Mark Zuckerberg descended from his ivory tower this week to unveil Meta’s latest metaverse magic in Menlo Park. “Welcome, metafans!” he proclaimed to the enraptured crowd. “Today I will dazzle and delight you with our marvelous mixed reality, magnificent AI, and miraculous smart glasses!”
Zuck whipped off his iconic gray t-shirt to reveal a sparkly blue wizard robe and pointed hat. “Let the metaverse merriment begin!” he declared.
First up was the Quest 3, a “wizardly wireless wonder” that blends physical and digital worlds like metaphysical margaritas. Using pancake lens sorcery, Quest 3 can understand your space and map it faster than you can say “Expelliarmus!” According to Zuck, Quest 3 is the culmination of Meta’s tireless efforts to bring mixed reality to the masses.
“We’ve been cranking away in our metaverse workshops to make this device shine!” Zuck exclaimed. With hand tracking getting “really good” and precision controllers for gaming, Quest 3 aims to be the “ultimate magic wand” for spatial computing.
Zuck conjured up vivid visions of the future, where Holograms and digital objects will be as ubiquitous as physical ones. He sees a world where you can play immersive games with friends – both virtual and physical – seated around a virtual table. Where work meetings seamlessly blend real participants and AI avatars. Where interactive music portals pop up when you walk by your Peloton.
“Quest 3 is the portal to this fabulous future,” Zuck declared. Powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon XR2 chip, Quest 3 doubles the graphics performance of its predecessors. Its redesigned pancake lenses increase resolution by 10X while slimming down the headset’s profile. The slick new controllers ditch the external tracking rings for better ergonomics and hand presence.
To prove his points, Zuck fired up demos of upcoming titles for the eager crowd. Asgard’s Wrath 2, coming December 15, takes full advantage of Quest 3’s beefier hardware to deliver visceral viking combat. Assassin’s Creed Nexus, “finally here and worth the wait,” stuns with gorgeous visuals. Even Snoop Dogg makes an appearance as a medieval dungeon master AI named Snoop the Wizard!
“Pretty dope quest so far,” Snoop remarked. “But we gotta level up these expressions, know what I’m sayin’?”
Quest 3 doesn’t just excel at immersive gaming. It fuses digital content with your surroundings for transformative mixed reality experiences. Zuck showcased games like Bam! where virtual targets surround you, or First Encounters where alien ships land in your living room. He highlighted upcoming “augments”, persistent digital objects that blend into your physical environment. Place a virtual photo frame or music station in your space – whenever you don Quest, there it is!
But perhaps most magically, Zuck announced that hundreds of Xbox Cloud titles are coming to Quest 3 this December. “You can literally sit courtside from your couch!” he enthused. Between the new hardware and upcoming content, Zuck believes Quest 3 delivers “the world’s best immersive library.”
After whipping the crowd into a frenzy over Quest 3’s metaphysical powers, Zuck moved on to Meta’s next act: astonishing AI advancements.
“We don’t need one super intelligence,” he explained. “We want fun and entertaining AIs to chat about games, travel, fashion or anything your heart desires!”
To that end, Meta is releasing AI Studio, a platform for creating specialized AIs accessible across Meta’s apps and hardware. Zuck introduced the first fruits of these labors – conversational AIs like Max the virtual chef or Lorena the road trip planner. Each has unique interests and opinions just like real people!
To give the AIs “familiar faces”, Meta partnered with celebrities to embody them. NBA star Dwane Wade plays Victor, a motivational workout coach. Paris Hilton voices Amber, a stylist/detective. And Snoop Dogg returns as a Dungeon Master AI named Snoop the Wizard!
Snoop challenged Zuck to embark on a textual role-playing adventure, casting verbal spells like “Forge ahead!” and “Slay the dragon, player!”
“Pretty dope quest so far,” Snoop remarked. “But we gotta level up these expressions, know what I’m sayin’?”
Zuck acknowledged these AIs are early prototypes with limitations. But he’s optimistic their conversational abilities will rapidly improve with feedback. And he’s eager to see how people use them for entertainment, productivity and socializing.
Transitioning to Meta’s hardware efforts, Zuck unveiled the latest Ray-Ban Stories glasses now with AR capabilities. The glasses offer new features like livestreaming your perspective hands-free. And they’re the first smart glasses with Meta AI built-in.
“Soon you’ll be able to show the AI what you’re looking at through the camera,” Zuck explained. Want to identify a landmark or building? Just ask your Ray-Bans! Zuck believes voice+vision AI will be key to mainstream smart glasses adoption. And he teased that full AR capabilities are not far off.
In conclusion, Zuck believes Meta’s relentless innovation is steadily marching towards the interconnected metaverse future he outlined last year. A future blending physical and digital worlds, enabled by mixed reality, AI and extended reality.
He acknowledged challenges remain. The privacy risks inherent to AI. The Stylish form factor limitations of current headsets. But Zuck believes Meta’s open, accessible approach gives them the best shot at overcoming these obstacles.
“It’s been an incredible year of innovation,” Zuck summarized. “But this is just the beginning. The real fun starts as we get these technologies in your hands!”
The crowd leapt to their feet, clapping thunderously. But then Zuck ripped off his wizard robe, returning to his iconic CEO uniform.
“Anyway, that’s our roadmap,” he deadpanned. “Ship dates on slide 46. Let’s grab lunch.”
Zuckerberg’s Metaverse Vision Quest
Mark Zuckerberg’s annual Connect conference keynote revealed ambitious plans to bring his vision of an immersive metaverse future to life. Speaking before a rapt audience at Meta headquarters, Zuckerberg enthusiastically unveiled new mixed reality, AI and smart glasses products he believes will be game changing.
“Today we take major strides towards enabling the next computing platform and bringing the metaverse to life,” he proclaimed. The keynote covered a dizzying array of announcements and demos centered around Meta’s three key technology pillars.
Mixed Reality for the Masses
Zuckerberg kicked things off by unveiling Meta Quest 3, the company’s latest VR headset billed as delivering “mainstream mixed reality.” Building on Meta’s goal of bringing VR to the masses with Quest 2, the new device adds cameras that pass through video of the user’s surroundings.
This enables “mixed reality” experiences blending the physical and digital worlds. Zuckerberg demoed games where virtual objects and characters interact with real-world environments. He believes Quest 3 delivers the first truly mainstream mixed reality device by overlaying immersive digital content on top of physical spaces.
Built on Qualcomm’s cutting edge XR2 platform, Quest 3 delivers higher resolutions and graphics performance in a slimmer form factor. Zuckerberg called it “the most powerful headset we have ever shipped” while still retaining the wire-free convenience that made Quest mainstream. It even gains new stylish accessories like customizable faceplates and charging docks.
Quest 3 will start at $499 when it launches in August. Pre-orders are open now.
Zuckerberg also showcased major new software features coming to unlock Quest’s mixed reality powers. Spatial mapping will automatically scan physical rooms into VR, letting users safely move around real objects. Persistent digital “augments” can be anchored to precise locations in your home. And hundreds of Xbox Cloud Gaming titles will stream to giant virtual screens later this year.
“We’re just scratching the surface of what will be possible,” Zuckerberg effused, painting a future where interactive holograms are ubiquitous.
Artificial Intelligence Everywhere
Next Zuckerberg turned to artificial intelligence advancements he believes will profoundly impact Meta’s products and the metaverse. While Meta already made waves in AI research this year with large language model LLama 2, Zuckerberg focused on more consumer-facing applications.
He introduced Meta AI, a basic digital assistant capable of conversation, image generation and more thanks to foundations like LLama 2. Users will be able to chat with Meta AI across Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram starting in limited beta.
But more interesting are specialized AIs created by Meta to be more opinionated and fun to chat with. For instance cooking assistant Max or road trip planner Lorena. To make them more approachable, Meta partnered with celebrities to embody the AIs, like Snoop Dogg as a D&D style dungeon master.
Ray-Ban Smart Glasses 2.0
That segued nicely into unveiling the next generation Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses developed with EssilorLuxottica. The new glasses gain upgraded cameras, audio, performance and style.
Zuckerberg highlighted new social features like livestreaming from the glasses camera. This lets creators share their first-person point of view to engage audiences in new ways.
Starting at $299, Ray-Ban Stories will now come in more frame styles and colors. Zuckerberg believes they deliver a “glimpse of the future” where wearable AR and AI merge into an always-available assistant.
The Metaverse Takes Shape
Tying everything together, Zuckerberg framed Meta’s relentless product development as incrementally bridging the physical and digital worlds. He believes Quest 3, Meta AI services and Ray-Ban Stories represent significant steps towards his vision of an immersive metaverse.
“As we begin the next chapter and get these technologies in your hands, the real fun begins,” he concluded to thunderous applause. For now, Meta’s wizard has conjured up impressive demos and experiences to wow the faithful. But only real-world adoption will determine if Zuckerberg’s grand metaverse quest succeeds.
Meta’s Big Metaverse Manifesto: Zuck’s Mission to Mesh Mixed Reality, AI and Smart Glasses
Mark Zuckerberg hosted Meta’s annual Connect conference this week, outlining his vision to bring the metaverse to life through advancements in mixed reality, artificial intelligence and smart glasses. Speaking before a packed house at Meta’s headquarters, Zuckerberg enthusiastically unveiled new products he believes will be game-changing.
“We’re taking major strides towards enabling the next computing platform and bringing the metaverse to life,” Zuckerberg proclaimed. True to the hype, the keynote covered a sweeping range of announcements and demos related to Meta’s core technology pillars.
Enter Quest 3: Mixed Reality for the Masses
Zuckerberg kicked off the keynote by unveiling Meta Quest 3, billed as the first mainstream mixed reality headset. Building on Meta’s successful Quest 2 wireless VR device, Quest 3 adds new color passthrough cameras that display the physical environment.
This lays the foundation for “mixed reality” by blending digital objects and environments with the real world. Zuckerberg showed off games where virtual characters and effects interact with real-world rooms and objects.
“For the first time, we can deliver immersive content within the context of your physical environment,” he said. Zuckerberg believes Quest 3 crosses a threshold by overlaying magical digital experiences onto physical spaces in a mainstream package.
Built on Qualcomm’s cutting-edge XR2 platform, Quest 3 boosts resolutions and graphics/processing power in a slimmer headset. Zuckerberg called it Meta’s “most powerful headset ever” while retaining the wire-free convenience that made Quest a hit. Swappable faceplates and charging docks round out the hardware improvements.
Quest 3 starts at $499 and opens for pre-order immediately, targeting an August launch.
Zuckerberg also outlined major mixed reality software features in the pipeline. Spatial mapping will scan physical environments into VR for safe movement. Persistent digital “augments” can be anchored to precise real-world locations. And Xbox Cloud Gaming arrives later this year to let users play AAA games on massive virtual screens.
“We’re just scratching the surface of what will be possible,” Zuckerberg said, envisioning AR holograms as ubiquitous as physical objects.
Meshing Man and Machine with Artificial Intelligence
Next, Zuckerberg dove into artificial intelligence advancements that will drive Meta’s services and hardware. While Meta made waves in AI research this year with large language model LLama 2, Zuckerberg focused on more consumer-centric applications.
He introduced Meta AI, a multipurpose digital assistant chatbot incorporating LLama 2 foundations. Users will be able to converse with Meta AI across Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram starting in limited beta.
But more interesting are specialized AIs built by Meta to showcase unique personalities and interests. For instance Max the cooking aide or Lorena the road trip planner. To humanize them, Meta partnered with celebrities like Snoop Dogg to voice characters.
Zuckerberg admitted these are early prototypes but promised rapid improvements as Meta rolls out an AI creation platform next year. He envisions AR glasses becoming mainstream thanks to voice assistant AI capabilities.
Next-Gen Smart Glasses Paint a Picture
Transitioning to hardware, Zuckerberg unveiled the second-generation Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses co-developed with EssilorLuxottica. The new Stories gain upgraded cameras, audio, performance and style.
Zuckerberg highlighted new social features like livestreaming directly from the glasses camera, allowing creators to share unique first-person perspectives.
Starting at $299, Ray-Ban Stories now come in more frame styles and colors. For Zuckerberg, they provide a “glimpse of the future” where wearable AR and AI merge into an ambient assistant.
Tying everything together, Zuckerberg framed Meta’s relentless product blitz as steadily bridging physical and digital worlds to achieve his metaverse vision. He believes Quest 3, Meta AI and Ray-Ban Stories represent integral steps toward overlapping realities.
“As we get these technologies in your hands, the real fun begins,” Zuckerberg concluded to rapturous applause. Meta’s metaverse manifesto sets an ambitious technological vision. But only real-world adoption will determine if Zuckerberg’s metaverse quest succeeds.