Facebook owner Meta unveils $1,500 VR headset: Will it sell?

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. elusive / ɪˈlu sɪv / (adj.) – difficult to find, achieve, or catch

    Our research team launched a search for the elusive giant squid.

  2. avatar / ˈæv əˌtɑr / (n.) – an image or an animated figure that represents a person online, such as in games and chat rooms

    I designed my avatar in the game to look exactly like me.

  3. nascent / ˈneɪ sənt / (adj.) – recently formed or created but will likely grow bigger

    It’s a nascent political party, but it’s quickly gaining the support of the youth.

  4. render / ˈrɛn dər / (v.) – to use a computer program to make images appear more detailed, three-dimensional, or to animate them

    I use free software to render my sketches into 3D art.

  5. stretch / strɛtʃ / (n.) – an inaccurate, exaggerated, or unbelievable description of a situation

    It’s a stretch to call our show a concert. We had less than 100 people watching us.


Read the text below.

Facebook parent Meta unveiled a high-end virtual reality headset with the hope that people will soon be using it to work and play in the still-elusive place called the “metaverse.”

The $1,500 Meta Quest Pro headset sports high-resolution sensors that let people see mixed virtual and augmented reality in full color, as well as eye tracking and so-called “natural facial expressions” that mimic the wearer’s facial movements so their avatars appear natural when interacting with other avatars in virtual-reality environments.

Formerly known as Facebook, Meta is in the midst of a corporate transformation that it says will take years to complete. It wants to evolve from a provider of social platforms to a dominant power in a nascent virtual-reality construct called the metaverse — sort of like the internet brought to life, or at least rendered in 3D.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has described the metaverse as an immersive virtual environment, a place people can virtually “enter” rather than just staring at it on a screen. The company is investing billions in its metaverse plans that will likely take years to pay off.

VR headsets are already popular with some gamers, but Meta knows that won’t be enough to make the metaverse mainstream. As such, it’s setting office — and home office — workers in its sights.

“Meta is positioning the new Meta Quest Pro headset as an alternative to using a laptop,” said Rolf Illenberger, founder and managing director of VRdirect, which builds VR environments for businesses. But he added that for businesses, operating in the virtual worlds of the metaverse is still “quite a stretch.”

Meta also announced that its metaverse avatars will soon have legs — an important detail that’s been missing since the avatars made their debut last year.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The device features “natural facial expressions” that mimic the wearer’s facial movements so their interactions can feel natural. Do you think it’s possible to make interacting through avatars feel almost like real life? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Meta Quest Pro headset is priced at $1,500 (about ¥220,890). What kind of gadget would you spend that much money on? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The metaverse can be described as “like the internet brought to life, or at least rendered in 3D.” What do you think are the pros and cons of developing a virtual world that’s almost realistic, like the metaverse? Discuss.
  • What part of the metaverse are you most curious about (ex. how it feels like to interact with others, making avatars)? Discuss.