Who is the target user for this headset?
The launch of Meta Quest Pro combined with Meta’s new partnership with Microsoft speaks to a not so distant future of consumer mixed reality and an undercurrent of fierce competition in the space.
For years, Microsoft has led the charge in the mixed reality space with their HoloLens while Meta’s hardware plays have centered on virtual reality. This partnership hints at how quickly spatial computing is coming for consumer markets–and it narrows the race towards consumer wearables to two main players: the Microsoft & Meta partnership vs. Apple.
The Meta Quest Pro is truly innovative hardware. It upgrades nearly all the features of the Meta Quest 2–but the most exciting development is the device’s ability to facilitate both virtual reality and full color video-pass through mixed reality.
The two LCD displays utilize quantum dot technology and local dimming to produce vastly more vivid colors and contrast. There’s a 25% improvement in full-field visual sharpness in the center view and a 50% improvement in the peripheral region versus the previous generation. Quest Pro sports all-new front-facing cameras that capture four times the pixels as previous generations and allow for full color mixed reality video passthrough.
Powering the device is Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon XR2+ Gen1 processor specifically created to enable more immersive XR experiences in lighter and thinner devices. Also on board is 12GB of ram, 256GB of storage, and 10 advanced sensors for environment, hand, face, and eye tracking.
With Apple expected to launch their first mixed reality headset next year combined with Zuckerberg’s pointed remarks about offering an “open” alternative to Apple’s “closed” ecosystem, the competition here is clear. Meta appears to have positioned itself well against Apple with this timely launch.
But the question remains–who is the target user for this headset?
Their marketing targets both productivity solutions as well as consumer applications like fitness apps; the price tag is definitely exclusionary–with only deep-pocketed tech lovers and businesses having the capital to back up the purchase price of $1,499…
Meta’s newest extended reality partnership is an intelligent collaboration with the current leader in enterprise mixed reality–Microsoft–where their HoloLens 2 has dominated for years and offers clear and powerful current use cases to businesses. The HoloLens 2 also differentiates itself with longer battery life, a hands-free operating system, and see-through optics. But, this advantage comes with a larger price tag ($3,500).
We tend to agree with Forbes’ apt description of the headset as an “onramp to AR.” Appearing to offer more to consumers than businesses today, the true value of this headset lies in beginning the development process now for the future of consumer headsets.
Given this, the true audience of this headset is walking the line between enterprise and consumer.
To see the future of mixed reality is to see that the way we operate with our computers and phones is inevitably going to transform. Screens and static digital worlds will give way to glasses and 3D interactive holograms that become a part of our physical world. The implications of this transition for every sector of society are revolutionary.
The opportunity to be first to market with applications that every consumer will use to operate their mixed reality glasses will cement forward thinking companies as leaders in their industry–leaving everyone else playing catch up.
The Meta Quest Pro–especially in partnership with Microsoft– opens the door for businesses to begin developing consumer facing mixed reality applications today.
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Mixed reality represents a major leap forward in computing by seamlessly blending the physical and digital realms.
Mixed reality development is a significant marketing and branding opportunity even before the launch of consumer AR glasses