Mark Zuckerberg is convinced that the future of his company is in the metaverse, of which AR/VR products will be the gateways. It is for this reason that the group is spending lavishly to develop new technologies that will propel its future augmented reality and virtual reality headsets.
Regularly, Meta lifts the veil on some of these futuristic technologies. And recently, the band showed their muscles again. In a video published this week, Zuckerberg presented four prototypes with impressive technologies. And recently, Meta also discussed these advances with the press.
Among the prototypes developed by Meta is the Butterscotch helmet. With this, the company intends to increase the number of pixels. With it, the number of pixels has been multiplied by 2.5 compared to the Quest 2, with a density of 60 pixels per degree. With Butterscotch, it is thus possible to read all the letters on an optometric chart (used by opticians).
On another prototype, called Half Dome, Meta focuses on depth of field. While currently marketed products have a fixed depth, Half Dome has a variable depth of field. It is able to follow the user’s gaze and adapt the depth according to the distance from the object.
Another prototype, called Starburst, tackles the issue of brightness. This produces high dynamic range (HDR) lighting with 20,000 nits of brightness. But because of the powerful lamp used, the prototype is far from compact. And handling it requires handles.
Unlike Startburst, the Holocake 2 prototype has a very compact design. But Meta has yet to find a way to fit all of its technologies into this small space.
These prototypes are all far from ready for commercialization, but are used more for research. Mark Zuckerberg admits there is still a long way to go. Nevertheless, he promises to bring these to the public in the next few years.
In the meantime, Meta should soon launch Cambria
According to The Verge, during his meeting with the press, Mark Zuckerberg once again indicated that Meta will launch its Cambria headset this year. This is a product that the group has already teased, and which should be expensive, compared to the Quest 2.
On the other hand, the Cambria headset will combine virtual reality with augmented reality, and should therefore position itself as the competitor of the future AR / VR headset that Apple could launch either at the end of 2022 or in 2023.
The boss of Meta would also have confirmed that in the short term, the group will offer two ranges of helmets: affordable and consumer helmets like the Meta Quest 2, as well as helmets with more advanced technologies like the Cambria project. These would target prosumers as well as professionals.
Moreover, the Meta roadmap would already include a successor to the Meta Quest 2 for the general public, as well as a successor to the Cambria project.
While showing the general public a glimpse of the technologies of the future developed by Meta, these presentations could also serve to reassure investors. Indeed, to develop its AR/VR products, as we mentioned above, the company spends lavishly.
In 2021 alone, Meta has spent over $10 billion on its AR and VR lab.