Meta just showed off its latest headset, the Meta Quest Pro. While it’s got real-time expression tracking and mixed reality, it’s also going to set you back $1,499. So who’s buying this tech that costs roughly the price of three current-gen consoles? The answer is *drumrolls* working professionals. Mark Zuckerberg wants to replace your dreary work computers with VR headsets.
The new Meta Quest Pro was officially unveiled at the Meta Connect 2022 event, which streamed on (you guessed it) Facebook. Meta said the new headsets would have four times the number of pixels as its consumer-focused predecessor Meta Quest 2, which will allow it to be a mixed reality device that acts as your interface screen.
Additionally, the developers partnered with Microsoft to bring productivity software like Microsoft Windows 365 (think Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) and Microsoft Teams to the Pro headsets. Meta says that it’s trying to create a “new virtual office.”
“Imagine the possibilities when the physical and digital worlds can finally interact seamlessly, without you craning your neck to look down at a phone,” Meta wrote in a press release, noting the disproportionate neck problems among people who own iPhones and Android devices. The Verge recently reported that the Pro headset will actually be heavier than the Meta Quest 2. But hey, at least you’re not expected to be playing Beat Saber in it.
The interior sensors will also have eye tracking and expression tracking. This tech will be used to simulate more expressive avatars, but I can’t help but wonder what else a company that makes money off user data intends to do with that kind of information. It is a mystery.
VR headsets can be clunky, sweaty places, and many people get severe motion sickness in them. Nevertheless, Zuckerberg seems confident corporations will pay top dollar to entrap their workers in them. And maybe they will. VR is currently being used to train surgeons, analyze road scenarios for automobile companies, and design architecture. Maybe I wouldn’t hate myself if I had to write blogs while wearing a plastic headset. Ugh, okay. I can’t do this anymore. I would absolutely hate it. Corporate would have to take my MacBook from my cold dead hands.
The problem is that updating a spreadsheet in Excel and training workers in more hands-on labor are two very different kinds of applications. Office work requires mental abstraction, while realism benefits a great deal of work that requires manual labor. If my interface is too realistic, it might actually distract me from trying to get work done on my computer.
If your company truly hates you, they can order the Meta Quest Pro starting from October 25.