Oculus VR shows off smart Half Dome VR headset prototype

May 3, 2018 | 11:11

Tags: #eye-tracking #f8-2018 #facebook #half-dome #hand-tracking #oculus #oculus-go #oculus-half-dome #oculus-rift #oculus-vr #prototype #virtual-reality #vr

Companies: #facebook #oculus-vr

Fresh from launching its self-contained Oculus Go virtual reality headset, Facebook-owned Oculus VR has shown off a prototype for what may become the company's next-generation headsets: Half Dome.

During corporate owner Facebook's F8 conference, pronounced 'fate', Oculus VR's head of core technology Maria Fernandez Guajardo showcased the Half Dome virtual reality headset prototype. Based around the company's existing technologies, where Half Dome varies from the company's Rift and Go headsets is in the use of a motorised lens assembly which appears to use data from eye-tracking sensors - though the presence or absence of said sensors in the current prototype has not been confirmed by the company - to automatically adjust the distance between the wearer's eyes and the headset's lenses.

Described by Guajardo as a 'varifocal' system, the motorised lenses allow for greatly improved clarity when a user moves an in-world object close up to their virtual eyes. The lenses also come with an increased field of view (FOV), up to 140 degrees from the existing Oculus Rift's 110 degree FOV.

While Guajardo showed off the prototype headset in action, firm details on the technology behind it - in particular how, or even if, it improves on the display and tracking specifications of the company's current-generation offerings - were not provided. The company did, however, showcase per-finger tracking of a user's hands, but without explaining whether this uses in-headset sensors or requires the use of gloves or other physical accessors.

The Half Dome presentation has been archived, along with the company's other F8 presentations, on the Facebook for Developers page.

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