Meta CEO* The platforms Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist at Reality Labs, showed several prototype VR headsets with different functions. By combining the capabilities of devices being developed under the codenames Butterscotch, Starburst and Holocake 2, the company hopes to create a VR headset in which the virtual world will be similar to the real one.
“I think we’re in the middle of a big step toward realism now. I don’t think it will be long before we can create scenes with near-perfect realism.”Zuckerberg said in an interview with reporters.
head meta* also confirmed the intention to release a high-end VR headset this year, which is being developed as part of the Project Cambria project. It will support mixed reality technology thanks to the high-resolution cameras in the design that transmit video on the device’s screens.
According to Zuckerberg, Meta* intends to release two series of VR headsets. The first will include affordable consumer devices. The second line will include more advanced devices that will support and focus on the company’s advanced technologies “Consumer and Professional Markets”. Along with this meta* intends to launch a line of smart glasses with support for augmented reality technologies.
In the presented prototypes, the first was butterscotch with a resolution of 1832 × 1920 pixels on each screen, which is 2.5 times that of the Quest 2 headset, which was achieved by reducing the field of view device users. The headset’s screens are reported to deliver near retina quality with 55 pixels per degree of field of view.
The Starburst device is large and even has handles for support during use. At the same time, the prototype broadcasts an HDR image with a maximum brightness of 20,000 nits. Zuckerberg noted that the device is highly impractical, but the company’s engineers are using it as a test bed for further research and exploration.
When designing the Holocake 2 device, engineers aimed for miniaturization. The design uses holographic optics that replace the thick lens with a flat refractive plate. This approach led to the creation of a device that resembles sunglasses but is said to use lasers instead of OLED, so this prototype is far from finished. head meta* noted that the company still has a lot of work to do before it can develop a consumer laser that meets various requirements, including safety, moderation in cost and efficiency.
The presentation also discussed the half-dome headset with varifocal optics based on liquid lenses, which can give the user a sense of depth of field in virtual space. It is curious that one of the prototypes created as part of the Half-Dome project was said by the company to be almost ready for launch in 2020. Now, Zuckerberg has been more reticent, saying mass production is still a long way off.
The headsets mentioned exist as real products, each managed by Meta* shown during the presentation. At the same time, the company presented a prototype of Mirror Lake, which has not yet been built in reality. Their design is reminiscent of ski goggles, which looks more flattering than the optics of the Quest headset. The device combines Holocake 2 optics, Starburst’s HDR streaming capability and supports Butterscotch-like resolution. The company noted that this prototype demonstrates what the next-gen VR headset could look like.
* It is included in the list of public associations and religious organizations for which the court made a final decision, activities on the grounds of Federal Law No. 114-FZ of July 25, 2002 “On Combating Extremist Activity”.