Meta Hands-Out Free MR Headsets, ahead of Connect 2023

Meta Hands-Out Free MR Headsets, ahead of Connect 2023


More reports are coming out about Meta ahead of its annual Connect event. Recently, Meta handed out free Quest Pro MR headsets at the recent Roblox Developer Conference (RDC) 2023, an XR showcase event highlighting how the child-focused gaming platform is going fully immersive and expanding its offerings to suit new use cases.

The news comes as the MR headset failed to capture audiences last year, with understated sales and a price drop that lowered the device to £1000. While Meta is still championing the Pro device – and its other XR products – the firm is clearly trying to push the device to new users following a low initial user base.

At the RDC 2023 conference, Meta gave away a large number of Pro headsets to encourage the Roblox developer community to design new MR experiences.

With the nature of the event, it appears Meta is encouraging developers to design consumer-facing applications, but the Pro device is for enterprise use, so the giveaway may intend to familiarise audiences with MR hardware and Meta’s Presence Platform instead of encouraging development for just the Pro device.

However, while the Meta designed the Pro headset for enterprise use cases, the firm’s upcoming marketplace debut of the Meta Quest 3 is focused solely towards consumer markets. Perhaps highlighting how Meta is taking steps to facilitate the creation of system-selling applications as the device reaches distribution stages.

The news comes as Meta debuted Roblox on the Quest 2, leading to a massive amount of downloads.

Manuel Bronstein, Chief Product Officer, and Dan Sturman, Chief Technology Officer at Roblox, wrote a blog post covering the event, whereby the pair stated:

We’ve opened up access for developers to start creating experiences for Roblox on Meta Quest and have seen a tremendous response. In the first five days, we saw more than 1 million downloads of the open beta. At RDC, we shared that Roblox will be widely available to people on Meta Quest later this month.

Meta Storms the Headlines

The news comes as Meta fills up XR headlines ahead of Connect 2023.

Last week, the firm again faced leaks when an online store listing revealed many core details behind the Meta Quest 3.

The specifications are as expected. However, the leaked specifications may not reflect the upcoming device, and the leaks cannot be confirmed until Meta Connect 2023.

The leaked information revealed the following details: 2064 x 2208 pixel resolution per eye, LCD display, 129Hz refresh rate, Pancake lens, Snapdragon XR2 Gen2 chipset, 2-3 hours of battery life, 97 horizontal/93 vertical fields of view, IPD adjust options and eye relief support, a weight of 509g, storage space choices of 128GB or 512GB, USB/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity, Inside-out tracking, depth sensors, and full RGB outward-facing cameras for MR colour passthrough.

Additionally, Meta updated its Horizon Worlds Metaverse service leading up to Connect 2023.

In late August, Meta released its, via its Public Testing Channel, Quest v57 update, where the firm notably introduced legs to Quest Home environments. Moreover, Meta debuted a mobile version of the Horizon Worlds service – currently, the application is approaching the Beta testing stages.

Connect 2023 is Next Week!

Meta is hosting its Connect showcase next week, September 27 – 28, 2023. XR champions can watch the event on Facebook and Horizon Worlds.

The Menlo Park-based firm will also host part of the event in person at its HQ, allowing audiences to get hands-on with their immersive portfolio – including the Quest portfolio, Ray-Ban Stories, Avatars, and Horizon Worlds. Meta will reveal more details concerning the event as the date comes closer.

Meta will provide attendees with an in-depth look at upcoming Meta XR products, Horizon Worlds’ metaverse developments, emerging AI innovations, and hands-on opportunities for the company’s forthcoming immersive product portfolio. Additionally, the event will host sessions, allowing attendees to learn from Meta’s community of developers, builders, and creators.

Meta Connect day one will start with a keynote with Mark Zuckerberg and a “Developer State of the Union.” Historically, these sessions hosted ground-breaking news, such as the firm’s rebranding.

Day two will feature developer sessions and product sneak peeks – most likely showing off the upcoming Meta Quest 3 MR device.

Be sure to keep an eye on XR Today to get the latest on Meta Connect 2023.


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