We think 2022 will be remembered as a year when foundational pieces of technology enabling our vision for the future made their way into the hands of developers and users for the first time. This October, Meta shipped several of them in Meta Quest Pro: Mixed reality is a key part of the journey toward full augmented reality devices, and eye and face tracking are essential pieces of the technology stack needed for AR and VR devices to reach their full potential. Quest Pro also brought important advances in display and optics that will move VR hardware forward for the long term. The long-term value of these technologies will come from how they’re adopted by the ecosystem of developers, creators, and builders that has formed around these devices. That’s why I’m especially proud that we shipped Quest Pro when we did, because the sooner people can begin working with new technology like this, the sooner its full value and potential can be unlocked. We’ll be living with the benefits of this work for decades to come.
Introducing Meta Reality:
Mixed Reality Is More Than Just a Video Feed Mixed reality is about much more than just displaying a live video feed of your surroundings inside the headset. For it to work properly, the headset needs to understand your room as a 3D space, recognizing the surfaces and objects around you and how they can interact with digital objects. It requires technologies like Spatial Anchors, which allow virtual things to occupy fixed spaces in the physical world, as well as Scene Understanding for reconstructing physical spaces virtually, as well as stereoscopic color Passthrough, for capturing the physical world and representing it accurately in the headset with a sense of depth for greater comfort. Meta Reality, our system for mixed reality, combines all these technologies and more into a single system for developers to build with.
Unlocking Advanced Experiences with Eye and Face Tracking:
Eye and face tracking have a wealth of possibilities, both today and long into the future. Right now, eye and face tracking are delivering more expressive avatars on Meta Quest Pro, allowing people’s digital selves to more closely match their real-world facial expressions. This is one of many steps we’re taking to create an avatar system that can improve the quality of communication, expression, and connection in virtual spaces — and we’ll have plenty more to share on this in 2023.
But the longer-term possibilities unlocked by eye and face tracking technology go far beyond avatars. Our vision for true AR glasses will require years of progress making our devices slimmer, lighter, faster, and more powerful, all while consuming way less battery power and generating much less heat. One major efficiency gain will come when devices are smart enough to only render the highest-resolution graphics in the small area where a user is actually looking. This October we demonstrated this capability for the first time thanks to the eye tracking technology on Quest Pro, and it’s going to be driving progress in VR and AR for many years to come.