Meta Platforms Inc.
stated its ambition to go after the professional computing market on Tuesday with the announcement of its most advanced virtual reality headset to date, the Quest Pro, saying it could be a better way to work than a personal computer.
Along with the new device, which costs around $1,500, Meta also announced partnerships with
that are expected to make the company’s VR headsets more useful in hybrid-work scenarios.
“For virtual reality to really reach its full potential, we need to get to the point where the 200 million people who buy new PCs each year for work can do some or all of their work even better in the metaverse,” CEO
said during Connect, the company’s annual metaverse event.
The Quest Pro represents Meta’s efforts to build a high-end device geared toward professionals who are willing to pay top dollar for the most cutting-edge VR technology. The device features a thinner, more ergonomic design with an improved display and more sensors to track users’ motions and facial expressions. The headset runs on a new Snapdragon XR2+ processor built by
that is optimized for VR, Mr. Zuckerberg said.
The company’s metaverse pivot to the enterprise market makes sense, said Daniel Newman, principal analyst at Futurum Research, an advisory business that focuses on digital technology.
“One thousand, five hundred dollars is a lot for a consumer, but it’s probably less than one business trip,” Mr. Newman said. “While video meetings haven’t stopped people from gathering live, there are plenty of meetings that could take place in a highly engaging and collaborative setting like the one Meta is trying to build.”
Preorders for the headset start Tuesday, and it will begin shipping on Oct. 25, Mr. Zuckerberg said.
The Quest Pro comes a year after the company changed its name from Facebook to Meta to reflect its ambitions in virtual and augmented reality. At the time, the company committed $10 billion toward the endeavor.
The company hasn’t disclosed sales of its VR headsets, but through the first half of 2022, revenue for the company’s Reality Labs division, which includes the Quest 2, came in at $1.1 billion, up nearly 37% compared with the year-earlier period, according to the company’s second-quarter report.
Meta also announced a partnership with Microsoft to bring Windows 365 and Teams to the company’s VR headsets next year.
“We think that VR can be very powerful for social connection, and with the Quest Pro, we want to bring more of that into the work context as well where Microsoft already has some incredibly successful products in the market,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.
This will include the ability for people wearing Meta’s face computer to join meetings in Microsoft’s Teams business-communications platform as virtual avatars. The integrations are scheduled to become available next year.
Microsoft sells its own mixed-reality HoloLens 2 headsets that are targeted toward professional users. Those devices start at $3,500.
Besides Teams meetings, Meta also announced that Quest users will be able to join Zoom calls using Horizon Workrooms in early 2023. This will allow users to appear in Zoom meetings as their virtual avatars.
“You should be able to take your avatar and virtual goods everywhere that you go,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.
Write to Salvador Rodriguez at [email protected]
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