Facebook presented the world with a cool new proof-of-concept Virtual Reality Sunglasses. Unlike any other bulky and over the whole head VR Headsets they are more light and portable. They are a bit big when compared to typical sunglasses. But still, it is a huge step taken towards portability.

Facebook made it clear that they are not the Augmented reality glasses. There were a series of rumors about those AR Glasses that Facebook is STILL working on. The glasses works purely for virtual reality experience.

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Image: Facebook

HOW DO THEY LOOK LIKE?

The VR sunglasses are very thin and the display thickness is less than 9mm. The body shape is of the Wayfarer type glasses. Unlike typical headsets, they sit over your ears comfortably. They may be a bit bigger than the normal glasses. Overall the build is promising towards portability.

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Image: Facebook

THE PROCESS TO RUN THESE GLASSES

Facebook claims that the field of view is similar to the Headsets currently in the market. The thin design is not only for looks. The projection technique is different from the typical VR headsets. The Facebook’s research team has coined this whole process as “Holographic Optics”.

They’ve explained the whole process of these aesthetically pleasing glasses. The statement of the team is-

“Most VR displays share a common viewing optic: a simple refractive lens composed of a thick, curved piece or glass or plastic. We propose replacing this bulky element with holographic optics. You may be familiar with holographic images seen at a science museum or on your credit card, which appear to be three-dimensional with realistic depth in or out of the page. Like these holographic images, our holographic optics are a recording of the interaction of laser light with objects, but in this case the object is a lens rather than a 3D scene. The result is a dramatic reduction in thickness and weight: The holographic optic bends light like a lens but looks like a thin, transparent sticker.”

These glasses also use a technique that helps to reduce space between the lens focusing the image and the actual display. Facebook calls this technique “Polarization based optical folding”. The light can be controlled to move back and forth inside the lens. With that the empty space will be traversed multiple times resulting it to collapse to a part of the original volume.

The Gif below From Facebook will help you understand the process.

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gif: Facebook

IS IT ONLY FACEBOOK WHO’S WORKING?

Apart from Facebook, companies like Google and Apple are also working on the AR/VR segment. Apple is working behind the scenes for many years on a project like this. Google bought an AR glasses company called North today. North will now help to raise the level of Google glass to a whole new level. Companies like Microsoft and Intel have already stated to develop a device to add both AR and VR in a single headset. But every time it sums up to a bulkier and very complicated device.

It is still not sure if the big companies will be able to release a combination of AR and VR in a single headset. Facebook’s little glimpse of the future has promised us hope to make these things possible. However, it is still a Proof of Concept Device.

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