Meta Announces Updated Headset and Animation


Mark Zuckerberg with the Quest Pro headset | Image by META

Mark Zuckerberg announced a new Quest Pro VR Headset last week at a Meta Connect conference. The Quest Pro has a $1,499 retail price and features updated animation, including legs, which Zuckerberg said “was the most requested feature.”

Along with legs, Metaverse avatars now have the ability to portray facial expressions and other non-verbal communication, such as squinting eyes, raised eyebrows, and furrowed brows. The headset reportedly contains “natural facial expression” trackers that sense movement on the wearer’s face and mimic those on his avatar accordingly.

Critics quickly took to Twitter to announce their distaste for the platform.

One user tweeted, “Mark Zuckerberg has finally entered the year 1998 in terms of video game models.” Another wrote, “Meta has, to this date, spent potentially millions of dollars trying and failing to make a digital version of Mark Zuckerberg that looks normal.”

Since the rebranding of Facebook to Meta last October, Meta has yet to impress the general public.

Images of Zuckerberg’s avatar have become a common meme as users expressed disappointment at the low-quality graphics and short battery life of the Oculus headset.

Even some Meta employees are not keen on using the new device in their workspaces.

Meta’s Vice President Vishal Shah reportedly sent out a memo to employees stating, “The simple truth is if we don’t love [the Metaverse], how can we expect our users to love it?”

Zuckerburg replied to the general doubts about the Metaverse, asking people to temper their expectations for a technology that is both brand new and still in development.

He stated, “This is the first version of the work VR device line that we’re shipping, and it’s not going to be until later this decade, when we’re on V4 and V5, that this stuff really starts to get fully mature.”

For the first time in Facebook/Meta’s history, revenue fell significantly over the past year, and stock prices dropped 60% this year. Zuckerberg has responded to the decrease in revenue by canceling low-priority projects and instituting a hiring freeze.

In 2021, Meta spent over $10 billion to launch and improve the platform. Despite the mounting criticism of Metaverse and Horizon, Metaverse’s VR workplace syndicate, Zuckerberg remains committed to the project.  

In an interview with The Verge, Zuckerberg said, “I feel like I’ve been doing this for long enough to understand that everything [that] goes well brings its own challenges in different ways, too. So I think you just deal with what’s in front of you. But I’m focused on [the Metaverse] over the long term.”

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