Meta (formerly Facebook) announced a mixed reality headset at its Connect 2021 dev conference last week—code named Project Cambria. The company’s official teaser video is supposed to leave a little something to the imagination, however leaked 3D models have surfaced now that seems to show a convincing view of the headset.

Here’s that teaser in case you missed it:

Prior to its unveiling at Connect, a number of leaked videos revealing Project Cambria were posted on Twitter by user Bastian which was reportedly found in the ‘Seacliff’ firmware—ostensibly an internal name designation used by Meta.

If that wasn’t enough, Bastian also uncovered Project Cambria models, which they have now reconstructed into a full 3D model, rendering it within a VR headset for full effect.

In the video you can get a better look at the headset’s strap, which appears to be a bit of a mix between PSVR’s halo strap and the Quest 2 elite strap that both cradles the occipital bone and the forehead.

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The reconstructed model also gives us a closer look at the headset’s Touch controllers, which have a noticeable inward slope in comparison to the flat button area in previous Touch designs. Like we’ve seen in previous leaks, the Touch controllers appear to house their own optical sensors, or depth sensors of some sort.

There’s even the model of the charging cradle, which we also saw in the previous how-to promo.

Notably included in the 3D model is the Oculus logo. Meta announced last week that the Oculus naming scheme will be phased out sometime in early 2022, as the Oculus Quest line becomes Meta Quest. This may imply that the Meta rebranding wasn’t known to the Oculus team at the time, or that the model itself was an earlier representation before the name change was internally discussed.

Speaking to Road to VR, Bastian reports the model in question is at least older than September 22nd, 2021, since that was the build time indicated in the Seacliff firmware.

Meta says Project Cambria will launch “next year,” however there’s still no pricing or more precise launch window. Check out the Connect announcement of Project Cambria to learn everything we know about the upcoming headset.

Update (12:20 PM ET): Bastian reached out to us to provide corrections to material errors made within the article. We’ve included all corrections above. Thank you, Bastian!

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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.
  • Yeah, looks like a pretty slick headset all round, including the controllers and stand. It will be interesting to see how the final product compares. Given how far along it looks, along with the leaded demo videos, I expect this is probably very close to what “we” are gonna get.

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      • ViRGiN

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        • xyzs

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  • Bob

    Interesting. I’m actually confused as to why those lenses on the 3D model render appear significantly larger than the ones shown in the teaser. Is the reconstruction actually accurate? The design and form factor looks excellent; compact and very professional. Well done to their design and engineering team.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Different prototypes and cost reductions…

    • I wouldn’t put too much into these 3D models since they could be a different stages in time, and the latter video shows a reduced poly model is that is probably just a representation at most.

  • xyzs

    I just hope the FOV wont be reduced, because the lenses look pretty small.
    I also hope it will feature the varifocal we could see years ago in halfdome prototype 3.
    Not even mentioning eye tracking and RGB OLED screens, that are to me mandatory for a premium headset.

    VR is never going to take off if it doesn’t become excellent quickly.

    • Lucidfeuer

      If anything, with smaller lenser and shorter focal distance, the FOV should be higher.

      • If they are using pancake aspherical lenses, this will be the game changer. Even though I seem to be promoting Arpana ( far from it ), I find their design is going to be the direction the VR HMD will go in the future. Of course Arpana is pushing a half baked product out to beat out those who are taking their time to build in all the features we come to expect, but my suspicions is that CES 2022 will see a half dozen HMDs with micro OLED / pancake aspherical lenses introduced for 2022.

  • sfmike

    I’m looking for an improved VR headset and not the mixed reality glasses that all the investment gurus are touting as the next big thing to make a billion from the general public and this unit isn’t inspiring me. It looks like the FOV will be less and it’s all about lack of immersion and light leak on the bottom so I’m not excited at all. Meta is telling us what we want instead of the other way around, as usual. I hope I’m wrong but FB wasted 90 minutes with an investor’s marketing video instead of using the time to “Connect” and excite current VR users about upcoming hardware. Sad. I’ll never get that hour and a half back I wasted watching that when I could have been playing Population:One.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Yeah, I also don’t see the need for a ‘mixed reality’ headset, I just want a VR-headset with a larger FOV, but certainly clear lenses, so no more godray garbage.

      • Bob

        No Godrays with pancake lenses :)

        • silvaring

          Oculus have really , well facebook rather wasted so much time on dead end tech, first it was outside in constellation tracking, then it was fresnel lenses… what next, holograms and mouth tracking lol

          • Blaexe

            Constellation tracking is still used for their controller tracking and fresnel lenses have been state of the art in affordable VR headsets for 5 years or so. (not to mention PSVR2 will use fresnel lenses aswell) That’s not what I’d call “wasted”.

          • silvaring

            Oh right, the cameras are on the headset but use a similar method to the CV1? Makes sense. Thanks for the reply, I’ve been mostly ignoring facebook since WMR came out.

          • Kevin Brook

            Quest 2 tracking is light years ahead of the Reverb G2. I have both.

          • Constellation tracking is used by all camera based system to determine controller positioning on Quest, Cosmos, and WMR. That is where the similarity end and parallax based SLAM positional tracking take over for all three in tracking the HMD.

            Fresnel lenses are used because they are cheap, easy to press in volume and require simple mounting schemes. The newer pancake aspherical lenses are more expensive and require a more complex mounting bracket and are also heavier (unless used with special high index plastic such as PMMA). Also, as someone who owned a OSVR HMD with a glass pancake lens system, the sharper image actually emphasized the screen door effect and individual pixels. So much so the next iteration had to add a diffusing film to make them less sharp. Also, pancake lenses are necessity as your screen size becomes smaller (but higher pixel density) to ensure proper magnification without significant distortion.

            I think the new Arpara design with the micro OLED and pancake lens will be the way to go. Sadly, Arpara has been lazy in its design, relying on engineering sample to build theirs and it will diminish these new micro OLED screen major advantage, which is excellent pixel density, small size and most important OLED!

        • UN

          Why are you addressing the paid M$ shill?

    • ViRGiN

      So you want a better headset to play the very same games all over again? Alyx in 200 FOV is twice as good? lol

    • Eren Balatkan

      They are using pancake lenses which allow for reducing distance between lens and display. That should result in increased FOV. It “looks like” FOV will be smaller but what you are observing is just a different lens type.

      They are pushing on mixed reality stuff but that should not negatively effect its VR capabilities, look at Q2 for one, despite having mixed reality capabilities to limited degree it is better than big majority of headsets. And this headset they have far more budget to work with.

      I don’t expect a headset that costs 2x of Quest 2 to have lower FoV, or sacrifice anything at all. – That is the whole point of Cambria, to push the boundries in all aspects.

      You guys say you don’t see point for “mixed reality”. People used to say they don’t see point of standalone headset when Q2 launched yet it is by a big margin best selling headset. Facebook is aiming to hit remote-working companies with this, to have features such as meetings in mixed reality. MR parts aren’t exactly meant for entertainment.

  • Ok for the design, but I want to see what are the visuals this headset can offer! :P

    • dk

      the same as arpara I would guess …maybe a bit more fov

      • Bob

        “the same as arpara”

        Are you assuming Project Cambria uses micro-oled displays as well?

        • dk

          well I am assuming what is a pretty safe bet
          there r many things pointing to it …a big thing is Meta calling it a high end device preparing people for the high price

  • Lucidfeuer

    With such tiny ant steps, and a pretty bad conception/design/ux overall, I’m surprised that with only 8% of households owning any VR headsets (which is the highest rate of any countries), they made a crisis rebranding betting on XR, not that it’ll erase the fact that they’re the most evil consumer company.

  • Kevin Brook

    I need to know more about this headset. I want to buy either the Valve Deckard, Project Cambria or the Varjo Aero, but only have reveals on the Aero so far. Delaying my preorder hoping to find out more about the first two, but might just end up ordering the Varjo for Microsoft Flight Simulator. If Cambria or Deckard can come close to the visuals of the Aero at a lower price point its a lot more compelling. Wish they would tell us how much, the specs, and when!

    • Bob

      “Valve Deckard”

      Let’s not ride the hype train this far yet. Valve Deckard is a just codename for many, many Valve prototypes. It may be vaporware, it maybe not. It may release next year, it may release in 2024. It may not release at all. When it comes to Valve, nothing is guaranteed and nothing is officially announced until the same year it is launched.

    • Lectori Salutem

      “Cambria or the Varjo Aero” – That likes saying I want to buy either the Volkswagon or the Mercedes.

      • Ha ha, and the latter being designed in Europe adds to the humor.

  • As others have noted, this was pretty disappointing and I only caught a few video clips after the fact (lucky that I was getting my left eye checked out for a possible retina tear — yea it sucks to grow older, especially when your eyes are the most important aspect of work :( )

    I see this as something rushed to presentation to keep VR (XR) enthusiasts eyes on Meta and not the elephant in the room — Apple. Apple will be their biggest threat in the coming years, especially in the US. If all the rumors are true with Apple having color passthrough, extreme resolution, detailed 3D world mapping, wireless functionality, and the IOS ecosystem. Meta will be only be a shadow in the history of VR/XR over the next three years if they don’t get a like version out first, and build an VR ecosystem that isn’t tied to their toxic FB world.

  • Rupert Jung

    Please Gabe, build anything better than this and save us from Meta.

  • DeanVega

    This could very much be the Quest Pro we’ve been waiting for. I can’t wait to see what those pancake lenses are capable of. I’m mostly interested in the resolution of this new headset. The only thing I can say right now is let the Meta Quest porn happen. There are many people that already dream of it like there’s no tomorrow. xD

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  • Tim Suetens

    I want some specs, badly. Will it be better than the old Oculus CV1 in terms of resolution, screendoor, FOV, and tracking?