Through its research division Facebook Research, Facebook created a prototype of virtual reality viewers with a great advantage in its design: they are very similar to sunglasses both in size and appearance, unlike the ostentatious and massive viewers that we know today. This benefits portability, although the technical limitations of the viewfinders are still evident. In any case it is a prototype, and there is still much that could be improved.
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Facebook Reality Labs developed this model thinking about the improvements that could be introduced in the commercial virtual reality viewers that we have. Some of the main ones: portability and size. This is how they managed to create viewfinders less than 9mm thick.
Researchers Andrew Maimone and Junren Wang designed a way to replace normal viewfinder components with more compact parts. According to his article, viewfinders have three main components: an LED light source, a display on which the image is generated and a plastic lens. The first two can be compressed into a single sheet with ease, but the last is the one that represents a real problem, since it has to be kept away from the display to generate the sensation of depth in the user’s view, thus causing the team grow in dimensions.
To avoid this problem the researchers proposed to replace the lens with holographic componentsbecause they can interact with light in a similar way as lenses do, with the great advantage that weight and size are reduced Of the device.
This prototype still has some problems, such as that the color range in this portable model is still very limited. However, the researchers are looking for solutions and will present more results at an online conference in August.