A number of unverified photos of an apparently unreleased Quest headset appeared online. The rendered photos show the front portion of an apparent future Quest headset (possibly a ‘Quest 2’) which Oculus is expected to reveal later this year. A second rendered photo, which was released today from the same source, shows an interior look at the face gasket and lenses, appended with a mysterious September 15th date. Now someone has thrown out four physical photos of what appears to be the very same Oculus headset.
Update (July 24th, 11:15 AM ET): New images surfaced on Reddit showing multiple shots of a physical version of the headset, corroborating the existence of the so-called ‘Quest 2’. The images are attributed to ‘Calltheplumber’.
The headset below includes a singularly visible label that states:
“This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.”1 of 4
Update (July 24th, 10:40 AM ET): A new image has surfaced today on Twitter, again arriving from leaker ‘WalkingCat’. The new, still unverified image shows the interior of the headset. The image, which appears to be the one sighted two days ago, suggests the VR headset includes dual microphones, fresnel lenses, and what could be a fabric interior surrounding the optics, which appears to flair dramatically, indicating a larger light-blocking nose piece.
Is a fabric interior piece indicative of an IPD adjuster, which is notably missing in the image previously leaked? Like the authenticity of these images, it’s all still uncertain.
Although we’re no closer to understanding how the strap is tightened, as the image is conveniently cut off, we do see integrated audio, like the current version of Quest. The headset itself, at least from the provided angle, appears to be made of a matte plastic instead of the fabric covering on the current Quest.
The most mysterious part undoubtedly is the ‘Sept 15″ date mentioned in the tweet. That would line up fairly well with Oculus Connect 7, which is to be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The original article discussing the first image follows below:
Original Article (July 22nd, 2020): An image published today by known leaker ‘WalkingCat’ has revealed what appears to be a new Quest headset. The user suggests that the headset is being referred to internally as “Quest 2” rather than “Quest S” or “Quest Pro,” but also says “names are subject to change.”
We haven’t independently confirmed the authenticity of the photo, so we’re still calling this a rumor for now, but WalkingCat does have a track record of authentic leaks; most recently the user leaked photos of the new HP Reverb G2 prior to its announcement. In 2019 the user did the same for HoloLens 2 before it was announced. The image also contains a number of subtle details that would be easy to miss in an unofficial render.
The single photo shows a white Quest-like headset. There’s no additional info beyond what can be inferred from the image alone, but there are some worthwhile details on display.
Implications of a Missing IPD Slider
Beyond minor changes to the placement of the headset’s tracking cameras, which could facilitate a wider field of view (specifically for improved visibility for hand-tracking), it also appears that headset is missing the IPD slider that’s present on the current Quest. This strongly implies that the next Quest may move from dual displays to a single display, like Rift S uses. That would also very likely mean that the headset would move from OLED display technology to LCD (also like Rift S).
Another possible explanation for the lack of IPD slider is simply that it’s been moved to a position on the headset which isn’t visible in this photo. However, all major headsets have historically placed the IPD slider on the bottom of the headset.
The headset’s straps are also another notable change. Gone are the velcro side straps which tighten the headset between the front and back. Exactly what will replace that tightening mechanism isn’t clear. Many headsets use a tightening dial on the back of the strap to adjust the fit, but it isn’t clear from the photo that the strap is large enough to contain the necessary mechanism.
The current Quest side-strap is also ‘springy’ (the side struts can stretch from their resting position) to make it easy to put the headset on or take it off without changing the tightness of the straps. It’s possible that this new strap design relies entirely on a spring mechanism to ‘automatically’ achieve the ideal tightness. This would be a welcomed design change as it’s common with the current Quest design to see people tighten the side straps too much for long-term comfort.
Interestingly, the rear part of the strap does away with the large triangular opening that’s designed to catch the ridge of the occipital bone to give the headset some leverage to stay in place. This is generally a desirable feature—a headset would need to be much lighter than the current Quest to go without it.
Possible Return to Original Touch Controller Ergonomics
Another apparent change is a subtle redesign of the controllers which appears to be closer to the original Touch controllers that shipped with first Rift CV1 headset. Among longtime VR users, many preferred the shape and feel of the original Touch controllers to the new design which ships with Quest and Rift S.
The giveaways on the controller redesign is that the index trigger has a more pronounced ridge between its two halves, the grip trigger protrudes more, and the location of the seam along the handle—all of which appear to mirror the original Touch controller. The shape of the ‘face’ of the controllers also appears more round and offset—just like the original Touch controllers—compared to the newer controllers which have a teardrop-shaped ‘face’ that’s perfectly centered with the body of the controller.
What Can’t Be Seen
Beyond what we can see in the photo, various reports have pointed to a new Quest in the works. Earlier this year, Bloomberg claimed that Facebook could launch a new Quest headset as early as late 2020 which would be 10–15% smaller, with a 90Hz or 120Hz display, and a redesigned controller.
A higher refresh rate would be difficult to make much use of with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip that’s in the current Quest headset. If Oculus plans to use a 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate, it will almost certainly need to upgrade the guts of the headset. Newer Snapdragon chips like 855 or XR2 would be a likely choice—Qualcomm did say earlier this year that the first XR2 headsets were expected in the second half of 2020.
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While the leaker WalkingCat has a history of authentic leaks, this photo could just as well be a carefully detailed unofficial render that’s an educated guess at what the next Quest might look like. We don’t have independent confirmation of the photo’s authenticity so we’re continuing to treat this as a rumor for the time being.