Meta, the leading immersive technology firm, has sparked speculation about its next XR headset following the recent release of the Meta Quest 3 and Ray Ban Smartglasses. With an uptick in MR headset orders during the holiday season, it seems that Meta’s XR engineers are already working on the next phase of their headset lineup.
During a University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences speaker session, Douglas Lanman, the Director of Display System Research at Meta’s Reality Labs, unveiled a prototype device called Mirror Lake. Lanman claimed that the innovative MR headset is practical to build with today’s resources. The 3D render of the Mirror Lake device showcased during the session revealed its potential to enhance immersion levels, bringing XR visual display closer to real life.
Mirror Lake aims to address key pain points of XR headsets, such as size, weight, and form factor, making it more practical for frontline usage in various settings. The device also includes reverse pass-through cameras with multi-eye tracking features, enabling third parties to see the user’s eyes, similar to an upcoming feature in Apple’s Vision Pro device.
Another breakthrough of Mirror Lake is the holocake lens, a new display technology that improves accessibility by providing integrated support for those who wear prescription glasses. These innovations align with Meta’s focus on designing workplace XR hardware and industrial Metaverse software.
Looking ahead to 2024, Meta is focused on strengthening its position in the XR market. The company is making significant moves in the enterprise solutions space, targeting industries such as aviation, transportation, and retail for the adoption of immersive technologies. Meta’s strategy involves introducing a large number of devices into homes to establish a foundation for workplace XR, similar to the approach taken by smartphones in the consumer market before gaining prominence in the workplace.
Meta has also launched the Meta Quest for Business platform, offering enterprise-grade subscription services to support business clients using Meta Quest 2, 3, and Pro devices. The platform includes device management, application distribution, and add-ons such as Shared Mode and Support Plus, catering to the specific needs of businesses.
Dan Nieves, Meta’s Global Executive of Engagement, Reality Labs, highlighted the potential of the combination of physical and digital worlds in shaping our reality. Businesses are leveraging XR technologies to create new opportunities, especially in fields such as education, healthcare, and workplace collaboration.
As Meta continues to expand its XR portfolio and make inroads into the enterprise solutions space, it is evident that the company is poised to make a significant impact in the industrial Metaverse. The upcoming Mirror Lake headset and Meta’s overall focus on workplace XR signal an exciting direction for the immersive technology firm in the coming year.