At Oculus Connect 6 last week, Facebook chief VR researcher announced that his unit was going to develop a prototype of the next-generation VR helmet.
At the moment, Facebook VR-lab introduced the characteristics of the prototypes. They all demonstrate one future technology, such as varifocal or face tracking. But the next-generation headset will need to incorporate many of these technologies into one convenient form factor, so the FRL is developing the next single prototype, combining many, if not all, of the new technologies that they have created or improved over the past five years.
A use case for this prototype (and its test software) will be built around remote work. This is because the FRL has laboratories around the world, so they can test the system in various ways. VR has the potential to revolutionize remote work, where meetings and collaboration are now being done with tools like Skype and Slack.
In fact, if VR could one day make remote work environments as useful as real ones, that would eliminate the need for a large part of work trips and business trips.
Please note that this development is not planned as a product, but simply represents a “high risk study”. The development of such a device will take “at best years”. However, Facebook may incorporate aspects of this concept into future headsets.
Features and specifications
During this conversation, Abrash outlined the features and improvements that he plans to include in the prototype:
Please note, Abrash noted that the final prototype “probably falls short” of this list of specifications.