Here’s what you missed at Meta Connect 2022 • TechCrunch

Last year at Meta Connect, the company then known as Facebook, dropped a bombshell: it would now be known as Meta and would focus on building the “metaverse.” After investing billions of dollars in the future of virtual reality, the rebranded meta came back this year with its next big announcement: legs. Yes, avatars will have legs – our disembodied torsos will finally assume their two-legged form.

Okay well, we all know that today’s biggest announcement was the anticipated Meta Quest Pro, a high-end VR headset that retails for $1,499.99. But between his new hardware and his legs, Meta revealed a number of updates in his plan to dominate virtual reality.

Here’s what Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Meta executives revealed at Meta Connect 2022:

  • The Quest Pro ships this month. After months of excitement, Meta introduced the upcoming Quest Pro headset. With Meta’s last headset, the Quest 2, the company’s goal was to create an affordable consumer product. But the Mixed Reality Quest Pro is Meta’s chance to capitalize on the result of all the money it’s invested in Reality Labs.
  • Microsoft partners with Meta to bring workplace tools to VR. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined Zuckerberg at Meta Connect to announce that Windows apps, a Teams integration, and Xbox cloud gaming are coming to Quest. Users can also use progressive web app versions of tools like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook.
Microsoft Teams avatars

Avatars in Microsoft Teams.

  • Meta really doubles down on this whole “working in VR” thing. Who’s the audience for a $1,499 headset? corporations maybe. Meta said it has deployed 60,000 Quest 2 headsets through a partnership with Accenture and will develop a “Meta Quest for Business” subscription product next year. “There’s an opportunity for a VR headset that’s designed from the ground up to be great for work as well as great for play and hanging out,” Zuckerberg said. CTO Andrew Bosworth seems to be on the same page, noting that VR headsets could one day replace our desktops all together. We’ll believe it when we see it.
  • Meta finally revealed some sales figures. Until now, Meta has been pretty reluctant to disclose financial information about its Metaverse (unless it’s the SEC). Today the company announced that its Quest Store has made over $1.5 billion from sales of games and apps. That sounds impressive, but consider that just last quarter, Meta invested $2.8 billion in virtual reality.
  • It’s time to get puffy. Exercise is an unexpected use case for virtual reality. There’s a lot to be skeptical about Zuckerberg’s intense Metaverse push, but VR fitness apps like Supernatural are actually a lot of fun. Now Meta is releasing a bundle of products to help you… sweat less when boxing in your headset. For $69.99 you get a wipe clean face interface, wrist straps and adjustable ankle straps. Is this really worth $69.99? I don’t know, is the Quest Pro really worth $1,499.99? We will see.

Photo credit: Meta

  • Meta partners with NBCUniversal. Streaming app Peacock is coming to Quest as part of a multi-year deal. Meta also said it will develop experiences around intellectual property like The Office, Universal Monsters, DreamWorks, Blumhouse and Halloween Horror Nights.
  • Share videos from Horizon Worlds on Reels. We’re not sure who wanted this, but sure. Why not. Seriously, it could be a good way for Meta to just raise awareness of what Horizon Worlds is and how (a small number of) people are using it. But Horizon Worlds is boring at best, so we don’t see that catching on.

Photo credit: Meta

  • But what if legs could change everything? Yes, Horizon Worlds is a pretty chilling attempt at convincing people that the metaverse is cool. But what if our disembodied torsos finally did Legs? In the next update of Meta’s avatars, we will finally look like real people. Sort of. “Seriously, those legs are hard!” Zuckerberg quipped during the presentation.
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Well, if you’re keen on crunching some spreadsheets, making calls in Teams in VR, and stretching out your new digital legs, the Quest Pro is available for pre-order now and is expected to ship on October 25th.

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Read more about Meta Connect 2022 on TechCrunch


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