Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Meta Platforms, unveiled the next generation of his Quest 3 mixed reality headset on Thursday as it braces for Apple to change the rules of an emerging market that has so far been dominated by the social media giant.
Zuckerberg revealed in an Instagram post that the glasses, which start at $499, will be 40% thinner than previous Meta glasses and feature a colorful mixed reality display that combines elements of augmented and virtual reality.
View it post on Instagram
Meta has also said it will lower the price of existing Quest 2 glasses as well as add performance upgrades to provide a smoother experience for users.
Zuckerberg said Quest 3 will also feature a new set of Qualcomm chips that deliver twice the graphics processing of its Quest 2 predecessor.
He said the glasses would be released 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 related context, Bloomberg reported that Zuckerberg’s announcement comes less than a week before rival Apple is expected to unveil its first mixed reality glasses, priced at nearly $3,000.
Research firm IDC estimates that Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest Pro glasses will account for roughly 80% of the 8.8 million mixed reality glasses sold in 2022.
And in second place by a wide margin, with a 10% market share, was Pico glasses, which are made by Chinese company ByteDance, which also owns rival social media platform TikTok.
But Meta, as dominant as it is, has struggled to market its vision of a “Metaverse” of interconnected virtual worlds, while also increasing its share of points outside of the e-gaming market.
After skyrocketing during the coronavirus pandemic, glasses sales fell in the first quarter of this year as the overall VR/AR headset market shrank 54.4% year-on-year.