Facebook Built a VR Headset the Size of a Pair of Large Sunglasses

VR 2.0

A team researchers at Facebook have created a virtual reality headset that’s not much larger than a chunky pair of sunglasses, Ars Technica reports.

The futuristic shades use a specially designed holographic film to miniaturize the lens. Conventional VR displays tend to be bulky, as the refractive lenses inside of them need a couple inches to focus the display for its wearer’s eyes.

The result is a pair of glasses that are at most only nine millimeters thick, according to the researchers, and weigh only 17.8 grams. Images from the glasses’ green-and-black display are, frankly, extremely cyberpunk.

The glasses can provide an approximately 90-degree horizontal field of view (human vision is just shy of 180 degrees), according to testing detailed in a new paper published by Facebook Research.

Laser Beams

The design also did away with the traditional LCD panels used in conventional VR headsets and uses lasers instead to create an image. That means pixel counting isn’t really an option, as Ars points out.

It’s still an early prototype with plenty of limitations. Since light rays from the backlight “fan out significantly before they are focused by the holographic beamsplitter surface,” large regions of the display “do not contribute to the display’s [field of view],” the researchers write in the paper.

The glasses are also still not capable of producing a full color image and exhibit “ghosting” around the edges of the field of view caused by optical surfaces reflecting light.

The team already has a plan to reduce weight even further. By switching to plastic substrates, the researchers expect to bring total weight to just 6.6 grams, about the weight of a pair of large aviator-style sunglasses.

READ MORE: How holographic tech is shrinking VR displays to the size of sunglasses [Ars Technica]

More on VR: A Tokyo Hospital Is Livestreaming Surgeries in Virtual Reality

Latest articles

Best SNL Political Impressions/Sketches

"Will Ferrell as George W. Bush will forever be iconic. His speech about which countries were in the 'axis of evil'...

Anthropogenic climate change accelerating faster than earlier, natural analogs

Whilst large-scale volcanic activity has been responsible for huge temperature rises millions of years ago, human-made climate change is happening at a far...

Astronauts take shelter as space station dodges orbital junk

The International Space Station just dodged a fast-moving hunk of orbiting junk.Controllers maneuvered the station away from a potential collision with a piece...

Murray’s late triples help Nuggets fend off Lakers’ comeback to win Game 3

They had just lost a playoff heartbreaker, and two nights later the Denver Nuggets quickly went from in control to in trouble. ...

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here