Originally launched in 2014 as Oculus Connect, Facebook’s annual developer event focused on its XR plans saw a name change in 2020 to Facebook Connect; and due to the pandemic an online-only conference. This week the company has announced the 2021 event will be held on 28th October as a virtual showcase.
Usually, the Connect series of events takes place in September so this is unusually late in the year. Facebook Connect specifically concentrates on both developer and consumer announcements, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg taking to the stage to kick things off with the biggest announcements. 2020 famously saw the confirmation of Oculus Quest 2 after several months of leaks.
Other than it being a purely virtual event and the date, no other details have been shared at this time. The official website merely says: “Check again later for registration and event updates.” Expect plenty of pre-recorded presentations, possibly revealing new hardware developments and plenty of software announcements, of course.
The Quest platform has seen rapid iterations so there’s a very real possibility that Facebook may reveal details on the Oculus Quest Pro. Zuckerberg has already confirmed the device is being worked on, with a plan to add more sensors to expand its range of use cases. Eye-tracking or facial tracking sensors could very well be on that list, and Facebook Connect 2021 could see that first tease.
VRFocus also believes the roster of announcements will include the much talked about augmented reality (AR) smart glasses Ray-Ban is helping create and a final date for Lone Echo II. The smart glasses have been rumoured to arrive this year, and as yet, haven’t been revealed. As for Ready at Dawn’s Lone Echo II, the sci-fi adventure was due next week but the studio pushed it back to late 2021.
Facebook Connect never usually disappoints when it comes to exciting XR announcements. Like previous years speakers such as Facebook Reality Labs’ Chief Scientist Michael Abrash are expected to give their usual presentations. When details are confirmed as to the schedule, VRFocus will let you know.