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Facebook touts ‘retina resolution’ VR headsets for the future metaverse

Facebook touts ‘retina resolution’ VR headsets for the future metaverse
14 Oct, 2021

Social media giant Facebook is apparently working on a new virtual reality (VR) headset with “retina resolution”. The company’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and VR head Andrew Bosworth posted pictures of themselves trying out the device, though neither explained what the features or capabilities of the device will be. Bosworth did clarify, however, the headset is part of the work done by the Oculus team at Facebook.

“Proud of the research Michael Abrash's team is working on at FRL-R Redmond—excited to get an early look at some of the technologies that will underpin the metaverse (we work on several prototype headsets to prove out concepts, this is one of them. Kind of. It's a long story),” he said in a tweet. Abrash is the chief scientist at Oculus.

Further, Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself from Facebook’s VR research labs in Redmond, California and said it was an “early retina resolution prototype”. The term ‘retina display’ was coined by Apple when it came up with displays where individual pixels couldn’t be discerned by the naked eye. That, however, is a standard that pretty much every smartphone or laptop display meets today.

VR and augmented reality (AR) are integral to the future of computing Facebook has been laying out for the world. In the company’s second quarter earnings call this year, Zuckerberg had told investors that he is building a “metaverse”, where people will interact in virtual spaces, much like those seen in science fiction movies like Ready Player One, etc. VR and AR headsets are integral to such applications. He has also spoken about this in internal Facebook town halls and interviews.

The company also has other products that are designed to this effect, including the Ray Ban Stories, which were announced last month. Facebook partnered with eye glass maker Ray Ban to build AR glasses, which support gestures and can take photos and videos.

The company has also been working on wrist-based interaction systems for AR products, which can read signals that the brain sends through our neurons. As reported by Mint earlier, the company envisioned this as a mechanism to interact with ambient computers in future. Ambient computing is a Silicon Valley term for a future where computers and screens are embedded in everything around us, eliminating the need for input mediums like keyboards and mice.