Facebook today announced that its XR conference, Facebook Connect (previously called Oculus Connect) will be held on October 28th. This is the second year running that the event has been in an online format due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Facebook Connect is the company’s annual conference for AR and VR developers. It’s also often used as a platform for the company to make major announcements relating to its XR initiatives.
While prior versions of the event have been an on-site multi-day affair, for the second year running the event will be hosted online. The company announced today that Facebook Connect will happen on October 28th, likely comprised of pre-recorded video segments.
Beyond the date and confirmation that this year’s event will once again happen online, there’s no information yet about the event’s program, with the official website asking visitors to “check back for registration and event updates.”
By my recollection, October 28th is the latest in the year that the event has ever been held. In 2020 it happened on October 13th and in 2019 it kicked off on September 25th.
Considering that the event is being hosted online, Facebook doesn’t have to contend with venue schedules, which likely means the company carefully picked late October to align with its strategic objectives. The holiday shopping period has been huge for Quest and Quest 2 in years past; a late October event seems poised to generate excitement on the run up to the holidays.
Last year Facebook announced Quest 2 at Facebook Connect. It was somewhat surprising considering that the company had just shipped the original Quest the year before, and it was unclear whether they would follow up so quickly with a successor (especially during the pandemic chaos).
It’s similarly unclear this year if the company will attempt to keep up a yearly pace for hardware improvements, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spoken about the idea of a ‘Quest Pro’ headset. There’s also those AR glasses the company has been working on.
If anything, Facebook’s greatest interest in upgrades to Quest 2 right now is likely focused on upgrading its cameras to support the headset’s experimental AR capabilities.