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Epaper Wednesday, July 06, 2022

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Meta displays off VR headset prototypes that push the boundaries of clarity, brightness, size, and focus

June 22, 2022 11:20 AM

Washington : Meta is still working on Metaverse's hardware foundations, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off numerous prototypes today. The majority of them are intended to test a single feature that the team believes is critical to producing lifelike VR.

 

According to GSM Arena, the first prototype, codenamed "Butterscotch," focuses on raising the pixel count to attain "retinal resolution," as the company calls it.
That works out to about 60 pixels per degree.

 

The prototype achieved 55 pixels per degree, with 2.5 times the number of pixels as the Quest 2, which only covers half the field of view. In any case, the goal is for people with 20/20 vision to be able to see the smallest characters on an eye test chart.

 

Half Dome attempts to overcome a different issue: our eyes alter focus as we shift our look from nearby to afar objects and back. Eye-tracking and varifocal optics are used in this prototype to give virtual scenes a natural sense of depth.


Then there are Starbursts, which could be the first VR headset to offer High Dynamic Range (HDR). Of course, this is just a prototype, but as Zuckerberg points out, real-life scenes are often brighter than what high-end TVs and displays can provide.

 

Though consumer devices may settle with a more pleasant 10,000 nits, Starburst can reach 20,000 nits of brightness (that is still 10 times brighter than most smartphones).Holocake 2, the final prototype, is a functioning VR headset that can already play PC VR games. It is Meta's thinnest and lightest VR headset to date, but the ultimate goal is to use a holographic lens, which would further reduce thickness, as reported by GSM Arena.

 

Meta is developing two headset lines: one for consumers, and the other for professionals, both of which will have cutting-edge technology. Before the prototypes mentioned above are ready for market, it will take several years.


Project Cambria is set to launch later this year, with full-colour passthrough for a better Augmented Reality experience (the Quest only has black & white cameras). The Cambria headgear is expected to cost almost twice as much as the Quest 2.

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