The Meta Quest Pro headset is set to launch next month, and it’s believed to have many features in common with the upcoming Apple headset expected to be launched early next year. We already knew the name, and it now appears we know what both the device and its packaging look like, thanks to a careless employee.
A sample of the headset, its controllers, and retail packaging were left in a hotel room, bringing back memories of the time an Apple engineer left an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar …
Facebook virtual reality headsets
Facebook launched its first virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift, back in 2016. This was a mid-priced device, at $600, and had to be tethered to a PC. It was followed by an updated version, the Rift S.
VR got a whole lot simpler and cheaper with Facebook’s launch of the Oculus Go in 2018, with pricing starting at $199. This completely standalone unit sold over 2 million units in its first year or so, and was discontinued in 2020.
The Go evolved into the Oculus Quest, another standalone VR headset, though a later software update made it compatible with Rift games in tethered mode. Pricing for this and the subsequent Quest 2 ranged from $299 to $499.
The planned launch of the device was never a secret: Meta last year revealed that it was working on a new high-end headset under the codename Cambria. The name was revealed by developer Steve Moser, who found a reference to the name of the product in the iOS app.
Gaming video creator Zectaruiz Gaming posted a low-quality video of the headset and its controllers, in retail packaging. Appropriately enough, the video was posted on Facebook (though the platform’s notoriously awful video compression may explain the quality).
Security researcher Kevin Beaumont tweeted that the device was left in a hotel room, and reposted the video on Twitter.
Although the box was labeled “Engineering sample,” both the finish and the packaging suggest that this is the final version, rather than an earlier prototype.
The headset is black plastic, with gray surrounds for three cameras on the front of the device. These are expected to allow the Quest Pro to mix both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content.
Similarities to expected Apple headset
The Quest Pro and Apple headset are expected to have a lot in common:
- Standalone device
- High-resolution graphics
- External cameras
- Mix of virtual reality and augmented reality
- Four-figure price tag
Pricing is one potential difference, however. Some Apple Headset reports have suggested that the first-generation model could cost as much as $3,000, while Meta is reported to sell its hardware at cost – or even at a loss – to make money on the apps. Apple has called this out as hypocritical.
Apple is reported to be developing three headsets. The first of these is expected to be the most expensive, and to launch early next year. The name may be Reality Pro.
Apple is developing three new headsets code-named N301, N602, and N421. The first headset which Apple will unveil will likely be called Apple Reality Pro. This will be a Mixed Reality headset and “will probably end up being the company’s high-end rival to Meta’s upcoming Quest Pro” […]
The N602 model will be the successor to the first model “and may be a bit lower cost” [while] the N421 model is “Apple’s long-held dream of augmented reality glasses.”
The Apple Glasses product is still believed to be years from launch.