Meta is still pretty camera-shy when it comes to showing off Project Cambria, the company’s upcoming high-end VR headset which offers AR passthrough. It’s been intentionally blurred for its few on-screen demos, however now we may have just gotten a look under the hood.

YouTuber and tech analyst Brad Lynch (SadlyItsBradley) released a number of images in a post on his Patreon page which appear to be CAD files of Project Cambria.

Lynch previously released a render of an alleged production version of Cambria back in April, however he says some of those details were misinterpreted. With the leaked files, Lynch says there’s a few key items he’s noticed that are included in the upcoming headset that weren’t previously apparent.

“You may notice a wire on the right side of the device. In one of the pictures its sorta coiled/curved. This is the power delivery wire that connects the battery in the back of the head strap to the HMD up front. It seems that when you adjust the strap to the ‘closest point,’ it will coil automatically. And stretch to be straight when you adjust the opposite way,” Lynch says in the Patreon post.

Image courtesy Brad Lynch

Lynch notes that on the headset’s left side, a clip attached to the headstrap may be for the USB-C cable that is allegedly bundled with the device.

“This is very similar to how most PC VR HMDs include a plastic clip to run a tether around comfortable their devices. I am shocked they are including this, since I figured they would push the Oculus Air Link method rather than the Oculus (wired) Link method but there it is. Especially from the fact this device is almost certain to include Wifi-6E.”

In the image above you can also make out the adjustment knob for the headset’s strap.

Image courtesy Brad Lynch

Lynch also posits that a knob on the front of the headset is to dial-in lens distance from the face, or similar to how the comfort dial works on Valve Index.

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He also alleges the IPD mechanism is set by “grabbing the lenses themselves and moving them,” as opposed to dialing them in with some sort of wheel mechanism. Unlike Quest 2, Lynch says it offers smooth adjustments between interpupillary distance (IPD) sizes for more precise user comfort.

Image courtesy Brad Lynch

And what sets Cambria apart from other headsets: Lynch alleges it has two “glacier” cameras on the front left and right, and one “teton” high resolution RGB Camera in the center, the latter of which is used to colorize the monochrome stereo glacier sensors.

Image courtesy Brad Lynch

A supposed infrared (IR) projector is also there—a small square sitting just above the centrally located RGB sensor—which is said to provide additional depth data for environmental mapping.

Lynch has spent considerable time over the past few months datamining with fellow VR cohorts Basti564 and Samulia to track down rumors and info. Although Lynch doesn’t reveal where this info came from, he maintains its a “large leak.”

Lynch has also included a prediction of specs based on those files and other obtained info. It’s said to feature:

  • 2,160 x 2,160 MiniLED Backlit LCD Panels (2)
  • Custom Pancake Lenses (2)
  • 16MP Color Camera for Color Passthrough
  • Eye + Face Tracking (IR Camera based)
  • Qualcomm XR2+ Gen 1 SoC
  • 256GB SSD
  • WiFi 6E Support
  • ~5000 mAh battery

There’s still no precise launch information yet for Project Cambria, although Meta has gone one record saying it’s slated to be “significantly higher” than $800, making it targeted more squarely at developers and enthusiasts.

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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.
  • Zack71

    two socs?

    • Guest

      For new features bolted onto existing ones hopefully not breaking them.

  • MeowMix

    Lynch is now saying the USB-C port on the headset will support Displayport over USB-C; that could help explain the included tether.

    • Would that mean no compression on the signal? That would be huge!

      • Corellianrogue

        Well it’s compressed, but it should be pretty much lossless compression.

        • James Cobalt

          Displayport Over USB-C supports uncompressed streams in addition to visually-lossless streams. If it’s 1.3 or 1.4 it can do 4k at 120hz without compression. If it’s the new version 2 it has more than twice that bandwidth.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Cambria would use the USB-C DP alternate mode, which allows to take four of the data line pairs of the connector which usually send data bidirectionally between host and client to be used as unidirectional lines for DisplayPort. That mode has existed for some time, allowing to support DP 1.2, 1.4 and 2.0. There are no devices supporting DP 2.0 yet, DP 1.2 is actually too slow with 17.28 Gbit/s, which gives you only 75Hz@4K. So for you need DP 1.4 at 25.92 GBit/s uncompressed, which allows for 3840*2160@120Hz in 24bit RGB consuming 25.82 Gbit/s. DP 1.3/1.4 was defined to match exactly that resolution.

            But Cambria would actually have a higher resolution, effectively 4320*2160, 12.5% more pixels. DP4 doesn’t have the bandwidth to carry the full resolution uncompressed at 120Hz, meaning Cambria would have to use DSC compression at 120Hz (or 144Hz), or if it supports HDR. DSC isn’t lossless, but for all practical purposes indistinguishable from an uncompressed signal, so much better than the current h.265 over USB/WiFi streaming. DSC also doesn’t introduce any significant latency, as it works on the data stream instead of the finished picture.

          • James Cobalt

            I hope it turns out to be the case – would love to have 120hz. So far the rumors are just 90hz for some weird reason, which just doesn’t make sense unless this is a limitation of the new displays or wanting to sync the framerate to passthrough camera refresh rates.

        • Dave

          There’s no reason why this needs to be compressed.

    • dk

      wait is he? I thought he just said that link will also apparently work and they won’t be pushing wireless over wire link

  • Octogod

    Takedown of Patreon post in 3, 2, 1….

  • Andrew Jakobs

    I hope they are smart enough to add a DP port like the Pico Neo3 has.

    • Corellianrogue

      SadlyItsBradley has found in the latest firmware that is has DisplayPort’s DSC compression to do DisplayPort over USB-C.

      • James Cobalt

        I think that just means it’s using either Displayport 1.4 or 2.0. I don’t think it necessarily means it’s using DSC as the standards require its support regardless. Either way, variable refresh rates are welcome.

  • John Ivy

    This is going to have a very VERY short life. There are problems with horrible QA now with stuff from ‘meta’ (s.a.n.) but this will have all sorts of issues with terrible cable quality. I expect a large number of returns and rma’s in their future just from what we are seeing with the corners they are cutting at meta.

    • T Sheehan

      This isn’t the bargain basement Q2. The bill of goods is not going to be the same, the same corners won’t be cut, because it’s not the same target audience. Facebook may say it’s for ‘professionals’, but that’s just marketing double speak for premium priced. We all know they’re really trying to recruit their #1 competitors consumers: Index users, by dangling a high-end standalone carrot on a stick.

  • mlem

    why only 2160 x 2160 ? people will be able to see the pixels. for comparison quest2 has 1832 x 1920.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      As at this time 2160×2160 is good enough, just look at the HP Reverb G2, and you have to keep in mind that the onboard SOC needs to be able to drive it.
      You only will see the pixels if you really are gonna stare at it, which you normally wouldn’t do if you are just using the headset.
      Even the current highend GPU’s have problems driving those displays with everything on ultra and high FPS.
      You really have to be realistic, and 2160×2160 per eye is at this stage still a good resolution.

      • nullcodes

        No it’s not good enough. Picture fidelity at that resolution is horrible. I was expecting it to be at least 4kx4k.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Oh please, don’t be a snob, picture fidelity at that resolution is excellent. 4kx4k per eye with decent fps and capable GPU’s is still a few years off for sub $1500.. I’d rather have a 2kx2k today for a reasonable price, then 4kx4k which there isn’t a reasonable priced GPU to drive them, and in a few years they are absolete compared to the 4kx4k displays that will be out by then, and still having to replace the expensive headset.

          • T Sheehan

            lol, stop letting the fishermen get a rise out of you. It just encourages them when you take the bait.
            Like watching a 13 year old play “Boomersayswhat” in an old folks home, its a Once Funny, then it’s just annoying.

        • dk

          it’s 33% more pixels same platform basically just better cooling
          next gen will be around 3kx3k per eye with a special trex layer eliminating the sde

      • mlem

        I have only had Quest2, so I will have to wait to compare, but I know it will be amazing! Although more competition from Samsung or google would be tremendous, apple hopefully reveals their headset this year.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Don’t count on Samsung for another headset, I would love it, but nearly 2 years ago they said they would show new VR hardware in a couple of months, but they never did. And if you hate the walled garden/exclusives of Meta Quest, Apple will be even much more restricted, I don’t really see them supporting SteamVR or allowing an app like virtual desktop that makes it possible.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I’d actually expect Apple to allow streaming. It currently looks like they are trying to position their HMD clearly as useful first, fun second (if at all), compared to the Quest that is almost exclusively used for games, with Meta now trying to add more “usefulness” and business with Cambria. This will be reflected in the price and consequently a much smaller audience compared to iPhones, where gaming brings in lots of money. And most likely less game developer interest, as while the comparatively small group of Apple Pro customers have a lot of money to spend, they typically don’t use their Apple devices for gaming.

            So at least with this first iteration Apple wouldn’t sacrifice a lot of software sales by allowing 3rd party VR streaming, but at the same time it would enabe a lot of existing professional VR users to run their existing PCVR apps with Apples’s new HMD, in parallel to creating new native ones for the platform. And it would give some VR enthusiasts with deep pockets a reason to buy the device too, even if they aren’t the real target group.

            Streaming apps from a Mac seems to be planned anyway. Apple already supported SteamVR starting with OSX 10.13, not really for users (and not really well), but for content creators that wanted to build VR apps on the Mac (plus the required eGPU), so there already is precedence for this. Whether a future consumer oriented Apple AR device would allow streaming is another question.

      • Lulu Vi Britannia

        “Good enough” is absolutely not good for a high-end headset aiming for enterprises. For reference, the Varjo XR-3 has 2800×2800 screens. And that’s the background screens: the tiny screens at the center reach 60PPD. Now I’m not expecting Cambria to get this “retina level” of fidelity, but 2500×2500 is the bare minimum they should aim today.

        Meta presented Cambria as the next level of VR. They’ll have to step it up if they want that to be true. At least I hope the face tracking and eye tracking is worth it…

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Oh please, but the Varjo XR-3 is almost 6.000 euro’s and isn’t a standalone headset. The Cambria will probably be somewhere around 1000-1300. Some people really aren’t realistic.

          • Lulu Vi Britannia

            Computers used to cost that, and they were extremely weak compared to today’s. Technology moves forward because we bring specs up while cutting the cost.

            Standalone or not doesn’t matter. I get that they aim for standalone for Cambria, I’m saying they shouldn’t call it a high-end headset if that’s all they’re getting.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Yes, technology moves forward, but you want current technology for prices which is probably 2 to 3 years away, so it’s just unrealistic to compare a headset which costs $6000 to a cheap headset, which compared to current ‘lowcost’ headsets IS highend.

        • Ethan Nicholas

          The issue isn’t the displays, it’s the computer power necessary to drive them.

          A processor capable of driving 2800×2800 screens while fitting within the space, power, and thermal requirements of a standalone head-mounted device simply does not exist today. The Varjo doesn’t have to worry about that, because it has to be tethered to relatively big, heavy computer with massively more power available.

          If that’s what you want, go buy yourself one.

          • Lulu Vi Britannia

            Now that’s a reply that makes sense. The XR3 even needs TWO display ports, so it’s definitely not usable with every computer today. But the point of technology is to surmount challenges. They have to find a way to get higher resolution at a lower cost.

            It’s not like we don’t have any hints. We know foveated rendering brings down the performance cost (that’s why they use it on Quest apps). We know we can give an external power source since Sony did it for their PSVR. We know they can upgrade the architecture to improve performance.

            High-end headsets must aim to solve the major issues. Cambria sounds good because it brings new optics and (probably) self-tracked controllers. But the major issue, in terms of specs, is still the performance cost.

            I won’t buy an XR-3. I also won’t buy a Cambria because Meta admitted it wasn’t aimed at consumers. I just want VR to get better, and these past ten years, it has. Oculus made wonders, the others tried many things too that improved the VR scene (SteamVR, Mixed Reality, inside-out tracking even though it was bad at the beginning). I just wish Meta keeps going with the rythm they’ve had. Going from the Rift to the Quest 2 in only five years is mind-blowing. I won’t to be able to say, five years from now, “wow, they went so far again!”

        • overzeetop

          I’m with you. 2kx2k screens are fine for gaming or social content, but if they want to create a virtual workspace I’m going to need at least the center of my vision to be equivalent to what I have at my desk (currently around 72ppd, though I’m admittedly running 150% UI scaling, so I could likely live with around 50ppd).

          Obviously I don’t need that outside of the center 25 degrees or so, or it would be 8k needed, but 2.8-4k per eye is going to be necessary to provide CAD and architectural-print detail on what I consider to be a full size working page (typ 24×36″ or 30×42″ sheet at 30-36″ observation distance, or to work on large sheets of text.

          I would even be okay with the display dropping to 1/2 scale (4k panel->2k computed resolution) when untethered, and at fullscale when streaming over sufficient bandwidth for a 6E or wired connection. If I need a GTX4080 (or two) two drive it at that resolution and 120FPS, it is what it is – those boxes will drop in price in enough time.

          • Lulu Vi Britannia

            I wasn’t saying it wasn’t enough for working though ^^’. CAD already existed 30 years ago, back when HD didn’t even exist. Low resolution never prevented any of the computer-based jobs. Current headset resolution is definitely enough for most works, devs only need to make it so using VR instead of normal screens is justified. Hardware comfort is also a major point for working in VR, since people typically work 8 hours a day.

            My point was only about competition. If Meta wants to stay competitive and make VR move forward, they’ll need more. But who knows, maybe Cambria will have other major selling points.

    • Dave

      It’s fine for me. I own a HP Reverb G2 but the sweetspot doesn’t enable the full resolution to be visible. This will be much better, I’m expecting the image quality to be great. It’s very hard to see pixels in the G2 unless that’s all you are doing which would be very sad.

      • mlem

        I enjoy playing on quest2 and usually dont mind seeing the pixels, but I like reading and using desktop apps, so its kinda important for me. But im still very excited for the new and better VR headsets

      • mlem

        I hope those pancake lenses will have a better sweet spot

    • dk

      it’s 33% heigher and it’s basically the same processor with better cooling

  • nullcodes

    Fail. The resolution is horrible.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      No it isn’t.

    • dk

      it’s 33% higher than q2

  • Till Eulenspiegel

    If it’s “significantly higher” than $800, there better not be any Facebook spying bonus included. A cheaper headset has voluntary opt-in spying in exchange for a cheaper price, but something so expensive should not have this – Meta should makes this clear to their customers.

  • xyzs

    I don’t think it happens often that a product get leaked so badly that enthusiasts know more in detail about it before release than most of the company’s staff ^^’

  • T Sheehan

    If that lens-distance dial can mimic the same FOV cheat the Index does, we might not be stuck with that anemic 90 degrees as the Q2 after all, bois. Eh, or maybe the flapjack lenses rule that possibly out.

  • Interesting info,especially the last tidbit with specs!

  • Rupert Jung

    >He also alleges the IPD mechanism is set by “grabbing the lenses themselves and moving them

    Hmm, was hoping for automatic IPD adjustment. This sounds not no too good. Not only do you have to know your IPD (most people don’t) but this mechanism will tend to adjust itself without the user noticing it at first.

    • Guygasm

      Automatic IPD adjustment adds complexity and cost for what should be a one time manual adjustment. Perhaps the eye tracking will allow automatic detection of IPD and warning if they are not set correctly prompting the user to adjust.

  • Ioulaum

    At “significantly higher than $800” we really need better resolution.

    ‘cus that pretty much means $1500 or so. And not enormously cheaper than whatever Apple has planned.