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Mark Zuckerberg has so many VR headset prototypes to show us - The Verge

Mark Zuckerberg has so many VR headset prototypes to show us - The Verge

At a virtual roundtable, Meta’s Reality Labs showed off several different VR headset prototypes, codenamed Butterscotch, Starburst, Holocake 2, and Mirror Lake.

Meta’s Reality Labs division has revealed new prototypes in its roadmap toward lightweight, hyper-realistic virtual reality graphics. The breakthroughs remain far from consumer-ready, but the designs — codenamed Butterscotch, Starburst, Holocake 2, and Mirror Lake — could add up to a slender, brightly lit headset that supports finer detail than its current Quest 2 display.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Reality Labs chief scientist Michael Abrash, along with other Reality Labs members, presented their work at a virtual roundtable last week. The event focused on designs that Meta refers to as “time machines”: bulky proofs of concept meant for testing one specific feature, like a super-bright backlight or super-high-resolution screen. “I think we’re in the middle right now of a big step forward towards realism,” Zuckerberg told reporters. “I don’t think it’s going to be that long until we can create scenes with basically perfect fidelity.” Display tech isn’t the only unsolved piece of that puzzle, but it’s an area where Meta’s intensive VR hardware research gives it a leg up.

A wall of prototype designs from Meta Reality Labs







Zuckerberg reiterated plans to ship a high-end headset codenamed Project Cambria in 2022, following its initial announcement last year. Cambria supports full VR as well as mixed reality, thanks to high-resolution cameras that can pass a video feed to an internal screen. It will also ship with eye tracking, a key feature for future Meta headsets. From there, Zuckerberg says Meta is planning two lines of VR headsets: one that will remain cheap and consumer-focused, like today’s Quest 2, and one that will incorporate the company’s newest technology, aimed at a “prosumer or professional-grade” market. That tracks with reports that the company is already planning updates to Cambria and the Quest 2, although those prototypes weren’t discussed on the call.

The Butterscotch high-definition headset prototype.







Meta’s VR headsets sit alongside a separate lineup of augmented reality smart glasses, which are meant to project images onto the real world instead of blocking it with a screen. Meta recently scaled back the launch of its first-generation AR glasses, and in general, VR screens have reached consumers much faster than AR holograms. But Meta’s prototypes demonstrate how far the company thinks it has left to go.

Butterscotch is an attempt at a near-retina-quality headset display — something you can find in high-end headsets from companies like Varjo, but not the current Meta lineup. The design is “nowhere near shippable” and required roughly halving the Meta Quest 2’s 110-degree field of view. But it offers about 2.5 times the resolution of the Quest 2’s (sort of) 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, letting users read the 20/20 vision line on an eye chart. Zuckerberg says it offers about 55 pixels per field-of-view degree, slightly short of Meta’s 60-pixel-per-degree retina standard and a bit lower than Varjo’s 64 pixels per degree.

https://www.theverge.com/2022/6/20/23172503/mark-zuckerberg-meta-vr-headset-prototype-reveal-butterscotch-sunburst-holocake-mirror-lake


Post ID: c1a51c21-591f-4362-ac96-5213fc715e14
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Updated: 1 week ago

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