Facebook is trying to make VR Glass thinner and more “socially acceptable”. In a new research paper, the company has revealed its specs such as a prototype virtual reality (VR) headset with a thickness of 8.9 mm, similar to a regular smartphone. The social media giant says that one way to get VR headsets, such as “sunglasses”, is to replace refractive lenses with holographic optics. This essentially means that the new optics will allow light to reach the human eye, unlike regular VR gears, which require our eyes to be heavier to accommodate thick lenses to change the angle of light from the display.
The new optics will further help keep the form factor and the weight of the VR headset very light, the Facebook research paper highlighted. The findings are explained in a research paper led by Facebook Reality Labs. The researchers noted that in order to achieve thin, light and high-performance near-eye displays for virtual reality, they used holographic optics, directional backlighting, laser illumination and polarization-based optical folding.
Current (VR] headsets still have box-like form factors and provide only a fraction of the human eye’s resolution. Optical design techniques, such as polarization-based optical folding, or ‘pancake’ optics, are emerging, in performance. Promising to improve. Reducing size. Research Notes.
Pancake optics essentially bounce light back and forth inside a lens before reaching the human eye. This effectively removes the distance between the display panel and the focusing optic without increasing the physical size. The research states that this allows focusing optics to be physically placed near the display panel, “while actually acting as if they were too far away provides a tremendous advantage in compactness.”
Thin near-eye VR headset limitations
Researchers reported that there are several limitations with VR headsets such as sunglasses, so the signs of its launch are still years away. Currently, the prototype outputs in monochrome and is yet to achieve full-colour performance.
Likewise, the headset will face challenges such as battery life, device connections, and the like. In 2019, Facebook-owned Oculus VR launched the Oculus Rift S virtual reality headset for $ 399 (about Rs 30,100)