We already know Meta (previously Facebook) plans to release its latest Meta Quest Pro VR headset later this year. In the meantime, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is giving the world a rare look at several neat prototypes the company is busy testing out.
The CEO took to Facebook and posted a short video showing four unique virtual reality headset prototypes, each with a specific function. None of them are ready for daily use or finished products, but they all solve one piece of the puzzle the company hopes will combine to offer the best AR/VR experience in the distant future.
The goal, according to Zuckerberg, is to create something that could eventually pass the “Visual Turing test” and make virtual reality nearly indistinguishable from the real world. That future is still far away, but the company is busy working on it.
As we build toward the metaverse, we’re researching how to develop a virtual reality display system where what you see in your headset is as vivid and detailed as the physical world. Mark Zuckerberg just shared the details here https://t.co/jinbBB4stF pic.twitter.com/toxEcYABT8
— Meta Newsroom (@MetaNewsroom) June 20, 2022
The first prototype is known as “Butterscotch.” Its goal is to increase the pixel count in headsets to reach what Meta called “retinal resolution.” This prototype offers about 2.5x as many pixels as the current Meta Quest 2 headset on the market but at half the field of view. If Meta can combine the two, it’ll be amazingly sharp and clear.
In the video and Facebook post, we also looked at the headset dubbed “Starbursts,” which supports HDR. This insane prototype reaches upwards of 20,000 nits of brightness, about 20x brighter than most smartphones. The headset is enormous, heavy, and is purely a sample to help Meta push boundaries as it works on the next big thing.
Mark Zuckerberg also revealed another AR/VR headset that uses eye-tracking to change the focus on the fly, similar to real life. That way, users can focus on any detail in the virtual world, both close and far.
And finally, the video ends with the 4th prototype, which looks close to a final product. Meta is calling this one “Holocake 2,” and it’s a working VR headset that’s reportedly powerful enough for PC VR games. Eventually, Meta wants a headset similar to this one to use holographic optics, but apparently, we don’t have a laser capable of doing what the company wants.
From everything we’re hearing, Meta plans to release two lines of VR headsets soon. One is a more affordable, consumer-friendly device, similar to the Quest 2. Then, they’ll eventually offer a second headset with much of the company’s latest ground-breaking technology for professional usage scenarios. Either way, it’s neat to see what the company is cooking up for the Metaverse.
via The Verge