, it makes sense to expect some high pixel density figures to go along with it so they can display as detailed images as possible, and also to match and exceed the competition of new headsets, such as PSVR 2.
For reference, a recent tweet from analyst Ross Young has noted that the PSVR 2's PPI is set to double the original PSVR's and then some, by taking it from 386 all the way to over 800.
Higher pixel density may also lead to Cambria being a less bulky device than other headsets out there and offer up some sleeker looks, and this is certainly suggested by the potential renders we've seen so far.
There's also the inclusion of a camera so you can use the headset in augmented reality too which certainly opens up a lot of possibilities, and it might lead to Facebook to rival Qualcomm's Snapdragon Spaces AR tech within the coming year or so, and Apple's own powerful AR headset.
This feature appears to tie in closely to some of the ideas we've seen demonstrated at Facebook Connect (and some possible leaks), and while not tailored completely towards gaming does provide some exciting possibilities within the work environment especially.
Connections With The Meta Quest Pro
In addition, there is the lingering assumption that Project Cambria is in fact the Meta Quest Pro, which is touted to be a higher-end headset within the Quest VR headset lineup, although this isn't at all confirmed.
If this is the case, then we could see Project Cambria rivalling not only Apple's upcoming AR Headset but also more established VR headsets like the Valve Index and HTC Vive Pro 2, alongside the upcoming Valve Index 2, whenever that may release.
Interaction With The Metaverse
Games such as Horizon Worlds are also being released, which portrays the metaverse in its infancy, and it could be the case that Project Cambria support will be added in a future update, as the game only works with the Quest and Quest 2 headsets at the moment.
How Project Cambria is going to fit in the metaverse is going to be key, and given the early strides being made with Horizon Worlds and also the apparent high specs of the Meta Quest Pro, it would suggest that the implementation could be rather seamless.
In addition, if the associated metaverse ends up being as feature-laden and detailed as it looks like it is going to be, then a headset like Project Cambria will be able to make sure everything works smoothly, as long as the marriage between hardware and software is seamless.
Horizon Worlds recently reportedly reached over 300,000 active users, which can be seen to lay the groundwork for further metaverse development and interaction that Cambria could harness.
If Project Cambria can feature either hand tracking or full body tracking alongside its confirmed support for eye and face tracking like the Meta Quest 3 also could, then this could be a huge help in making the entire metaverse experience more realistic as players could properly walk around and interact with others.
Reference also to full body tracking have been spotted in the Quest 2 SDK, which may suggest it's either going to the Quest 2 in a future update or a feature for future headsets such as Project Cambria. For the metaverse, full-body tracking would be rather handy.
A recent Instagram Q&A with Meta Reality Lab's Vice President Andrew Bosworth confirmed full-body tracking is something Meta is looking into, possibly for future headsets, and even suggested the inclusion of 'fake legs' to make it a possibility.
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In addition, this may also be pretty handy for gaming purposes. If Cambria doesn't feature these natively, then it may be the case Meta may release an accessory similar to the HTC Vive Wrist Tracker, or even their own pair of VR gloves, which have been shown off as a prototype. If they do come to fruition, they may be some of the best VR gloves available.
On the front of eye and face tracking, the fact that Project Cambria is confirmed to feature them adheres to a point Mark Zuckerberg made in an interview with The Information back in March 2021 where he said he wanted to add such features.
Apple is reportedly going to be taking advantage of their headset's face and eye tracking features in apps such as FaceTime within rOS, the AR Headset's operating system, through integration with the likes of Memoji to provide a more life-like experience, and it may make sense for Meta to do the same with Cambria having similar features.
One thing we do know concerning the headset's manufacture is that, according to a tweet from analyst Brad Lynch, Goerek will be in charge of Project Cambria's mass production.
Goertek will also be producing components for Apple's AR Headset and in charge of PSVR 2's mass production, too.
Lynch's tweet referred to mass production for PSVR 2 and Cambria beginning 'soon' and whilst that is an indeterminate amount of time, it could be the case that mass production could commence sooner than we think, so that Q2 2022 release may be on the cards.
This notion of it being a high spec headset is also likely to be reflected in its price, although it will need to be competitive in order to hold its own in a market that is slowly growing.
Something between $500 and $800 would seem like a good fit as it'll be right in the mix with competitors from HTC and Valve, for instance.
To somewhat concur with this, the head of Facebook Reality Labs, Andrew Bosworth, in a recent Instagram AMA, called out a question mentioning the Quest Pro releasing with a $600 price tag.
Whilst he didn't respond to the question, if the $600 pricing does come to fruition, it would make the Quest Pro quite the appealing option by undercutting the likes of the HTC Vive and Valve Index by $200 or more, whilst offering plenty of exciting features.
This pricing may be may see it be higher if Meta sees Apple's AR Headset as the main competition.
Project Cambria Design
Recently, a leak was spotted which pieces together a number of 3D assets to form what may well be Project Cambria. You can check out the images right here and our thoughts on them too.
We don't expect to see the design unveiled for some time, but we are expecting to see a number of independent concepts crop up, much in the same vein as the PS5 Pro.
It would make sense to assume that Cambria may be a thinner and lighter headset, than perhaps the Quest 2 given its thinner panels and pancake lenses, although this does remain to be seen.
In terms of weight, if Cambria does end up weighing around 300-400g, this would put it below the Quest 2 and on par with the rumoured mass of Apple AR Headset of anything between 200-400g, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors)
Speaking of design, there are changes expected to be coming to Cambria's controllers with them reportedly ditching the tracking ring from previous Oculus headset generations in favour of using cameras in a similar vein to PSVR 2.
When Will We Hear More?
We're expecting that we'll hear a lot more about the metaverse in the coming months, and that includes the respective hardware used with it, so we're hoping to hear a more concrete release date sooner rather than later.
Games such as Horizon Worlds have recently been released giving us an idea of what the metaverse's software could look like, so it may make sense for more news surrounding its hardware to not be too far away, but we don't know that for certain, of course.
Check back in with us soon for all the latest on Project Cambria.
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