Facebook’s annual developer conference kicks-off September 16th exclusively online.
Oculus Connect 7—now referred to as Facebook Connect—is just around the corner and rumors surrounding the annual developer conference are swirling! New hardware, major software releases, updates on long-rumored projects; the list goes on. With speculation running rampant on the web, we thought we’d share some of our own predictions for the upcoming September 16th event, including potential announcements and expected releases. So without further ado, let’s break it down. Here are our official predictions for Facebook Connect:
NEW OCULUS HARDWARE
I think we can all agree that the chances of the long-rumored Oculus Quest 2 making an appearance next week is fairly high. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a slew of details regarding an updated standalone headset make their way online, including a handful of supposedly leaked images. Just recently Walmart posted a listing for a device called the Oculus Point Reyes for $399.99 which appeared to use the original Oculus Go headset as a temporary placeholder. We’ve also been receiving numerous reports regarding the discontinuation of the original Oculus Quest headset, according to multiple retailers.
While it’s tough to say for sure what next week will hold, it’s clear Facebook is paving the way for a new standalone headset aimed at replacing the existing Quest. I’m willing to bet Facebook will be dropping an official reveal alongside a confirmed release date and final price.
FACEBOOK HORIZON SURPRISE LAUNCH
Facebook’s upcoming social VR platform is promising big things for Oculus players. Open now to a select few as part of an ongoing invite-only beta, this expansive player-created metaverse will allow us the chance to develop our own custom games and environments using a series of in-game tools, no game dev knowledge required! Facebook originally planned on launching the ambitious social VR platform earlier this year. Seeing as the company recently launched a closed beta for its new-and-improved Venues app, which uses player avatars identical to those used in Horizon. It wouldn’t be crazy to think these recent betas have been in preparation for a surprise release.
PRE-CONNECT LAUNCH OF VENUES
Speaking of Venues, what better time than a full launch than right before a highly-anticipated developer conference? Seeing as this closed beta has been going on for almost a month, now would be the perfect time to launch the new social features and lobby location. Imagine wandering the lobby and using the various theaters to jump in and out of conferences, Q&As, product demos, and various other live events. This all-digital conference would be the perfect time to launch the VR viewing app, especially considering how past Connect events have been live-streamed on the original Oculus Venues.
Facebook AR update (sort of)
While I don’t think we can expect any major announcements in regards to Facebook’s highly-anticipated augmented reality headset, we’re definitely overdue for a quick update at the very least. Originally revealed during last year’s Oculus Connect 6, these dedicated AR glasses will be powered by LiveMaps, a new program that uses machine learning, localization, and mapping technology to create a virtual map of the real world. Since announcing the development, the company has been hard at work purchasing numerous AR startups, including Scape Technologies, a company dedicated to developing a 1:1 digital recreation of the physical world. I’m willing to bet we’ll be hearing a little more about these recent acquisitions as well as a few vague teases.
But enough about our wild conspiracy theories, we want to hear from you! What do you think will go down during next week’s event? Wireless Oculus Link connectivity? Mixed reality workplace support? Minecraft for Oculus Quest?! Leave a comment below and let us know!
Image Credit: Facebook