3 things Architects need to know about Meta's announcements
On October 28th, major announcements were made by Facebook at the Oculus Connect event including a complete rebranding of the company to Meta and the push to build a Metaverse. In this post, we summarize the key implications of these announcements for the AEC industry. If you currently own an Oculus Quest 2 for your Architecture & Design practice, these are the three important updates you need to know for now.
Let's dive in:
1) End of Oculus for Business
As of December 31, 2021, Facebook (Meta ) will no longer sell our existing Oculus for Business SKU.
What is the Oculus for Business in the first place?
It is an Enterprise Solution that was launched in 2019 in order to provide a more reliable option in the workplace. In practice, it was a different headset from the consumer version with a license for Enterprise Software that could be used to set up and manage devices in the workplace.
So, what has changed exactly?
As of December 31st, Oculus For Business SKUs ( headsets ) is no longer available for purchase. While current customers can continue to use those headsets, new customers are faced with the only option to buy the consumer version available in the market. According to Meta, their goal is to ensure there is a single device that can be used for work, play & social which is the primary reason for this change.
What am I missing out on if I cannot buy an Oculus for Business headset anymore?
Though the devices essentially are similar, what really changes is the ability to deploy them in workplace settings. If using the Quest with work accounts, device management, features for IT teams to secure deployments are not your biggest priorities, then you are not missing out on much.
What are my options if I do care about the above features?
You need to wait for Meta to launch the above solutions on the consumer version.
2) Future plans on consumer Quest
What can I expect from the future updates on the consumer Quest headset?
One of the most relevant features planned in future updates is the ability to log in without a Facebook ID. Instead, a new way to log in with a work profile will be available - something which will please the community of AEC users who do not feel comfortable using Facebook logins - especially when working with clients.
If your business plans to use multiple devices, you will have direct control over how to deploy VR apps on those devices using Device Management software - helping IT teams to implement VR smoothly.
When are these features likely to be available?
Based on Oculus' timelines, the final solution is expected to be fully launched in 2023. In 2022, there is a series of testing activities planned in order to get feedback from small & medium businesses.
What does this mean for my work?
Primarily, it means your IT team can expect to have more tools available to manage VR and privacy going forward if your device of choice is Oculus Quest 2. Unfortunately, there is a period in which these features will not be available - so you need to stay tuned for the update coming to the Quest platform.
3) Project Cambria ( A new headset )
We've been talking a lot about the Quest 2 - but that is not the only device that your business might be interested in by the end of this year. "Sometime in 2022", Project Cambria from Meta will deliver a new headset. Even though it will be a standalone headset, it will differ from the Meta Quest 2 in a few ways:
It will be much more expensive than $299 USD
It will have a color passthrough in high resolution enabling AR experiences
It will have "advanced capabilities" enabling working with heavier 3D designs in VR
While there is limited information available on the details, the encouraging aspect of a new powerful device for the AEC industry is that the current limitations around complex models not working well on standalone VR might become less relevant. Also, the use cases in Construction related to Augmented Reality can become more commonplace with the availability of high-resolution color passthrough.
Do you own an Oculus Quest 2 for your AEC business? Begin your free trial on SENTIO VR
Are you looking forward to these changes? Let us know in the comments or reach out to us on our website