Meta wants to sell us its mixed reality as something innovative, but Microsoft has been doing it with HoloLens since 2015
Mark Zuckerberg showed what he can do Project Cambria, his next VR glasses. The CEO of Meta shared a video on Facebook where he shows off some features of his device with which he plans to introduce his consumers to the world of mixed reality . In it, a Zuck is seen interacting with a virtual pet and performing other actions.
According to Zuckerberg, the experience shown in the video is known as The World Beyond and uses its Presence platform to merge the physical world with virtual reality. The co-founder of Facebook assures that this will only be possible using the technology of Project Cambria, his high-end VR/AR glasses that will arrive at the end of the year.
Cambria was announced in October 2021 and is part of an ambitious plan by Meta to enter the field of mixed reality. Until now, the company enjoys a significant presence in the VR segment thanks to Oculus. Project Cambria will not replace the Quest 2, Meta's high-end VR glasses, but will coexist with them as it is a bridge between virtual reality and augmented reality.
The mix between VR and AR is possible thanks to the combination of sensors with reconstruction algorithms that represent the physical world inside the glasses. This is already possible on the Oculus Quest 2 via the Passthrough API, though only in black and white. Cambria goes a step further and integrates high-resolution sensors and models that capture the real world in color.
Meta mixed reality feels older than 2015
Microsoft HoloLens In the most recent video, Zuckerberg downplayed the device to focus on the user experience. “I'm not going to show you the headset, yet” says the CEO of Meta, while plays with a virtual pet or “paints” the real world to make it something more in line with his idea of the metaverse. The rest includes training scenes with an instructor who guides the user to perform the exercises correctly.
Despite the fact that Mark Zuckerberg announces it as something revolutionary, the first fruits of Project Cambria are almost identical to what is seen on HoloLens. Microsoft's mixed reality glasses showed interaction with virtual objects in Minecraft or with holograms of other people 7 years ago. Multi-screen demos are so hackneyed that every VR headset manufacturer uses them as a productivity hook.
Although the first demos were convincing, the high price and hardware of HoloLens were enough to limit it to the enterprise sector.
Project Cambria is one of Meta's most ambitious projects in 2022. The goggles would integrate world-class sensors and optics that would solve the problems HoloLens faced at the time. Just as hardware evolved, one would expect Meta to innovate content as well.