He was the CEO of Meta (Facebook), mark zuckerbergwho in a brief video came to show nothing less four prototypes of next-generation Virtual Reality (VR) glasses, ranging from offering glasses with never-before-seen resolution (sharpness), to lighter and more portable models. Interestingly, a Meta roadmap had already been leaked where the company planned to launch four new VR glasses models.
The first prototype was named “toffee“, and obviously we’re starting with the top-end model, which focuses on increasing the pixel count to achieve what the team calls “retinal resolutionThat’s about 60 pixels per degree. The prototype achieved 55 px/deg, using 2.5 times more pixels than the Quest 2, which only covers half the field of view. Be sharp enough for users with 20/20 vision to read the smallest letters on an eye exam chart.
On the other, we have the so-called “half-dome“, which focus on solving another problem that has nothing to do with resolution: our eyes change focus when we change our gaze from near to far objects and vice versa. This prototype uses the eye tracking and varifocal optics to give virtual scenes a sense of natural depth.
We continue with another very interesting model, the “star bursts“, which, if it hits the market, would be the first HDR VR headset to do so. It’s just a prototype, of course, but as Mark explains, real-life scenes are often more brighter than what TVs and high-end screens can emit.Starburst can reach up to 20,000 nits of brightness, although consumer devices can make do with a more comfortable 10,000 nits (which is still 10x brighter than most high-end gaming monitors). Of course, we don’t think it’s very good to have something that radiates so much brightness within inches of our view.
We end with the “holo cake 2“, which are in principle very thin and light VR glasses capable of running VR games for PC. The novelty of its design lies in the use of a holographic lens. Without it, it wouldn’t be able to deliver the benefits of being lightweight.