Tech giant Meta’s Reality Labs division has revealed new prototypes in its roadmap toward lightweight, hyper-realistic virtual reality graphics. The breakthrough is far from consumer-ready, but the design, codenamed Butterscotch, Starburst, Holocaust 2, and Mirror Lake, could add a slim, brightly lit headset that supports finer detail than its current Quest 2 display, The Verge reports.
META CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Reality Labs chief scientist Michael Abrash, along with other Reality Labs members, presented their work in a virtual roundtable last week.
The program focused on designs that Meta refers to as “time machines”: heavy proofs of concept meant to test a specific feature, such as a super-bright backlight or a super-high-resolution screen.
“I think we’re in the middle of a big step toward realism right now,” Zuckerberg said. “I don’t think it’s going to be that long until we can basically make the scene with absolute fidelity,” he said.
Zuckerberg reiterated plans to ship a high-end headset codenamed Project Cambria in 2022, following his initial announcement last year. Thanks to the high-resolution cameras, Cambria supports full VR as well as mixed reality which can pass a video feed to the internal screen. It will also ship with eye-tracking, a key feature for future Meta headsets.
Meanwhile, noted Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo says Apple is expected to launch its augmented reality and virtual reality, often called mixed reality, based headsets sometime in 2023. In a series of tweets, Kuo said that the company will have an AR/VR headset. Enter the testing phase sometime in the third quarter of 2022 and the device will be launched in January 2023. He also said that the device will be available for sale sometime before WWDC 2023.
Talking about the delay, the analyst says that the delay in shipment of the company’s AR/VR headset is expected due to post-Covid restrictions in Shanghai, China, which he says hampered the development process. Another reason why Apple has delayed the launch is because of the ongoing global chip shortage that has affected the availability of smartphones and other devices in the market.
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