Daily Authority: 🥽 Meta’s VR prototypes

by mcdix

Good morning! Keep scrolling for more on coffee!

Zuck has VR prototypes.

Meta showed off some new VR prototypes in a video courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg.

What it all means, what’s to come, and why.

Brief details:

Zuck shows what engineers are working on in the lab, with designs codenamed Butterscotch, Starburst, and Mirror Lake. Each looks like a college project: strips of chips, PCBs, fans, cabling, and so on. But that’s all because it involves testing the hardware, which Zuck describes, and explains the processes to make small, light, clear headsets with fine detail and better focus.

More detail:

Meta’s chief scientist Michael Abrash said in a video briefing with the Meta CEO that he wants VR headsets at a level where people can’t see “whether what they’re looking at is real or virtual,” as a sort of “Visual Turing Test.” . † So, to focus on two prototypes on display, the Butterscotch prototype focuses on “retinal resolution” first. Zuck points out that the general threshold for the eye is agreed at around 60 pixels per degree. For example, the Quest 2 is about 20 pixels per degree. No consumer VR headset yet comes close, although some do, with limitations. Butterscotch achieves 55 pixels per degree. Another prototype is Starburst, which aims for ultra-clear HDR. Zuckerberg says that “nature is often 10 or 100 times brighter than modern HD TVs and monitors” and that colors must be that bright to be realistic.

Meta's VR

Back again to Quest 2: he reaches 100 nits. The detail of Starburst is that it comes with 20,000 nits and is “one of the brightest HDR screens ever built”. That kind of brightness takes a lot of energy. Starburst is, therefore, a tethered prototype and impractical without technical changes, and Meta is working towards more like a 10,000 nits target. But Zuckerberg said in an interview with Adam Savage’s Tested YouTube channel that they would implement several ideas to get there. That channel also needs to go into more detail on this, although it’s an hour long so that I couldn’t get through it all before the deadline.

But why?

The real question is: why? Why would Meta show off this; why does Mark Zuckerberg show them? Well-coordinated and managed PR always aims to demonstrate leadership, brand building, and a secure image. That’s also true internally: the many, many thousands of Meta employees who don’t work on VR in the company may wonder why so much is invested in what Facebook does well (ads) and in VR, AR, XR, and so on. and the Metaverse. And the competition is coming: Apple is expected to release some headsets in a year or two. Microsoft has been working on the HoloLens project for a while, with real-world devices but focused on businesses. So there’s a hint that Meta expects others to release something, and it’s ahead of the game.

To round up

Samsung’s latest Galaxy Z Fold 3 deal drops the price to just $599, which is perfect if you want a foldable one and don’t need the Fold 4 (Android Authority).

Picasso’s Favorite Pigment Can One Day Recycle Metals From Your Cell Phone: Prussian Blue can extract gold and platinum group metals from e-waste (Ars Technica).

“What’s your most controversial take on Star Wars?” (r/askreddit). (Yes!)

Chart Tuesday

It’s my last week, so… two charts; why not!

Tristan Rayner, editor-in-chief.

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