During the second day of the Facebook developer conference, F8 2018, the company unveiled a prototype called “Half Dome” internally that shows revolutionary changes for virtual reality and a step beyond what the company has shown with Oculus Go and hopes to offer with Oculus Santa Cruz .
María Fernández Guajardo, director of product management in the main technology division of Oculus VR, presented this “Half Dome” prototype that has a wide angle of view and allows to adapt the focus according to the distance of the objects.
The “Half Dome” have a visual field of 140 degrees that immerse you even more in the virtual world that you are experiencing; It is a great improvement compared to the 110 degree visual field offered by.
On the other hand, the “Half Dome” would also automatically adjust the focus of the lenses depending on whether an object is near or far away. Traditional virtual reality glasses do not have this capability; They have, instead, a fixed focus that often makes objects that are nearby look blurred.
This works thanks to the varifocal screens that have a mechanism that physically moves them according to the user’s behavior in the virtual world. Despite that movement of screens, Fernández Guajardo assures that the user can not hear his movement and maybe he will not be able to feel it either.
The interesting thing about this combination is that these improvements would allow the virtual reality systems to deceive the mind better so that the objects are more 3D and the distances are more similar to those we experience in the real world.
At first glance, the “Half Dome” seems to be simply an Oculus Rift with some modifications, but on the outside they have multiple points that are sensors that help to understand and better detect the real physical world.
On the other hand, Fernández Guajardo also spoke about other improvements in VR, such as the detection of facial expressions and the monitoring of hands to be correctly represented in a virtual world.
The company is also working on improving Facebook Spaces avatars to better represent the appearance of users.
These are some of the things that Facebook is working for virtual reality and how prototypes are not known when they could reach the market. However, the company hopes to reveal more details of these developments and Oculus Santa Cruz later this year at the Oculus Connect developer conference.