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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Zuckerberg reveals what the glasses will look like to enter the metaverse

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Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to the Metaverse is serious. The founder of Facebook is fully focused on paving the way so that his big future project, this immersive virtual world in which we are supposed to spend several hours a day, can become a reality as soon as possible. To demonstrate that his engineers don’t waste their time, last week Zuckerberg invited a group of media from around the world, including EL PAÍS, to catch up on the latest developments his company is working on. More specifically, the executive and his team talked about how they’re trying to improve the visualization and experience of their Oculus goggles, which will allow us to delve into the Metaverse and what he calls the “Visual Turing Test.” to pass. .

“Current virtual reality systems can give you the feeling of being somewhere else. And it’s hard to describe how meaningful that is, it’s something you have to experience for yourself. But we still have a long way to go on screens and graphics engines before we get to visual realism,” Zuckerberg said in a first recorded speech. The complexity faced by meta-engineers has to do with a different fact. When we look at a traditional screen, the 2D screens, we fix our eyes where we want, we look to one side or the other, we separate or move away, etc. Despite these natural movements, the resolution of the monitor is always the same .

Holocake 2 Prototype, the thinnest and lightest virtual reality goggles ever created by Meta.

The situation is different with 3D images, which are projected directly into our eyes through special glasses. “You have to be able to render objects and focus your gaze at different distances. You need a display that can cover a much wider viewing angle, and retina-level resolution across the entire field of view requires far more pixels than any traditional display,” explained Zuckerberg. “They need displays that can approach the brightness and dynamic range of the physical world, and that requires nearly ten times the brightness that we’re currently getting from HDTVs. You need realistic, low-latency motion tracking so that when you turn your head, it looks like it’s properly positioned in the immersive world you’re in.”

All this should fit into a headset that is comfortable to wear, does not get too hot and has long-lasting batteries (connected devices are out of the question). Reality Labs, the team of engineers focused on these developments, showed some of their prototypes. The one that seems to be the most advanced is the Holocake 2, which Zuckerberg proudly showed off and which are the thinnest and lightest lenses they’ve created to date. They also revealed the plans for the Mirror Lake goggles, which will integrate the latest meta advances. They are still in the concept phase, and as the company recalled, there is still a long way to go before they can be translated into a consumer product. But the technologies they integrate and the problems they try to solve will later be seen in the lens models that Meta launches.

Differences between the different resolutions already offered by commercially available virtual reality glasses and the Butterscotch prototype.
Differences between the different resolutions already offered by commercially available virtual reality glasses and the Butterscotch prototype.

The four major visual challenges

Douglas Lanman, Director of Systems Research at Reality Labs, explained the four major challenges meta developers face to make the display in VR glasses as realistic as possible. First, the lenses must be able to focus on the object being viewed, whether it is in front of or behind the object. Second, the resolution has to be significantly better than 2D to be convincing.

Third, the glasses’ graphics engine must be able to correct the distortion effect that causes structures to appear distorted at great distances. And fourth, it must also be able to balance the dimension and proportion of all elements in the field of view, which is achieved by each element emitting more or less light.

Zuckerberg holds the Starbust prototype, the glasses that contain the HDR system.
Zuckerberg holds the Starbust prototype, the glasses that contain the HDR system.

The technical solution that Reality Labs engineers came up with has two legs. On the one hand, the intentional distortion of the elements. “It’s about deforming the digital image in real time so that your brain perceives it as it would look if you were in real life and applying the necessary lighting, focus and resolution corrections,” Lanman explained. The other breakthrough they call High Dynamic Range (high dynamic rangeHDR) and consists of a technique to provide the images with the necessary lighting at every moment.

The meta team has created a still enormously large prototype goggle that incorporates this latest development. If they manage to integrate it into the lighter lens versions, the user experience will skyrocket, they say.

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Source elpais.com

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