Alleged Schematics For Meta’s Project Cambria Headset Have Leaked
(Photo: Brad Lynch)Mark Zuckerberg has been talking up Meta’s upcoming high-end headset for quite some now. The company’s flagship mixed reality headset was first announced as being in production in 2021. Recently, Zuckerberg even gave a demo of it, but the hardware was blurred out to hide its design. Now, images that are alleged to be CAD designs for Project Cambria have leaked, giving us an X-ray view into what’s inside. The headset will be launching in 2022, and this is the most detailed look at it so far.
The images were posted by YouTuber Brad Lynch, who posted them on his Patreon page via UploadVR. Unsurprisingly it looks exactly like headset shown in a previous teaser video released by Meta. This lends some credence to the notion that these are legit. The most notable design change from the Quest 2 is it looks a lot slimmer. At least, the part that goes over your face seems much more compact. This improvement is due to Meta switching from fresnel lenses like it uses in the Quest, to pancake lenses.
This has long been discussed as one of Meta’s “game changing” design decisions for Cambria. The all-plastic lenses have never been featured in a consumer device before, and Cambria will likely be their debut. They allow for a much lighter and slimmer design because they don’t rely on glass. Also, fresnel lenses require some space between the display and the lens to correctly focus the image onto the user’s eyes. This adds additional bulk and size to the headset. Pancake lenses, however, can be moved much closer to the display, allowing it to be slimmer.
Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated (according to his own sources) that Cambria will have two 2160 x 2160 dual-element (two lenses per-eye) pancake lenses. This is a big upgrade from the Quest 2, which uses a single 1832 x 1920 fresnel lens per-eye. The display will also be upgraded from LCD to mini-LED, according to Kuo. Cambria will also likely have 12GB of onboard memory, which is twice as much as the Quest 2.
Notable sightings in the schematics include a clip on the left side, possibly for Oculus Link. This lets you bypass the headset’s hardware and run it on your gaming PC. There’s also a thick, highly-visible cable in some of the photos, but it’s only shown in the “exploded” view. This suggest it’s showing the path used by the cable that connects the battery to the hardware.
As a refresher, Cambria will not be competing with the Quest 2 as a gaming device. Because of Meta’s focus on the metaverse, it’s designed for work, not play. Zuckerberg has even said one of its goals will be to replace your laptop. It’ll do this by offering full-color, mixed reality passthrough. This will allow for task-based mixed reality experiences. For example, Facebook Messenger could be floating above your real desk, as the company has demonstrated. Despite being labeled as a work machine, it’s also shown it being used for yoga with a virtual instructor. It’s expected to cost around $800, which is twice the cost of the 256GB Quest 2.