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Facebook execs including Zuckerberg show off prototype VR headsets ahead of developer conference

Are any of these the successor to the Quest 2?

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Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
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Facebook's Andrew Bosworth showing off a prototype headset. How far along is this concept?

Facebook

A year after Facebook released its Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, and weeks before Facebook's VR and AR-focused Connect conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook CTO-to-be Andrew Bosworth showed off prototype VR headsets on social media. Whether these are anything related to products to come remains to be seen.

I spent the day with the Facebook Reality Labs research team in Redmond to demo our next-generation virtual reality,...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Both headset demos came from a visit by the execs to Facebook Reality Labs Research, Facebook's future-forward research lab where Michael Abrash leads development of VR/AR hardware ideas well beyond the current consumer tech Facebook is selling now. Some of the prototype concepts could still be years away.

Notably, Zuckerberg's headset has "retina level" resolution, the CEO said, but looks more like a standard VR headset. A few very expensive VR headsets like the Varjo XR-3 already have extremely high resolution, but can cost thousands of dollars. Bosworth's headset, meanwhile, looks more like a glasses-sized pair of VR goggles.

The timing is interesting. HTC has its own Vive product reveal tomorrow, and Facebook's developer-focused Connect conference is on Oct. 28. We still don't know for sure whether that conference will announce future VR hardware or not. Zuckerberg has already discussed ideas for an upcoming Oculus Quest Pro headset, which could have more sensors and a higher resolution, in a conversation with CNET earlier this year.