Mark Zuckerberg just shared a short demo video showing off some of the capabilities of Meta’s upcoming high-end virtual reality headset, Project Cambria. While the device itself remains disguised, Meta emphasizes the upcoming headset’s ability to do full-color, high-resolution passthrough, allowing wearers to interact with virtual objects superimposed over their real-world environments.
The mixed reality experience is built using Meta’s Presence Platform, which launched last fall. Current Quest headsets can only display passthrough content in grayscale, but Project Cambria will have much higher resolution image sensors to make the real world look better in the headset.
Meta also posted this two and a half minute video highlighting the Presence Platform, showing the huge difference in experience between the Quest and Cambria headsets. Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth wrote on Twitter that an SDK update next week will “include the full set of Presence Platform tools powered by machine perception and AI – Passthrough, Spatial Anchors, Scene, Interaction and Voice SDKs, and our recently updated Hand Tracking API.”
The demo reel usually shows Zuckerberg gesturing towards the cartoonish character from this Oppy video and appearing to paint his environment over the real world. It also features clips from other Meta AR projects, again teasing the possibility that you’ll wear one of these to visit a virtual office environment and work on your cloud workstation using augmented reality.
We didn’t get any new details about the hardware itself. However, Janko Roettgers at protocol was able to briefly test the device with the same demo, saying that the video quality produced by Cambria’s sensors is still not photo-realistic, but closer to “decent quality home video”. Zuckerberg also told him that another benefit of improving the sensors with full color is that they can better distinguish between different objects from the real world so that it knows where to place the virtual objects.
The demo, shown at last year’s Facebook Connect event, is called The World Beyond, and Meta says it will be available soon in the App Lab for developers to try out. Project Cambria is just one of many virtual reality headsets that Meta plans to introduce in the coming years, and using the technology to help developers build augmented reality experiences that more people want to visit is just one. step into Meta’s plan for mainstream AR devices. Cambria was set to come out “later this year.”
Update May 12, 12:07 PM ET: Added Meta Project Cambria preview video and a comment on tweets from Facebook CTO Andrew Bosworth.