News hardware Mark Zuckerberg (Meta) presents his prototypes of VR headsets, and it’s a dream
The Quest 2 might be a great VR headset, but it’s still light years away from what Meta is aiming for. The test with these new helmet prototypes is very impressive.
Companies that were once known as Facebook and Oculus are now united under one banner, Meta. The stated goal is clear: to create a realistic virtual world, the famous Metaverse. To achieve this, Mark Zuckerber’s company must make virtual and augmented reality headsets and glasses as efficient as possible, and that requires a huge amount of research and development. The CEO has therefore recently engaged in an interesting exercise, presenting to the media various prototypes of helmets, each of which had a particularity.
It should be noted, above all, that nothing of what is presented here is intended to be placed on the market, or absolutely not in this form. Meta wants to offer a VR headset that is simple to use, compact, comfortable and efficient, all with the most realistic image possible. You will see, this is not always the case here.
HDR, ultra high definition and depth of field on the map
The Starburst prototype, for example, comes to use two fans at the top and features two handles on the sides. It is therefore not for its ergonomics or its design that interests you, but for the fact that it is the first VR viewer to offer “HDR” compatibility, with the possibility of displaying a brightness of up to 20,000 cd / m2. A particularly impressive figure, especially if you know that the screen of an iPhone 13, already very bright, rarely exceeds 860 cd / m2. HDR for virtual reality is clearly important and would allow for first-rate realism for the quality of a rendering.
But settling for high brightness is nothing without an accurate and legible image. On this aspect we can trust the Butterscotch prototype, which is based on the high definition of the image. Its screen thus offers a pixel density “2.5 times higher” than that of the Quest 2, ie 60 pixels per degree. The Quest 2, currently the most powerful viewer of Meta / Oculus, therefore integrates a screen of 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye. With more than double, Butterscotch can accurately read text from a distance of 6 meters. Again, image sharpness is an indispensable aspect of a future Metavers.
As for the Half Dome prototype, it is even able to adapt the depth of field in real time, which is impossible with current helmets. The helmet uses gaze tracking technology to adapt the rendering based on the distance of the object. Again an important aspect for the realism of the rendering.
Holocake 2: a VR helmet to rule them all?
A sharper, brighter image with depth: three essential factors for virtual reality and three different headsets. Of course, the goal is to bring everything together in a single product, possibly compact and comfortable. This is where the latest prototype comes in: Holocake 2. This latest mix of virtual reality and augmented reality, like Microsoft’s Hololense, while offering all embedded technologies … In theory, because, for the moment, Holocake 2 it is above all a design, a promise of how VR headsets will look in the more or less near future.
Finally, we remind you that Meta is currently working on “Cambria”, a very high-end headset dedicated above all to professionals, and which mixes AR and VR.
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