Tech giant Meta’s Reality Labs division has revealed new prototypes in its roadmap toward the 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, reports The Verge. Also Read - Apple iPhone 14 series to reportedly feature OLED displays from Samsung, LG and BOE
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. Also Read - WhatsApp gets the ability to message, mute individual users in a group call
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. Also Read - Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces a designer clothing store for avatars
“I think we’re in the middle right now of a big step forward towards realism,” Zuckerberg was quoted as saying. “I don’t think it’s going to be that long until we can create scenes with basically perfect fidelity,” he added.
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.
Meanwhile, noted Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo says that Apple is expected to launch its augmented reality and virtual reality, often called mixed reality together, based headset sometime in 2023. In a series of tweets, Kuo said that the company’s AR/VR headset will enter testing phase sometime in third quarter of 2022 and the device will be launched in January 2023. He also said that the device will be up for sale sometime before WWDC 2023.
Talking about the delay, the analyst says that delay in the shipment of the company’s AR/VR headset is expected to the Covid-restrictions in China’s Shanghai, which he says interrupted the development process. Another reason why Apple might have delayed the launch is due to the ongoing global chip shortage that has several affected the availability of smartphones and other devices in the market.