Meta Connect 2023 highlights: Meta launches Quest 3, Ray-Ban Smart Glasses, AI chatbots and more
Meta Connect 2023 highlights: At its annual Connect event, Meta Platforms announced a host of new products such as the Quest 3, and the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, along with several AI products including chatbots and image generators.
Meta Connect 2023 event highlights: Meta Platforms held its annual event, called Connect 2023, at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The event was supposed to kick off at 10:00 AM PT or 10:30 PM IST, but was delayed by half an hour. It opened with a keynote by CEO Mark Zuckerberg who finally gave us a proper look at...Read More
Meta Connect 2023: Mark Zuckerberg departs
With the keynote over, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has departed the stage. Andrew Bosworth, CTO and Head of Reality Labs, Meta, has now taken over, saying that Meta is bringing these futuristic technologies to the mass market "like nobody else can".
The Meta CTO will now take a deep dive into all of today's announcements, starting with the Meta Quest 3.
Meta Connect 2023: Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses unveiled
Meta has just shown the highly anticipated Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses. It is the first smart glasses that will feature an on-board AI assistant in the form of Meta AI. Therefore, users can ask the AI questions as they roam around in the real world. It can be used to translate signs, identify objects, and more. The new glasses feature improved audio and cameras, and over 150 different custom frame and lens combinations.
Meta has announced that Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses start at $299 and will be available for pre-orders starting today on meta.com and ray-ban.com. They will be available for purchase starting October 17.
Meta Connect 2023: AI Personas coming!
Meta has also confirmed that multiple AI Personas. Meta has created as many as 28 chatbots, all with unique personalities and backstories. The personalities include Charli D'Amelio, Snoop Dogg, Kendall Jenner, MrBeast, Paris Hilton, and more.
For example, Sally, a free-spirited friend who'll tell you when to take a deep breath, is based on Australian footballer Sam Kerr. On the other hand, Tom Brady is Bru, a wisecracking sports debater who pulls no punches.
Meta has announced that these will be rolled out in the US in the beta phase starting today. It will also add new characters such as Bear Grylls, Chloe Kim, and Josh Richards in the coming weeks.
Meta Connect 2023: Zuckerberg introduces Meta AI
Meta is also bringing a generative AI assistant to consumers. Called Meta AI, it is built using a custom model based on the powerful Llama 2 large language model that the company released for public commercial use in July. The chatbot will have access to real-time information via a partnership with Microsoft's Bing search engine, according to Zuckerberg.
As per Reuters, the company is also building a platform that developers and ordinary people alike may use to create custom AI bots of their own, which will have profiles on Instagram and Facebook and eventually appear as avatars in the metaverse.
Meta Connect 2023: AI enters the chat
With Quest 3 now announced, AI has taken the stage. Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta will introduce an AI image generation tool called Emu that can create images in just 5 seconds! It is built directly into Meta AI. During the on-screen demonstration, Emu turned Zuckerberg's dog into origami! Emu can also be used to create custom stickers for chats in Meta Messenger.
“A big part of this innovation is about making sure that these technologies are accessible to everyone”, Zuckerberg said.
Meta Connect 2023: Price increased!
Meta has raised the price of the Quest 3 by $200, and it now starts at $500. The company is also offering a massive 512GB variant of the Quest 3 at a hefty $650. For reference, the Quest 2 started at $299 but its price was raised to $399. However, Meta recently reduced it back to $299. Meta has announced that Quest 3 will be shipped starting October 10.
Despite the price increase, it is nowhere near the price bracket of the Apple Vision Pro which costs a hefty $3499.
Meta has also announced that Quest 3 will get Xbox Game streaming in December, where users will be able to play games in VR! Oh, and Assassin's Creed Nexus is also on the way!
Meta Connect 2023: Quest 3 takes the stage
As expected, the Meta Quest 3 is the first announcement at the Connect 2023 event. CEO Mark Zuckerberg in his keynote said that the Quest 3 won't require any battery packs, perhaps taking shots at the Apple Vision Pro which has a a battery pack tethered to it.
Zuckerberg also claimed that the Quest 3 covers up the physical space with 10 times more pixels compared to its predecessor. The Quest 3 features 30% higher resolution, new lenses and a faster chip from Qualcomm Inc. There also are dual-color pass-through cameras, which let users see the world around them.
Meta Connect 2023: The event kicks off!
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has joined us for the keynote. According to Meta, the keynote will provide information on how AI will help people connect and express themselves in new ways and get a first look at the latest products and updates that will help developers build the future of human connection.
Zuckerberg says mixed reality will merge real-world interaction with the digital world.
Meta Connect 2023: Setback for Zuckerberg ahead of the event
A Meta Platforms executive overseeing the company's efforts to develop its own chips for artificial intelligence work is leaving her position at the end of the month, according to two sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported.
Alexis Black Bjorlin, vice president of infrastructure at Meta and a veteran of chip companies Broadcom and Intel, headed a team charged with designing a custom chip to handle a range of AI work, a key part of company's efforts to overhaul its sprawling network of data centers for an era dominated by chatbots and image generators. She is leaving her position at the month but not immediately leaving the company, one of the sources said.
Yee Jiun Song, Meta's vice president of engineering, will take over her role, and the company will continue its efforts to develop its own AI hardware, one of the sources said.
Meta Connect 2023: The event is delayed!
Meta Connect 2023 has been delayed! As per a Tom's Guide's staff writer Malcolm McMillan, Meta has pushed back to 10:30 AM PT.
In the meantime, the Meta Quest 3 and its packaging has been leaked on X. In a video posted by an account called ZGFTECH, the Meta Quest 3 is seen being unboxed. While Meta unveiled the Quest 3 in June, its launch was reserved for the Connect 2023 event, and just minutes before the event kicks off, the Quest 3 has yet again been leaked.
The Meta Quest 3 will start at $499, which is $100 more than the Meta Quest 2 and its price tag of $399. Meta also previously revealed that the headset will now be 40 percent slimmer. While the overall design is similar to its predecessor, it now features three vertical pill-shaped cutouts for cameras and sensors that allow it to have a mixed-reality feature.
Meta Connect 2023: New multi-persona chatbot coming?
Just a few days ago, it was reported that Meta could unveil a new AI chatbot featuring multiple personas, aimed at younger users. The generative AI chatbot, called “Gen AI Personas”, fits with the company's previous ambitions in AI, according to a Washington Journal report.
According to an earlier post by leaker Alessandro Paluzzi on X in July, Meta has reportedly been testing as many as 30 chatbot personas on Instagram. Now, the company will introduce the multi-persona AI chatbot at its Connect 2023 event that takes place in less than half an hour.
One of the personas is called “Bob the robot”, and is a sassy robot based on Bending Unit 22, commonly known as Bender from the sitcom Futurama. According to internal company documents seen by WSJ, this persona has “superior intellect, sharp wit, and biting sarcasm”. On the other hand, there is another extraterrestrial persona known as “Alvin the Alien”, which is inquisitive about human lives.
Meta Connect 2023: When, where to watch online
Meta Connect 2023 is an in-person event held at the Meta HQ in Menlo Park, California. For those who can't attend the event in person, Meta has announced that the Connect 2023 event will also be live-streamed online on various social media platforms. Meta Connect 2023 will kick off at 10:00 AM PT today, September 27.
Just a few hours ago, the official Meta Developers page posted on Facebook, “Join us for #MetaConnect2023. Watch the livestreams here on our Facebook Page, on September 27-28.”
Keynote and Developer State of the Union - 10:00 AM PT on September 27.
Developer Sessions - 10:00 AM PT on September 28.
Meta Connect 2023: Meet Quest 3's main competitor, the Apple Vision Pro
The race to offer the best mixed-reality headset is heating up, especially now that Apple has decided to enter the market. Apple announced its Vision Pro headset at the WWDC 2023, just after Meta unveiled its Quest 3. Apple calls it a spatial computing device that allows users to operate multiple virtual windows. It enables users to run macOS as well as iOS applications through various movements of the eye, hand, and finger. While developers can use it to build AR/VR applications, it can also be used for leisure activities, such as watching movies.
With all this advanced tech, how much does the Vision Pro cost? Apple Vision Pro starts at $3499 and will be available for purchase starting early next year in the US, followed by a rollout in other countries at a later date.
Meta Connect 2023: Quest 3 to be launched
Meta's Quest 3 is expected to be one of the highlights of the Connect 2023. It was first unveiled in June, just before Apple's WWDC 2023 took place. The announcement of the Meta Quest 3 did not reveal details about the specifications, but it was said that the headset will feature “a next-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon chip”, but did not specify the name. Further, the base variant of the headset will get 128GB storage, and there will be “an additional storage option for those who want more space”. Finally, the company has also said that the Meta Quest 3's Touch Plus controllers will be more ergonomic and get TruTouch haptics.
The Meta Quest 3 will start at $499, which is $100 more than the Meta Quest 2 and its price tag of $399. In fact, Quest 2 launched at the price of $299 but Meta has hiked the price since then.