Meta, the parent company of Oculus, has revealed a render of an advanced prototype called ‘Mirror Lake.’ During a talk at The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, Douglas Lanman, Meta’s Director of Display Systems Research, showcased a render of the ‘Mirror Lake’ headset. The render gives a glimpse of what the headset would look like when worn and is described as a device that is practical to build now.
The Mirror Lake concept was initially presented by Meta last year to demonstrate advanced visual technologies that have been in development for seven years. While it is not a specific future product, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted that the technology showcased in Mirror Lake could be seen in products in the second half of the decade.
The Mirror Lake concept design incorporates several cutting-edge technologies. One notable feature is the electronic varifocal system, which allows users to focus on virtual objects at different distances. This resolves the convergence-accommodation conflict commonly found in current headsets. Additionally, Meta’s researchers have developed “Holocake” lenses, which use polarization-based optical folding. These lenses offer a thinner and lighter design compared to traditional refractive optics.
Another intriguing feature of the Mirror Lake concept is the inclusion of reverse passthrough technology. This allows the headset to display a rendered view of the user’s upper face to others in the room.
In terms of real-world prototypes, Meta has already built a working headset called Holocake 2. This prototype incorporates the thin and light design of the holocake lenses. However, the holocake lenses require specialized lasers as the light source, which are currently not available at the required performance, size, and price for consumer products.
While Mirror Lake is not yet a functional device, it represents a concept that combines various advanced technologies in a small, sleek form factor. Meta believes that the Mirror Lake concept design has the potential to shape the future of augmented and virtual reality technology.
With its practical build and incorporation of innovative visual technologies, the ‘Mirror Lake’ prototype could potentially pave the way for a new era of immersive experiences. As Meta continues to push the boundaries of virtual reality, tech enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the potential release of a consumer-ready product featuring the advanced features showcased in the Mirror Lake concept.
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