Facebook's new VR headset looks like a pair of sunglasses

Ruben Fields
July 2, 2020

It uses flat holographic films for the optics and the display is less than 0.35 inches thick.

Facebook's virtual reality research division has now presented a sunglasses-like VR prototype headset with a display which measures just 8.9mm thick.

Facebook Reality Labs' researchers Junren Wang and Andrew Maimone proposed the new design in research paper titled "Holographic Optics for Thin and Lightweight Virtual Reality". While Facebook has shown prototypes of bigger and more complex Oculus VR headsets, it's made no secret of its interest in creating lightweight models that can be worn all day. "Emerging optical design techniques, such as polarization-based optical folding, or "pancake" optics, promise to improve performance while reducing size." the research notes. To reduce this gap without losing focus, Facebook's researchers used polarization-based optical folding - also called "pancake" folding, reports Mashable. In the event that anytime VR headsets' structure factor transforms into a wiped out pair of Ray Bans, they envision they'd be restrictively costly to begin, yet hello, at any rate VR as we probably am aware it presently would get less expensive.

Traditional VR headsets have a large empty space between the lens and the screen, an imperative in optics to avoid being faced with a blurred image.

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Many companies are circling around the idea of glasses-like AR/VR headsets that combine the best of both technologies into a single device, but it usually ends up as a bulkier VR-centric headset that uses outward-facing cameras to also perform light AR. This is why objects in virtual reality normally appear as being farther away than they really are. "The result is a dramatic reduction in thickness and weight", wrote Facebook Research.

To put it simply, pancake folding bounces light back and forth inside a lens a few times before it reaches your eye, increasing the distance the light travels while keeping actual physical distance small.

The proof-of-concept glasses aren't just thin for looks, though - they also apparently beam images to your eyes in a way that's different than standard VR headsets on the market today. We propose replacing this bulky element with holographic optics. They also discussed the future areas of research that will help them to make the approach more practical. The research paper was first spotted by UploadVR.

Fb Truth Labs introduced this new breakthrough forward of SIGGRAPH 2020, an yearly pc graphics and know-how trade exhibit which can take spot practically this yr beginning on August 17. Nevertheless, this technology is worth the wait as it may allow wearing VR glasses for longer hours, which may be useful not only for gamers but even professional use. Like these holographic visuals, our holographic optics are a recording of the interaction of laser light-weight with objects, but in this case the object is a lens somewhat than a 3D scene. The VR glasses would just gauge 10 grams, while the Oculus Quest weighs 571 grams, or 1.26 pounds.

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