Everything Announced At Connect 2021: Meta, Project Cambria & More
Did you miss this year’s Connect conference? Well don’t worry — from Facebook to Meta to Project Cambria, we have a summary of everything announced at Connect 2021.
If you want to watch an abridged version of the main keynote presentation, we’ve cut it down to around 20 minutes highlighting the biggest and most important announcements, entirely cringe-free. That’s embedded above, otherwise you can check out a summary of each topic below.
Facebook Goes Meta
At the very end of the keynote, Mark Zuckerberg dropped an impactful ‘one last thing’ announcement.
Facebook is rebranding its corporate name to Meta. Facebook, Instagram and other services and apps will keep their existing names, but fall under the umbrella company now called Meta.
RIP Oculus, Quest Becomes Meta Quest
After the keynote, current VP of VR/AR and incoming Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth announced that the Oculus brand will be retired from existing and future hardware releases. The Oculus branding will live on in some software departments but for the most part, Oculus is no more.
This also means that Oculus Quest 2 will be renamed next year to Meta Quest 2.
Facebook-Free Quest Login From 2022
We don’t have an exact date or many specific details yet, but Meta is getting rid of its mandatory Facebook-login for Quest headsets.
The change is being made in light of community feedback and will be available sometime next year.
High-End VR: Project Cambria Revealed
Hot off the leaks that circulated last week, Meta revealed that a new ‘high end’ standalone headset codenamed Project Cambria will launch in 2022.
It will feature eye tracking, face tracking, high resolution color passthrough and multi-element pancake lenses, and will be on the higher end of the price spectrum.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on Quest 2
A port of Rockstar Games’ huge hit Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is in development for Oculus Quest 2.
First Fully-Fledged AR: Project Nazare Revealed
Meta revealed the codename of its first pair of consumer AR glasses — Project Nazare.
A demo video gave us a peek at a little of what to expect, but the glasses are “still a few years out” from release.
Horizon Home Sweet Home
Move over Quest Home — Horizon Home is here to stay.
This overhaul turns your Quest’s home environment into a social space, with the ability to invite friends over and host watch parties. Building and customizing your own home space is coming too, but is a bit further down the pipeline.
Quest Goes 2D
Quest will also get support for new 2D apps, available in the Oculus Store, which use a new framework based on the progressive web app industry standard. There’s a few apps expected to launch soon, like Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox and Slack, with others arriving further down the line.
Broken Cloud Gets Fixed
The broken cloud storage system for save files on Quest is being replaced by a new service called Cloud Backup, which will be turned on by default for all apps.
Oculus Avatars in Unity
Unity developers will be able to integrate the new Oculus Avatars 2.0 from December, with Unreal Engine support coming next year.
Mixed Reality On Quest Store Apps
After being available as an experimental API, Quest developers will soon be able to ship apps or updates that use the mixed reality functionality on Quest, starting from the next SDK version.
More features are being added as well, to make up what Meta calls the Insight SDK.
Speech Recognition, Tracked Keyboards and Hand Interaction Library
The next SDK release will give Quest developers access to speech recognition capabilities, while tracked keyboard support and a Unity hand interaction library are planned for next year.
Blade and Sorcery on Quest
The physics-driven VR combat simulator Blade And Sorcery is coming to Oculus Quest 2 next month.
Horizon Workrooms Customization
Later this year, Workrooms users will be able to add custom logos and posters to their rooms, and switch between “a wider variety of environments.”
Beat Saber Passes $100 Million
Meta announced that Beat Saber has made over $100 million in revenue on the Quest platform alone.
Oculus Gaming Showcase
After the game announcements at Connect, Meta VP of Play Jason Rubin confirmed that the Oculus Gaming Showcase will return for a 2022 show in the future. You can read more here.
Oculus Quest 2 Active Pack
Launching in 2022, this new Active Pack contains new accessories aimed at those using VR for fitness.
Building the Metaverse
Lots of comments were made about the metaverse at Connect 2021. Here’s what Meta executives had to say about the metaverse on a pre-Connect briefing call and during Connect itself.
Beat Saber Teases New Content & Cosmetic Sabers
This very short Beat Saber tease gave us our first look at what is seemingly cosmetic sabers, coming as part of a larger update to Beat Saber at some point in the future. Read more here.
Quest Users Unlinking Facebook Account Keep Their Purchases
Just after Connect, Meta confirmed that Quest 2 owners who unlink their headset from their Facebook account will retain their software purchases. Read more here.
Vertigo Games Bringing Deep Silver Franchises To VR
Arizona Sunshine and After The Fall developer Vertigo Games is set to bring some of the worlds from gaming publisher Deep Silver to VR in a new deal with Meta and the Oculus Studios label. Read more here.
What was your favorite Connect 2021 announcement? Let us know in the comments.
This article was first published on October 29 and updated with more entries on October 31.