There's a long tradition of soon-to-be-launched tech products magically being left behind in public places just before the official launch. It happened with the iPhone 4, and judging by Steve Jobs' fury that was a genuine mistake; more recently we've seen the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch turn up with suspiciously good timing, too.
And now the latest example is the forthcoming next-generation Oculus VR headset, the Meta Quest Pro. Video posted on Facebook by Ramiro Cardenas (h/t to The Verge), who says it and other devices were left behind in a hotel room, shows the headset being unboxed, enabling a good look all around the headset where the three external cameras and redesigned controllers can be clearly seen.
The packaging says "Meta Quest Pro" and there's also a label saying the unit Cardenas got his hands on is an engineering sample.
I'm not saying this is marketing, but with less than a month to go before the Meta Quest Pro launches in October it's not exactly terrible timing for Meta's marketing department.
Here's what we know about the Meta Quest Pro so far.
Meta Quest Pro is Project Cambria
We've known about Project Cambria, the codename for the Meta Quest Pro, for some time now. It's due to be revealed in October, most likely at Meta Connect on October 11, and it's going to be the most advanced VR headset from Meta (which now owns Oculus). A leaked internal roadmap suggested that Project Cambria will cost $799 (around £640 / AU$1,125) but after the Quest 2 price hike we expect it to be higher.
The combination of Meta's openness about its headset plans and a steady stream of leaks mean we know pretty much what to expect. The Meta Quest Pro is predicted to have at least 8GB RAM and around 256 GB of storage with a new Qualcomm processor. Reports also indicate that the headset will incorporate dual mini LED displays, most likely with a 120Hz refresh rate.
This release is a big deal for Meta, which has bet the farm on VR being the next big thing in consumer tech; Apple's coming to this space too, albeit not until next year and at a much higher cost. And of course there's also the rather exciting PSVR 2, which is coming in early 2023. That's three very different visions of VR coming in the next few months. I can't wait to see how they compare.