Meta Updates Horizon Worlds Ahead of Connect 2023
Meta’s annual Connect event is just around the corner, and the tech giant is gearing up to showcase its latest XR products and software. This year, Meta will be unveiling more information about its Quest 3 MR headset and Horizon Metaverse platform during the event.
At last year’s Connect event, Meta made a big push for its Metaverse service, which aimed to cater to consumers, enterprises, and live events. However, over the past year, the service struggled to maintain a significant user base.
Despite this setback, Meta seems determined to improve its Horizon service leading into Connect 2023. Recently, the company released two updates to Horizon Worlds, focusing on improving avatars and interoperability.
One notable update introduced legs to the avatars in Horizon Worlds. Meta initially showcased this feature last year but took some time to implement it while focusing on the launch of the Quest 3. The update allows Quest operators to see their avatar legs in the third person, such as when looking in a mirror. However, users have noted that the legs currently do not support couching or sitting, causing some disorientation. It is possible that Meta may enhance this feature as it approaches Connect 2023.
In addition to avatar improvements, Meta is also preparing to release a mobile version of the Horizon Worlds service. Although the mobile app does not have a set release date yet, Meta has been working on it for the past year. The company, however, decided to delay its distribution as it felt that the initial version of the app was more of a VR game on mobile rather than a mobile-native experience.
Meta aims to expand the user base of Horizon by improving device interoperability, allowing the platform to reach a broader range of devices. To support this expansion, Meta has established Ouro Interactive, a production studio focused on creating Horizon VR experiences and content for both headsets and mobile devices.
According to Meta’s Vice President of Metaverse, Vishal Shah, Ouro Interactive is dedicated to developing first-party VR gaming experiences like Super Rumble. Shah believes that this studio represents the “next generation” of Meta’s Metaverse service and will provide compelling content for Horizon users from day one.
Shah also emphasized that Meta’s long-term vision for Horizon remains the same: to create a user-generated content ecosystem built by creators. The company is also working on integrated AI solutions to make it easier for aspiring Metaverse developers to get started.
As for the much-anticipated Connect 2023 event, Meta is partially hosting it on the Horizon Worlds platform. Set to take place on September 27-28, 2023, Meta Connect will be a virtual showcase that users can watch via Facebook and Horizon Worlds. Some parts of the event will also be held in person at Meta’s headquarters, allowing attendees to try out their immersive portfolio, including the Quest devices, Ray-Ban Stories, Avatars, and Horizon Worlds.
During the event, Meta will provide attendees with a closer look at upcoming XR products, developments in the Horizon Worlds metaverse, emerging AI innovations, and hands-on opportunities with their forthcoming immersive product portfolio. The event will also feature sessions for developers, builders, and creators to learn from Meta’s community.
The first day of Meta Connect will kick off with a keynote by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, followed by a “Developer State of the Union” address. These sessions have historically been a platform for groundbreaking announcements, such as the company’s rebranding. On the second day, attendees can expect developer sessions and sneak peeks of upcoming products, likely including the highly anticipated Meta Quest 3 MR device.
Meta’s Quest 3 MR device will enter the market competing with other MR products from companies such as Apple, Varjo, HTC Vive, Nreal, Samsung, and Google. With its competitive features, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ chipset, 128GB of storage, 2 hours of battery life, room for prescription glasses, hand-tracking, eye-tracking, and a 100-degree field of view, Meta aims to stay ahead of the competition.
As Connect 2023 approaches, it’s clear that Meta is working diligently to improve its Horizon service and deliver an impressive lineup of XR products. The event will undoubtedly be an exciting opportunity for users and developers alike to witness Meta’s advancements in the XR space and the future of the Horizon Metaverse.