I’m a bit angry with Facebook today for other reasons, so forgive me if this seethes over into the commentary on the $1500 USD Meta Quest Pro, which is accepting preorders today for their new headset aimed at workers.
The main addition to the Meta Quest Pro seems to be AR, eye tracking, and it appears facial expression making this targeted toward those wanting a more natural face to face experience. The AR is about the only addition that I’d personally be interested in exploring, but it seems such a niche at the moment that it’s going to be relegated to the HGTV crowd.
Also seems like something that could be added using existing Meta Quest 2 using a connected iPhone or Android for a camera sweep.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great upgrade, I really do appreciate the AR side and the thing looks quite a bit cooler than the Meta Quest 2, but the reality here is the issues with virtual meetings and the Meta Quest 2, at least for me, have not been hardware limitations, it’s been pretty meh software and support. A high-priced cheapness of applications, not a lack of processing power or abilities to implement them.
I’ve had the Meta Quest 2 for at least a name change, three accounts, and more bugs than I can shake a stick at. I’ve suffered through airlink and Meta not figuring out it was a VPN related issue, dealt with more outdated documentation than you you should ever expect on something this relatively new, and read horror story after horror story of Facebook related account shutdowns and months of people’s lives wasted attempting to get their units or accounts working again.
Imagine your business meeting being shut down and having to attempt to contact Meta because your employee posted something the Facebook AI decided was dangerous. Or having an employee suspended by FB and requiring access to their headset data. Seems like at least with the way the setup is that the headset accounts need to be completely disassociated with anything Facebook, and the current account situation does not appear to be that. Eh, there may be something I’m missing but short of it is FB/Meta’s support has been garbage, at least what I’ve experienced.
Will the Pro come with support that doesn’t start with “let’s go ahead and reset the unit and let it sit for six hours”?
I honestly believe the Meta Quest 2, the predecessor to this, is more than capable. Then again I’m not attempting to have meetings with cartoonish representations of people on a regular basis. I do know that’s a thing, I’ve done it, but it’s usually been a last resort. Maybe I’m just old but if I’m not seeing their face, a floating torso doesn’t really connect me with them all that well and I doubt their face moving a bit more would.
$1500 per unit though is my main notice here. Imagine you’re going to have a meeting with two or three other people remotely. OK, that’s $4500-6000 in headgear to be on the same page. Now this might be worth it, maybe we drop a couple of them down to observer Meta Quest 2 level from Meta Quest Pro, I don’t know. This is a very high priced entry, or maybe I’m just cheap having looked for deals for my businesses most of my life.
As an IT manager I’d seriously have nightmares about this becoming 20-30K in unusable e-junk until someone sits on with Meta support for a month, but maybe I’m overthinking it. I just wouldn’t trust Facebook for any business related thing with how they’ve previously handled their support.
But, that’s just my opinion… bring the price down to $799 USD or so, completely revamp the support channels for a business/premium support, etc… then my trepidations will be less.