What to expect at Meta Connect 2023

Meta is gearing up its annual event devoted to all things VR, AR and the metaverse. The company is once again showing off a new VR headset, the Meta Quest 3, as well as its next-generation smart glasses. We already know quite a bit about the Meta Quest 3, thanks to a preview from Zuckerberg earlier this year. The $499 headset has been considerably slimmed down and has redesigned controllers. It will also have better graphics, thanks to a new next-gen Qualcomm chipset, which will power new mixed-reality features similar to last year’s high-end Quest Pro. This is the consumer version of VR/AR Meta hopes the wider public will embrace.

Meta

The VR headset likely won’t be the only Reality Labs gadget we’ll hear more about at Meta Connect. As UploadVR noted last week, Meta CTO Andrew Bosworth hinted at a second-generation of Meta’s Ray-Ban-branded smart glasses also in the works. The new frames should have better cameras and some new features, like livestreaming.

Beyond hardware, we’re expecting Zuckerberg to attempt more compelling pitches on the broader idea of the metaverse itself, AI chatbots and avatars and Meta’s baby metaverse, Horizon Worlds, which could do with more things to do and, honestly, more people in it.

— Mat Smith

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It could take several months, and legal challenges may lie ahead.

The Federal Communications Commission plans to reinstate net neutrality protections nixed in 2018 during the Trump administration. After Anna Gomez was sworn in as the third Democratic member on the FCC’s five-person panel, the agency is pushing forward with an attempt to bring back net neutrality regulations. Net neutrality rules are meant to ensure internet service providers may not block or give preference to any content.

It will take quite some time to restore the previous rules. The FCC commissioners will vote on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at their next monthly meeting on October 19. If, as seems likely, the agency votes in favor, it will start new rulemaking and seek public comments on the proposal.

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The $3,700 Gram Fold is Korea-only at the moment.

TMA

LG

Similar to the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold, LG’s Gram Fold is a touchscreen device that can be a massive tablet or a computer when fully unfolded. Users will get a 17-inch OLED screen with a QXGA+ (2560 x 1920 pixel) resolution when it’s used purely as a display, and they can link it to its accompanying Bluetooth keyboard, which can rest on the lower half of the screen. It’s 4.99 million won ($3,700) — not cheap, but still more affordable than HP’s $5,000 Spectre Fold.

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It creates shared playlists as Turntable.fm does.

Spotify is rolling out a new feature called Jam, which will give friends a way to curate a single playlist on the service and listen to it together in real time. Participants in a Jam session can contribute tracks to a shared queue, which they can access whether they’re in the same room or around the world. The audio streaming giant is rolling out the feature to both free and Premium subscribers, but only the latter can start a session. Rival service Apple Music has teased a similar collaborative service coming to iOS 17, but it’s expected to arrive later this year.

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