Meta AKA Facebook’s Hyped VR Headset Leaked by Guy in Hotel

An unofficial render of Meta's Project Cambria headset appears alongside three stills of a new video of the allegedly unboxed unreleased hardware.

It’s always worth rooting to the side of the bed or drawers when staying in a hotel room. Who knows what exciting items may have been overlooked by the previous guest? Like, for example, a top-secret Oculus VR headset. This is what happened to hotel worker Ramiro Cardenas, who claims to have discovered and revealed to the world that the Cambria project should most likely be called the Meta Quest Pro. Then he made an unboxing video. Update: We spoke to Cardenas about how it all went down – see below.

The helmet was originally teased last october, with the moniker Project Cambria, when Mark Zuckerberg said it would be sold at the “high end of the price range”. At the time, we learned that it would have cameras that would send high-resolution color video to its screens, as well as face and eye tracking, and all sorts of exciting algorithms.

Now, a full month ahead of its scheduled announcement date, the new device is available to everyone thanks to one particularly forgetful hotel guest. A very excited Ramiro Cardenas, who posted the video as Zectariuz Gamingpulls the new headset and handheld controllers out of their box, whispering happily.

This new Meta Quest Pro headset looks like something a mad inventor would wear in a 1980s Disney live-action movie about a man who accidentally invents time travel. The controllers, meanwhile, seem to have ditched the hollow hoop design of the Meta Quest 2 and opted for a much simpler and neater form factor.

While concealing identifying details, images accompanying the video include one that reveals the caption, “NOT FOR RESALE – ENGINEERING SAMPLE”. It is in a pretty classy packaging considering! But it does suggest that the product might be on the way out.

The edge reports that Cardenas told them he was able to reunite the helmet with the person who had stayed in the hotel room, but not before – you know – uploading photos and a video of the device to Facebook to detonate Meta’s plan to reveal it during October’s Meta Link.

It was quite by chance that Cardenas, and his Zectariuz Gaming page, had already taken a keen interest in the different forms of the Oculus. We contacted him to ask how this fortuitous event happened.

Of course, we also reached out to Meta to ask if he would present the Pro announcement now, and even if he would mount the engineer’s head on a pike outside his HQ. (We may not have phrased it exactly that way.)

Updated: 9/12/22, 4:28 p.m. ET: Ramiro Cardenas wrote back to tell us more about how it all happened.

It turns out, despite previous reports, that the bag the device was found in was in the hallway outside the hotel room. “It was taken for trash,” Cardenas said Kotaku“since [it was] a large black bag, alone in the hallway for hours, until guests complained that it was in the way.

The Meta Quest Pro, revealed in a hotel room by a hotel employee.

Screenshot: Zectariuz Gaming / Ramiro Cardenas / Kotaku

“The normal process is just tossing it in the trash,” Cardenas continues, but said while checking it for liquids, he noticed the Oculus boxes. He thought, “Great, someone bought Oculus Quest and threw the boxes away,” but then noticed the boxes were black. He remembered, “these aren’t even on the market yet”, so he took them to the back room of the hotel to confirm that the boxes weren’t empty. This, he says, is the video.

“Then I put it back, connected that it was found [and] asked whoever is claiming it to provide identification and specify what items were inside the bag,” Cardenas told us. “There was no way anyone would guess.”

Later, the owner claimed them, and with “not even a thank you”, left the hotel.

Cardenas adds that he didn’t turn on the Meta Quest Pro, or try it, and only opened the box to confirm it wasn’t trash. But adds: “Would I have liked to keep it? Yes. Did it hurt you to return it? Yes.”

Quite a bit of honesty there. Because who wouldn’t have been tempted to bring home what was, after all, tossed down a hallway like trash? Hopefully Meta does the decent thing and makes sure Cardenas gets its own Meta Quest Pro at launch.

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