A XR headset with identity crisisQuest Pro Impressions

Quite a few people asked us about impression on Meta Quest Pro. So here you go ;)

I’ll skip the technical details, there are plenty of reviews out there. It’s a 1499USD / 1799EUR device, it would be sad if it wouldn’t be a good device from a technical standpoint. It is. Highlights are the lenses and controllers. In terms of lenses, it’s really clear to see that in VR resolution isn’t the only factor to look to, clarity matters as well. And Quest Pro is a nice step forward.

Aaside from that, Quest Pro seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis. But then again, who doesn’t today?

It’s not meant for gaming. But it's the only thing it manages to do really well.

It wants to be a professional headset for work, but it lacks any real productivity apps. There are a few ones for meetings, but since most meetings are like ‘turn off camera, put on bluetooth headset and do whatever else while listening’, would you want to do them in VR, where you can’t do ‘whatever else’? Probably not. Maybe once for the novelty. (if there is anyone who is doing meetings in VR regularly, I’m curious to hear from you). There are virtual desktop type apps that you can connect to your computer and project virtual screens into VR space - having the same monitors that are in front of you normally also in VR, with lower resolution and limited field of view. Missing the point. There are some niche productivity apps like gravity sketch, not using those, so cannot judge here.

Now you can see the very same monitor in VR, much wow.

Second big catch is the OS that is based on Android that doesn’t allow multitasking in any meaningful way. For productivity, I need to have multiple windows open for what I’m working on and see the interactions and also ability to switch between tasks. Do I need to peek at docs? Change music? When using windows, it’s simple. On Android based computers not so much. Remembering the first Hololens with Windows 10 Holographics that did a far better job at the OS level. Ability to run Windows Universal Apps, have objects in space and immersive apps was superb compared to this, and Hololens 1 came out more than 6 years ago. Yet when I tried to work from Hololens those 6 years ago, it still wasn’t viable. But Quest Pro is even worse. My little prediction? Deckard will be the first real VR productivity headset.

My 2016 setup with Hololens 1 and bluetooth keyboard and mouse

My 2016 workspace with Windows 10 Holographic

It also wants to be a mixed reality headset, but it lacks spatial understanding because of the missing depth sensor and limits developers too much because of privacy. It allows color passthru and it allows you to draw on top of that. It won’t allow you access the video streams from cameras because of privacy. I guess Zuck just wants to keep information on how messy your house is to himself. Which is a shame. Also speaking about privacy, I’ve looked at what data can be read from face and eye tracking, and they also seem to be very limited, because of ‘privacy’.

In the conclusion, we will see what kind of updates we're going to get over the lifetime of the product and what kind of adoption will it get. It certainly allows to do more than a Quest 2 and while the cost is higher, it's still far lower than true enterprise headset like Varjo XR-3 or XTAL 3 Mixed Reality, so it will likely eat some of their share. If Meta in future updates will allow us to do more with passthru and mixed reality, it would also help. In my opinion, it's not ready for productivity. it's far too limited to be the MR devkit we've dreamed about and it's far too expensive for entertainment.
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