Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat down with CNET for an interview where he speaks about the company’s progress on its next generation of VR devices, namely what it might include in the ‘Oculus Quest Pro’ standalone headset.

Zuckerberg previously spoke about how Facebook is preparing a Quest 3 and 4, saying in March that teams are devoted to building those headsets and exploring things like improved optics, better compute performance, and creating smaller and lighter devices.

Now Zuckerberg confirms that not only is Facebook working on a Quest Pro, but that it could include sensors for both face and eye tracking. That’s a first for any Oculus device, although HTC has beaten them to the punch with its Vive Pro Eye and its more recent face tracker add-on.

Vision Pro and Quest 3 Hand-tracking Latency Compared

The Facebook chief maintains both face and eye tracking will be fundamental pieces to reaching two important goals: a “sense of presence” and “social connection” through its VR devices, he says. There’s a few more reasons why eye tracking is a game changer for VR, although those are certain two of the biggest ones.

Zuckerberg spoke very generally about the headset, saying that, as the name would suggest, Quest Pro is planned to be a higher-end standalone. What isn’t clear is how much it will cost, and who the target market will be. He says it will necessarily be “a little more expensive” than the Quest 2’s $300 baseline price, however the hardware will be priced with some level of mass appeal still in mind.

“We’re not approaching this from the perspective of, how do we charge people as much money as possible and make profit on the devices?” he told CNET. “We want to get as many people as possible to be able to experience virtual reality and be able to jump into the metaverse and then be able to have these social experiences within that. Then that’s really where where our bread and butter as a company is in terms of building those experiences.”

Quest [left] and Quest 2 [right] | Photo by Road to VR
Zuckerberg maintains some distance from directly promising any specific feature for Quest Pro—like face & eye tracking, or fitness sensor integration—however he mentions that increasing the amount of sensors will necessarily require more compute power.

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“We’ve talked a bit about things like eye tracking and face tracking, and you’re talking now about things like different health sensors, whether that’s heart rate monitoring or the different other kinds of fitness sensors that you might have on a fitness watch. The basic thing that these all have in common is that each of them takes additional compute power to power the thing. And the whole device needs to be tuned for that. So if you want to basically have a device over time that is just capable of all these things and is running an increasing number of sensors, you need to kind of get to higher- and higher-end devices. And then the question for us is going to be, well, how do we innovate on what that’s going to look like and be able to deliver something that’s a high-end product?”

Just last month Facebook gave tens of thousands of employees Quest 2 for to keep fit from home. This may very well be another ‘dogfooding’ strategy from Facebook, whereby a company conducts broad internal beta testing before launching a device or service. Zuckerberg maintains that over the next five years, the company will be focusing on both the sensor-packed high-end as well as “devices that can be broadly available to everyone.”

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • mepy

    Strategically placed PR message to appease the stock market without any clear promises on specific tech, time frame or price points, and with caveats on technological issues, just to try to deflate any tech disadvantage in the competition with HTC Vive. Tomorrow we will know just how much of a technological disadvantages.

    • Blaexe

      Also do you really want eye and face tracking on a Facebook owned device that can gather detailed information about your emotional responses about everything you do and see in VR?

      People repeating this nonstop is getting old. It doesn’t matter. If we want that great, high fidelity future – we will need eye tracking. It doesn’t matter which company you’re looking at.

      • JB1968

        It surely DOES matter which company! And sadly Facebook belong to the worst options here in terms of at least basic ethics and privacy.

        • Blaexe

          No, it doesn’t. If you don’t want a facebook headset – don’t get a facebook headset, now or in the future. That’s up to the individual and it wil be up to the individual.

          Every single VR headset will have eye tracking at some point. What exactly should facebook do in your opinion?

          • mepy

            They shouldn’t collect data on peoples emotions, if they won’t do that they should by default have the option off, there should be a warning flashed if it’s on. Companies should be banned by law from collecting data on peoples emotions through facial and eye tracking. This is uncharted territory in surveillance, it’s worse than having cameras and microphones in peoples homes. The manipulation possibilities would effectively abolish any remanence of free will.

          • CURTROCK

            WOW. Are you this scared of all tech? I assume you don’t use a cell phone, or email either, right?

          • mepy

            No company is collecting the contents of my emails, my phone calls or my texts. I do use private browsers and search engines such as Brave, on both my phone and my PC.

            I see no reason to allow somebody to collect so many data-points on me that I can easily be manipulated into purchasing, selling, thinking or voting whatever they decide – and quite possibly not even be aware of it.

            It’s sure way to getting constantly ripped off, getting into perpetual debt and wage slavery and having politicians elected that won’t support anything that is important to anybody else than the ones that can afford to buy the thinking, emotions and opinions of people.

          • JB1968

            Please don’t generalize here. You don’t have to be overly paranoid but also don’t have to trust the most discredited companies (where FB is a huge player) in the privacy field.

          • Blaexe

            According to Boz that will be exactly how it will work. Off by default and optionally opt-in. So what exactly is the problem?

            Maybe the real problem here is that Facebook can say whatever they want and you won’t believe it anyway?

          • mepy

            The problem is that we have to make sure these companies are aware that people are drawing a line, in order to make sure there are such options.

            And even then there is no way to be sure they won’t just change their EULA in the future if enough people are willing to give away these freedoms or they find some way of convincing enough people to give away these freedoms, and if then already they have many million people hooked on their hardware or software to the point of it seems to be a larger inconvenience to stop using their hardware or software there is a really huge problem.

            It was the same problem with e.g. Google, that at some point had spiders look through the content of the emails in Gmail.

            If these data companies could they would collect all these data points, their primary or rather only purpose is simply economic profit from selling the emotions, thinking and opinions of people.

          • Blaexe

            So they can do whatever they want, you won’t trust Facebook anyway.

          • mepy

            So if a company was doing surveillance on the people in the street you live on, taking notes on who and when you talk to somebody, going through your mail and making notes on what you are reading, following people around and noting down where they go and who they talk to, making a detailed lists about your past, activities and interests – in order to sell all this information to anybody that wants it, you think that’s the sort of people that should be trusted?

          • Blaexe

            Again: according to Bosworth data sharing will be opt-in and disabled by default.

            What exactly is your problem with that?

          • mepy

            The problem is all the naive owners that will allow them to collect the data, and that’s often the majority.

          • Blaexe

            Giving people the choice is not an issue, no matter how you want to spin it.

          • mepy

            It shouldn’t even be possible to do surveillance and storage of peoples facial and eye data. There is no reason for this even being an option when other companies don’t do this. The only reason these data-companies make anything semi-optional is to avoid new laws that outright ban these blatant infringements on peoples privacy.

          • Blaexe

            But it IS possible. It’s possible for HTC, Sony, Facebook, Valve, Apple, Microsoft…

            Whether Facebook or anyone else will actually do it is completely unknown. There’s no consumer headset with eye tracking yet.

          • JB1968

            Are you joking? I’m not against eye tracking but I’ll never trust company such as FB which will offer that (no matter what cool price or hw).

            And what exactly should FB do? IMHO they should stop crippling and abusing VR as a medium in the name of their sick company policies and visions of controlling people and making money out of them. That simple.

            I totally understand everyone is happy with cool and in VR headset for cheap money but in this case the real price they pay is deeply hidden and when people realize it may be too late.

          • Blaexe

            That’s exactly what I said then. You don’t trust Facebook – no matter what they say and which options for privacy they provide and your “solution” is to not build a needed feature into future headsets.

            Yeah, sure…

      • Mradr

        Its been proven to some level as well with the release of Apple tracking block that only about 15% of people opt into being track while FB before said, people love to be track to only now being desperate saying either do it or we will start to charge you.

    • Bob

      Every time an article like this pops up on this website or UploadVR, it’s always the same type of comments made by the same type of people. It’s beginning to sound like a broken record at this point. Let the people decide for themselves and if they’re smart enough they will know not to purchase the device.

      • mepy

        Sometimes I question if these naive comments are already the product of Facebook algorithms or if some people really are this willing to give away their freedom of thought – for free.

        • Bob

          It’s funny how everything is either black or white for certain types of people which usually align with exactly the same types of people I mentioned in the original comment.

          “some people really are this willing to give away their freedom of thought – for free.”

          The last time I checked, giving away your “freedom of thought” and having your mind controlled by a multi-billion dollar corporation cost the taxpayer $299. Or, is there something fundamental I’m missing here?

          Please read and interpret the message properly before using seemingly big words for yourself such as ‘naive’.

          • mepy

            Yeah, my point was of course that if you are going to give away your freedom of thought you should at least get paid for it.

          • guest

            Yes, they make most their money by selling your profile to right wing governments, or parties if you are in the USA. They recently got in trouble where countries that execute homosexuals got hold of their data of people that were over 51% on that part of their profile!

      • JB1968

        Yeah, maybe you should study a bit of history where a big mass of people was manipulated and how it ended. But I totally get people have short memory and history is repeating no matter what bunch of bunch of broken records play so all good…

  • MeowMix

    Eye tracking better include Dynamic Foveated Rendering to enable higher scaled graphics for Quest titles. Without it, then the included eye tracking is nothing more than an overpriced gimmick used for social VR stuff.

    • On the surface it sounds like a stupid gimmick, I agree 1000%.
      But not only does it help to make for better AIO graphics, I’ve read how
      they can infer SO much about your personality just from eyetracking alone!

      • xyzs

        Can you stop always posting with bold text like you matter more than the rest of us ? that’s really a lame way to try being more visible.

        Do we post in upper case or bold text ? No, so act the same.

        • care package

          That and caps shows desperation for sure.

        • TheWarrior19xx

          you’re definitely right about that , his comments really annoy me whenever I check UploadVR or roadtovr , he thinks that he’s more important than other people

    • Bob

      I think the first use-cases for this technology on this higher-end Oculus device will be squarely aimed at elevating social experiences. You probably won’t get dynamic foveated rendering for this one.

    • Pablo C

      I guess that´s the great thing of having a one-company-owned closed system (not that I like it): All future games that want to greatly improve graphics will have it. It´ll be far ahead PC foveated rendering practical aplication.

      • Navhkrin

        It doesn’t tho. Headset merely sending where eyes are focusing on is enough data. Rest can be handled on DX12 titles by utilizing Variable Rate Shading. As an indie dev I was planning to utilize this on my game using Tobii eye tracker but other features take precedence.

        • Pablo C

          Right, but Facebook can force all future Quest apps to have this, while Windows cannot. I trully hope it is as simple as you say though.

          • Navhkrin

            It requires game to support DirectX 12, if it does, then it is pretty easy. If it does not – it is extremely difficult to implement.

            This is because DX12 comes with a built-in feature that basically makes this piece of cake to implement.

  • Rogue Transfer

    Mark Zuckerberg in a recent interview, also said that with additional high-speed sensors(like eye-tracking), they have the problem of processing heat generated; and he stressed multiple times that they don’t want to “burn your face off”, by adding them.

    So, it doesn’t look likely combined with his statements above. As Andrew Bosworth(I believe) confirmed recently, the Quest Pro doesn’t exist yet, it’s just something they are thinking about. It seems they don’t even know what might get put in it or not! So, a bit premature discussing something just theoretical at this point.

    • Mradr

      Tobii has been around for a while, no one reports any heat generation going on to the point it would hurt/burn you. That sounds more like a plot to keep discussion down about eye tracking.

  • Nothing to see here

    Eye tracking is great for foviated rendering so that stuff you are looking at is sharper which means a much better experience without needing a massive GPU to render everything at full detail. However this is not what has Zuckerberg excited. He wants you to be all social so he wants your avatar to match your facial expression and eye movements. I can only speak for myself here but this is not what I consider a professional feature. I get the distinct impression that Zuckerberg wants to tell us what we should want out of VR when he should be listening to what we actually want: Better graphics, frame rate, field of view and support for custom lenses.

    • silvaring

      The ‘we’ is not as important as the ‘partners’ who facebook is giving peoples data to.

    • Chris

      Speak for yourself. I want better social features like eye and facial tracking. it makes experiences like PokerStars VR so much more realistic and personal.

  • mepy

    Just going to copy paste what I replied to your previous identical comment on this:

    “The price actually isn’t so incredible. The Oculus Quest 2 sells for $800 to businesses and they also have to pay $180 annually. So almost $1200 for two years.

    And it’s not $1700 for the Vive Focus 3, as that’s with European sales tax included (which are deductible by businesses in the European countries), so the price is closer to $1400 both in the US and for European businesses, that’s not miles off the Quest 2 at the cost of $1200 over two years.

    Also the Vive Focus 3 will have better specifications than the Quest 2 and Vive has more business oriented software because Vive actually invests in developing business oriented software, something Facebook doesn’t because there is no profit in not being able to collect the data of businesses, and not colleting and selling data that’s outside Facebooks core corporate profile.”

  • JakeDunnegan

    From any other company, I’d say eye/face tracking a “cool” or even “awesome” addition.

    From Facebook, it just sounds creepy. One more way they are attempting to own my soul.

    Hard pass.

  • Just give us better tracking in the next one.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Why do you keep putting your posts in complete bold? Yeah I know you want to stand out, but it’s not good ethics. From now on try to refrain from using bold on your whole post, people will read it anyway. Everything in bold is almost like everything in capital.

  • jbob4mall

    I’m worried about how soon the pro is going to come. Haven’t bought quest 2 yet.

    • Painkiller

      Me too. They already said that isn’t coming this year, I bet in the end of 2022…

    • Navhkrin

      If it is not coming this year, that means they will be aiming for TSMC 3nm process. That would imply second half 2022.

  • Mradr

    Really, at this point, they should just release a range of products instead. Basic, Advance, Pro/business. There is little reason why they’re not in the Pro/business market using the basic style they are now. Basic should be price focus for entry. Advance should be displaying the next basic features, and the pro should be displaying all the features current for that time. $200-400, $600-800, and $800-1200.

  • They don’t aim at the money, they just want to connect people. I didn’t know that Facebook was a no-profit…

  • care package

    It just might possibly could that I know for a fact.

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