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Quest 3: The Upcoming Apple’s Competitor

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Meta Platforms Inc. is gearing up to launch its highly-anticipated Quest 3 headset, which could become Apple’s biggest competition in the mixed-reality realm. With Apple’s upcoming headset set to dominate the high-end market, Meta aims to capture the more affordable segment and leverage Apple’s influence in popularizing XR technology. This article provides an exclusive first look at the Quest 3 and highlights its potential to challenge Apple’s dominance in the industry.

Meta, the current leader in XR (augmented and virtual reality), has been continuously updating its devices to maintain its position. As with Apple’s previous rivalry with Google’s Android in the smartphone industry, a similar war is expected to unfold in the realm of headsets. While Apple is poised to conquer the upscale market with its headset priced over $2,000, Meta will retain its stronghold in the more affordable segment, catering to consumers who seek a high-quality yet budget-friendly XR experience.

The battle between the two tech giants will commence in the coming months, with Apple unveiling its headset on June 5 and Meta planning to announce its latest model in October. Despite Apple’s device remaining under wraps, this article offers an insider’s perspective on Meta’s prototype Quest 3, providing valuable insights into how it stacks up against Apple’s offering.

The Quest 3, codenamed Eureka, showcases notable improvements over its predecessor, the Quest 2. It boasts a sleek and lightweight design, with a more robust head strap and fabric sides for enhanced comfort. The front of the device features three vertical pill-shaped sensor areas, with each pill housing a color video pass-through camera and a standard camera. Additionally, a depth sensor is introduced, a first for the Quest series. These upgrades contribute to a more immersive and visually appealing mixed reality experience.

Notable enhancements in the Quest 3 include video pass-through performance and overall speed. While the Quest 3 may not match the prowess of Apple’s device, which is rumored to have around a dozen cameras, its dual RGB color cameras significantly improve the accuracy of video pass-through and offer a lifelike rendering of the real world. Users can even use their smartphones while wearing the headset, a feat that is often challenging with the Quest 2.

The Quest 3’s interface navigation, app launching, and gaming capabilities also receive a considerable boost in speed and performance. Thanks to the integration of Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon XR2 chip, users can expect a seamless and fluid experience while exploring the device’s features.

While Meta hasn’t yet found the “killer app” for its headsets, the company has a significant advantage over Apple in terms of top-flight games built for VR. To counter this, Apple plans to provide access to hundreds of thousands of iPad apps and aims to facilitate the conversion of iOS and iPadOS software into xrOS titles. This strategic move allows Apple to leverage its existing app ecosystem and potentially bridge the gap in content availability.

In terms of control, the Quest 3 relies on hand remotes and in-air hand tracking, similar to its predecessor. However, it lacks face and eye tracking, as well as eye-tracked foveated rendering, which optimizes resource allocation based on a user’s gaze. These omissions may hinder certain games that rely on precise tracking. Nevertheless, Meta compensates for this with various tracking improvements and the introduction of environment meshing, enabling automatic identification of surrounding walls for an immersive experience.

Pricing details for the Quest 3 remain uncertain, but industry insiders believe it may exceed the Quest 2’s $400 price tag. It is also speculated that the Quest 2 may continue to be available at a lower price point. While a second-generation Quest Pro isn’t expected anytime soon due to the lackluster response to its initial version, the Quest 3’s mixed-reality focus, improved video pass-through, faster performance, and extensive content library position it as a compelling option for consumers, especially during the upcoming holiday season.

As the launch of Apple’s headset draws near, Meta’s Quest 3 aims to capture a significant share of the market and challenge Apple’s dominance in the mixed-reality realm. With its attractive price point and impressive features, the Quest 3 is poised to make a splash and elevate the XR experience for consumers around the world.