Mark Zuckerberg Previews New VR Headset With Synthetic Face Cloning for Metaverse Avatars
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared some early details on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast about a new virtual reality headset scheduled for unveiling in October at his company’s Connect conference. The headset, code-named Project Cambria but likely called the Meta Quest Pro, will include face-scanning tech to synthetically generate the wearer’s facial expressions in real time on an avatar in the metaverse.
Meta Quest Pro
The Meta Quest Pro is essentially the next iteration of the Oculus 2. Instead of gaming, however, Zuckerberg said the focus of the new device is on building a “social presence.” That’s where the eye and face-tracking elements come into play. Zuckerberg described how the headset’s sensors could analyze and synthesize a real-time version of the wearer’s face to map onto their avatar within Meta’s Horizon Worlds or another compatible metaverse platform as a way of improving non-verbal communication in the digital space. The new device sounds like it won’t be cheap. The Oculus 2 is currently $400 and Zuckerberg said the price point for the new device will be a “pretty big step” in expense. Still, Rogan’s enthusiasm about trying what he called a “very impressive” device could be how plenty of early adopters feel. Rogan described how he experienced an AI avatar imitating his facial expressions during his talk with Zuckerberg.
“It’s so interesting when you put it on, so I’ll just describe it to people. When you put it on there was an avatar in front of me and it was an alien woman. And the alien woman, when I moved my mouth, she moved her mouth. When I moved my eyes left and right, she’s tracking my eyes. When I make an angry face it makes an angry face. When you go ‘ooh!’ it’s incredible.”
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