Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, unveiled the next generation of its Quest 3 mixed-reality headset on Thursday, as it prepares for the possibility that Apple may change the rules of an emerging market hitherto dominated by the social media giant.
Zuckerberg said in a post on Instagram that the glasses, which start at $ 499, will be 40% thinner than the previous Meta glasses and feature a colorful mixed reality display, which combines elements of augmented and virtual reality.
Meta also said it will reduce the price of existing Quest 2 glasses while adding performance updates to deliver a smoother experience for users.
Zuckerberg said that “Quest 3” will also contain a new set of Qualcomm chips that feature two times better graphics processing than its predecessor, “Quest 2”.
He said the glasses would be launched in the fall and promised more details at the company’s annual virtual and augmented reality conference on September 27.
Get ahead of Apple
In a related context, Bloomberg reported that Zuckerberg’s announcement comes less than a week before competitor Apple is expected to unveil its first mixed reality glasses at a price of nearly $3,000.
Quest 2 and Quest Pro glasses from Meta will account for approximately 80% of the 8.8 million mixed reality glasses sold in 2022, according to estimates from market research firm IDC.
And in second place, by a large margin, with a share of 10% of the market, was the Pico glasses, which are manufactured by the Chinese-owned ByteDance company, which also owns the competing social media platform, TikTok.
But Meta, as dominant as it is, is finding it difficult to market its vision of “Metaverse” of interconnected virtual worlds, as well as to increase the share of glasses outside the electronic games market.
After growing sharply during the Corona pandemic, sales of glasses faltered in the first quarter of this year, as the total market for virtual and augmented reality headsets declined 54.4% year on year.