Facebook reveals the future of VR headsets, and it’s more ‘CSI Miami’ than ‘Tron’

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It looks like Facebook *puts on VR headset* — wait, I thought these were sunglasses. YEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH

Image: Facebook Research

By Amanda Yeo2020-06-30 06:18:33 UTC

Immersing yourself in virtual reality can feel like a sci-fi fantasy come true, but bulky, cumbersome VR headsets almost make it more trouble than it’s worth. There have been various attempts to slim down VR headsets, such as Dlodlo’s lightweight V One headset and Panasonic’s prototype goggles shown at CES 2020. Now Facebook has revealed its own glasses-like prototype headset with a display measuring 8.9 mm thick — about the same thickness as a smartphone.
In a new research paper entitled “Holographic Optics for Thin and Lightweight Virtual Reality,” Facebook Reality Labs researchers Andrew Maimone and Junren Wang have proposed a VR headset design that replaces the refractive lens with holographic optics and polarization-based optical folding. This allows the headset to be much lighter and more compact, like a strangely thick pair of retro sunglasses.
“These two methods help keep the optics as thin as possible while making the most efficient use of space,” said Facebook Research in a Monday blog post. “We anticipate that such lightweight and comfortable form factors may enable extended VR sessions and new use …

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