After a leaked Tweet from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Meta is rumored to be cooking up a new edition of its popular headset Quest 2. However, some speculation is circulating that the leak was Meta’s upcoming Project Cambria headset. So, which is it, and what are the details of the new headset?
The new Quest 2 Pro or Cambria headset will adopt a mini-LED display engine combined with the Pancake lens design.
A new lens design, as opposed to the standard Fresnel, enables a slimmer, lighter, and more stylish profile of the headset. It could be that Meta’s product strategy is to release a thinner and lighter Pro version enabled by the Pancake lens design, which they already have under R&D for their Project Cambria headset.
The Pancake design works by curving many folded lenses to bounce the display light. What is worth noting is that the distortion effect for the Pancake lens is less invasive than the Fresnel, which means that the headset has to work less to compensate and correct what the wearer sees. In other words, it frees up processing power and enables Meta to increase the resolution of the Quest 2 Pro.
Today we see that the Pancake lens is attributed to stylish designs such as HTC VIVE Flow and EM3, and it seems like Meta is about to contribute to this virtual reality trend while responding to the increasing popularity of the Valve Index.
Regarding the device display, it will come with an improved resolution of 2160×2160 pixels per eye. This is likely going to be done to test out the improved display and act as a bridge between the original Quest 2 and the upcoming Project Cambria. This will ensure Meta also has a device keeping up with the current market expectations.
The new Quest 2 Pro will also feature facial recognition and tracking. This connect with Meta’s plans of incorporating animated avatars of its users in the metaverse, increasing the immersion of its secondary digital reality.
Lastly, the emphasis on a mini-LED display is due to its higher luminance compared to LCD or OLED displays. The reason is that the Pancake lens design, due to its folded optics, has lower light efficiency than Fresnel, requiring a brighter display or more light to run through the lens to provide an immersive experience.
Meta would release new Oculus Quest with a better design & immersive experience in 2H22. I reiterate predictions from my report last year on upgrade highlights, including:
1. 2.48″ mini-LED display with a resolution of 2160×2160 (per eye).
2. 2P Pancake (vs. current 1P Fresnel).
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) April 8, 2022
Since the leak, there has been a lot of debate within the tech industry about whether Kuo’s leak refers to Project Cambria, or the Quest 2 Pro product extension. TechRadar predicts that Kuo’s leak refers to the Quest 2 Pro extension and not the premium Project Cambria. Whereas RoadtoVR believes otherwise, conjecturing that the leak is Project Cambria.
If you would ask us here at VR Expert, then the arguments made at the beginning of the article point to that it indeed is the product extension of Oculus Quest 2.
Meta looks likely to release its Quest 2 Pro extension with a higher resolution, slimmer design, and facial recognition capabilities. The leak also highlights Meta’s commitment to the metaverse in facial recognition.
Interestingly, the manufacturing of mini-LED displays is notoriously more costly than other display types. So we are wondering if Meta will continue to subsidize its hardware to funnel more users to its metaverse plans.