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Varifocal Optics Are “almost ready for primetime”

ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 15,742 Valuable Player
I stole this explanation from a Facebook group member:
For a brief explanation: your eyes have 2 main ways to optically judge the distance of things. One is stereoscopic vision: a difference in perspective between both eyes. The second is focus: how blurred objects are, in front of and behind the object you're looking at. Currently, all VR and AR headsets render objects at about 2.5m focus, no matter if virtual objects are close or far away.
With varifocal displays, objects can be rendered on different focal planes, coming closer to a more realistic and probably comfortable viewing experience.

Facebook Reality Labs, the company’s R&D department, previously revealed its ‘Half Dome’ prototype headsets which demonstrated functional varifocal optics small enough for a consumer VR headset. At a conference earlier this year, the Lab’s Director of Display Systems Research said the latest system is “almost ready for primetime,” and also detailed the Lab’s research into HDR (high-dynamic range) and pupil-steering displays for XR headsets.


So it looks like the HALF DOME is finally going to see the light of day? ;)

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Comments

  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 5,637 Volunteer Moderator
    Yeah, I just read that article a little while ago. Exciting stuff--maybe there is a new Rift in the works for next year using some of that awesome Half-Dome tech!
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  • pyroth309pyroth309 Posts: 1,992 Valuable Player
    nalex66 said:
    Yeah, I just read that article a little while ago. Exciting stuff--maybe there is a new Rift in the works for next year using some of that awesome Half-Dome tech!

    Hopefully so. I hope they at least tease it at OC.
  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 5,965 Valuable Player
    edited July 28
    Also read the article earlier today, not sure what Oculus will do, but maybe publishing such articles can help put some pressure on Oculus to deliver new high-end hmds.

    The new Star Wars game is described with trailer in the Oculus Blog, but it's a Quest exclusive, no Rifts. Let have some Half-Dome and renewed love for high-end PCVR!
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    "Ask not what VR can do for you – ask what you can do for VR"
  • MorgrumMorgrum Posts: 1,737 Valuable Player
    Yea Vader Inmortal was quest exclusive also but it was released later for the Rift.
    WAAAGH!
  • MradrMradr Posts: 3,975 Valuable Player
    edited July 28
    Some of the things like HDR was talk about a long time ago. Its also one of things you have to have right for higher pixel screens for like the ones NV show off that were stack on top of each other where more light was needed to make it happen.

    Some of what the articular covers seems more like research than something ready for 2021. While interesting read - I can't see anything to really take away for 2021 at this time.

    I still dont see how they can add half this stuff and yet still cost only around 400$.

    Best take away though:3 we see what they're thinking and how they will build out. This is good knowledge for me though and others when we look at HD for sure.
    1. Basic Research – Basic principles observed
    2. Technology Formulation – Technology concept and application formulated
    3. Initial Validation – Experimental proof of concept
    4. Small Scale Prototype – Technology validated in lab
    5. Large Scale Prototype – Technology initially validated in intended environment
    6. Prototype System – Technology robustly demonstrated in intended environment
    7. Demonstration System – System prototype demonstrated in operational environment
    8. First of a Kind Commercial System – System complete and qualified
    9. Generally Available Commercial System – Actual system proven in operational environment
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 7,736 Valuable Player
    I wonder if this is going to prevent us needing to wear glasses in VR?
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

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  • MradrMradr Posts: 3,975 Valuable Player
    snowdog said:
    I wonder if this is going to prevent us needing to wear glasses in VR?
    I assume for light prescriptions 
  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 5,637 Volunteer Moderator
    Presumably, varifocals can correct for prescription on top of adjusting for accommodation. I hope we can limit the accommodation adjustment—I’m starting to need reading glasses in real life, I don’t want to need them in VR. 
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  • MradrMradr Posts: 3,975 Valuable Player
    Also Oculus should make this

    This thing looks like its ready to crack open some skulls xD
  • NunyabinezNunyabinez Posts: 77
    Hiro Protagonist
    I'm hoping we don't have to wait too long. I have seen keynotes with Facebook Labs created prototypes that do foveated rendering, varifocal, eye tracking etc., so they  absolutely can already do all the things we really want already.

    The question is what can they include at a price point that will sell enough units to be profitable. I would pay a premium for a true 2nd generation headset. If it had no screen door effect and eye tracking I would gladly spend well over $1000.

    But I doubt there are enough people like me to make it worth it to Oculus. They will probably make a killing with a slightly paired down quest that they could sell at $299.
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  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 15,742 Valuable Player
    Yeah, it's definitely no secret at this point that Facebook-Oculus want those lower-end budget consumers, and Quest is the best bet for that!

    My hope is that Quest starts becoming so successful that Facebook-Oculus is able to justify taking a potential loss by investing in us few dozen who still don't mind paying $1,000 or more just for the HMD!
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  • MradrMradr Posts: 3,975 Valuable Player
    edited July 28
    Zenbane said:
    Yeah, it's definitely no secret at this point that Facebook-Oculus want those lower-end budget consumers, and Quest is the best bet for that!

    My hope is that Quest starts becoming so successful that Facebook-Oculus is able to justify taking a potential loss by investing in us few dozen who still don't mind paying $1,000 or more just for the HMD!
    So I have to question that though. While I understand the masses need a way into VR as they don't have the PC - they don't have the knowledge of how a computer works (GPU, CPU, etc), they don't normally have 1000$ to spend, etc etc...Why don't we just let Quest and products alike just be towards them instead?

    Why try to create also a PC device that the above can fill out for? For example, while I am sure not everyone has 1000$ to spend - I am sure still there a number of people that would spend 500 - 600 - 800. They have the know how to build, work, and program computers. They know what their systems can and cant not do etc, etc. Why not allow the PC-Only-Headset a bit more price and therefor more hardware heavy upgrades? 

    To me, it just feels like we have Quest at 400 - we're about to get another Quest like device for cheaper... why would they release PC Headset too with the hard limit of 400 when PC can do so much more and scale a lot longer in cycles? What a 1080 can't do today - a 2080 could do tomorrow type of thinking. I see a number of you always playing with SS so I know I am not totally off with this. Always trying to get that little more out of it once you upgrade your GPU. I really hope Oculus thinks about this as well in the future. Even small things like variable refresh rates would be great add on for when you do have that little extra to give it or when the new GPUs come out. And if that cost a little more than 400 - I am sure most people will understand and be happy to pay a little more for a premium headset or feature that another headset or base level doesn't have yet.

    I mean, they have the numbers as well - so they know about how many they would need to make for the PC crowd  - so its not like they would go in blind either. What I mean is that they can work out a deal for the "smaller" number of sales anyways - adjust price to match and still make a little profit for selling the headset while they still focus more on the mass market side. Everyone would be happy at the end.

    * Plus unless I am mistaken - Oculus still haven't given Rift S many of the features that Quest got yet... so its already kind of a kick in the peanuts already.
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 15,742 Valuable Player
    Mradr said:
    While I understand the masses need a way into VR as they don't have the PC - they don't have the knowledge of how a computer works (GPU, CPU, etc), they don't normally have 1000$ to spend, etc etc...Why don't we just let Quest and products alike just be towards them instead?

    Why try to create also a PC device that the above can fill out for?

    For starters, I read your entire post. I swear! lol
    I am just quoting that part because I feel it illustrates your central theme.
    Here's my answer,

    I feel like this is a chicken/egg scenario. Your question seems to imply that Oculus made Quest first, and then Rift with PCVR second. That's all I was thinking as I read your entire post. And obviously that's not the case, since Rift came out some 3 years before Quest. So when you're asking "why try to create a PC device," my only thought is... "we already had the PC device first, for 3 years." So like Yoda said, "there is no try."  lol

    Aside from that, there's the whole feature around allowing Quest to access the Rift's PCVR Library. Surely you don't suggest that Oculus continue to release PCVR titles but never release another PCVR HMD, right? We have Lone Echo 2 coming, which should be rather demanding on the PC based on what was required to run the first game on high settings.
    I doubt that Oculus wants to launch Lone Echo 2 and then be like, "go ahead and run it on your shitty PC while streaming to that low-budget stand-alone Quest HMD. This is exactly why we spent all those millions to make this title!"

    Yeah, nah. There's a real market for a PCVR HMD in the Oculus Ecosystem. They can't rely on Quest's storefront alone, as it is so damn small it's almost cringeworthy. The Oculus PCVR Library is the savior that Quest needs; it doesn't seem sensible to kill off their own PCVR storefront, nor does it make sense for them to sustain it without a competitive PCVR HMD.
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  • MradrMradr Posts: 3,975 Valuable Player
    edited July 28
    So lets break this up - I am not talking about PCVR in it self - like software, I am talking about PC-Only-Headset. While it might have came first - it also started out at a MUCH higher price tag and at the time offer the same or more to what everyone else had at the time. Meaning they didn't skimp out on anything for what we was getting. CV1 was a fucking beast of a product/headset. It still comes up to this day to be compare and that fucking amazing to me.

    So like I understand what you are saying - we need people there so Oculus made the 400$ headset thinking it would draw in more people. They also release the Quest thinking it would draw in more people around the 400$ as well. More so , I bet they took a hit with Quest and make profit with PC knowing at least with some numbers how many PC sells they would get and hope that Quest would get software sells in place to make the profit up there. Yet, Quest wasn't getting as many devs as they hope right off... so they look into the idea of what Link would take to make work as well.

    I totally uinderstand what you are saying and getting at. The problem is PC only has a set number of users though... and those users are a mix bag of what they can afford and use while I brought up a long time ago - the masses out number us PC users 1 to 10 easily if not 1 to 1000 over all in terms of only 1% of 1% owns a gaming PC and only 1% of those owns a high end GPU. In all honesty - PC-Gamers are NOT what Oculus needs though. Counting on us to fill in the gap with a 400$ price headset going forward isn't going to change anything nor will you see large growth compare to what Quest can offer because it targets people that doesn't have anything to start with.

    Over all - you are better off pleasing the PC-Crowd (with in reasonable choices) in terms of offering them something that really makes it worth getting than something that another device can offer them if not more because of the jump we saw with Quest that kind of overshadow what Rift S ever got. I mean they took away IDP  - yet - Quest got to keep it - etc etc in that format. They got exta stuff like Hand tracking - again - Rift S never got it... its till 400$ and doesn't have half the hardware inside what is in Quest. The only thing that keeping it afloat is the fact it had a PC cable... so it could make full use of the screen it had. Yet, they lower the refresh rates. Even now, Oculus themselves said Quest could've hit higher refresh rates if it wasn't for all the red tape..... Its like one blow after the other here all because it "had" to be at 400$. Yet Index is selling very well still at 1000$.

    While that sounds like a rant of why wasnt Rift S better... iit mostly is... its still fact. They could've done more with Rift S and choose to have profits like we're the mass market when we're not. We're people that enjoy gaming on the PC and hanging out with friends. We usually have a little more money to spend on those types of things long as its a good product as well. That's why that industry can keep afloat. When you take that away - we feel a bit "left behind"? That's why you see soo many people saying that Oculus left PC for Quest/mobile. Clearly we know that isn't true of course. We both know that software is king and PC offers the best because it can.

    So if it can offer the best - why not give it the best Oculus can. Doesn't have to be a 1000$ model where they lose money - but why not an 800$ one and they take a profit of 100$. Seems fair - consider we are still going to buy software as well. Maybe more than Quest users as again we usually have a little more money to spend than someone that is verily pulling together 300$ for a VR headset. At the end of the day - most PC users will get the best they can get - upgrade if needed - and they can not -they can always fall back to Quest. Or - even the past generation headset (like many of you still using CV1).

  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 7,422 Valuable Player
    edited July 29
    @Mradr - I'm sure if HP can build the HP G2 and sell it for £525 in the UK, then Oculus can also build something similar for that price. I don't think £525 is expensive either, considering what you get with HP G2. The Rift S is £400, so it's only £125 more for an HP G2 that seems to offer a lot more right now.
    I'm not sure how to do the polls myself in this forum, but maybe someone should set one up asking how many people would buy an Oculus headset with HP G2 specs and price. I'm sure there would be a fair few people who would say yes they would.
    I like this idea of a cheaper Oculus Quest and if this is comfortable and links to my computer, I can see myself getting one just to take with me to different places.



  • LuciferousLuciferous Posts: 2,452 Valuable Player
    edited July 29

    Exciting hmmmm, this is the one I have been waiting for but it's no coincidence all these leaks and updates on Half Dome is coming the same time as HP G2 launch.

    Sorry to be cynical but going on past track record what does 'Almost ready for prime time' mean, next year, next 3 years.


  • RuneSR2RuneSR2 Posts: 5,965 Valuable Player
    edited July 29

    Exciting hmmmm, this is the one I have been waiting for but it's no coincidence all these leaks and updates on Half Dome is coming the same time as HP G2 launch.

    Sorry to be cynical but going on past track record what does 'Almost ready for prime time mean', next year, next 3 years.



    Didn't someone once say: "a G2 in the hand is worth two Half-Domes in the bush" ?  :D  B)
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    "Ask not what VR can do for you – ask what you can do for VR"
  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 7,422 Valuable Player
    edited July 29

    Exciting hmmmm, this is the one I have been waiting for but it's no coincidence all these leaks and updates on Half Dome is coming the same time as HP G2 launch.

    Sorry to be cynical but going on past track record what does 'Almost ready for prime time mean', next year, next 3 years.



    I'm guessing when it's cheap enough and they can put it in a VR headset costing no more than $400.
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 5,973 Volunteer Moderator
    edited July 29
    snowdog said:
    I wonder if this is going to prevent us needing to wear glasses in VR?
    I think @Mradr is right, light prescriptions may be on the cards for inclusion within this tech but a doubt that complex prescription will be a thing for some time to come.

    Most prescription include barrel and axis angle as well as the basic curvature (concave/convex) element. I suspect only the curvature will be part of this tech for now.

    It'll come though!
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  • LuciferousLuciferous Posts: 2,452 Valuable Player
    RedRizla said:

    Exciting hmmmm, this is the one I have been waiting for but it's no coincidence all these leaks and updates on Half Dome is coming the same time as HP G2 launch.

    Sorry to be cynical but going on past track record what does 'Almost ready for prime time mean', next year, next 3 years.



    I'm guessing when it's cheap enough and they can put it in a VR headset costing no more than $400.
    Well I guess there is no knowing how expensive the manufacturing would be. Maybe cheaper than current processes?
  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 7,422 Valuable Player
    RedRizla said:

    Exciting hmmmm, this is the one I have been waiting for but it's no coincidence all these leaks and updates on Half Dome is coming the same time as HP G2 launch.

    Sorry to be cynical but going on past track record what does 'Almost ready for prime time mean', next year, next 3 years.



    I'm guessing when it's cheap enough and they can put it in a VR headset costing no more than $400.
    Well I guess there is no knowing how expensive the manufacturing would be. Maybe cheaper than current processes?

    Not idea, but it will have to be if Oculus just want to carry on making VR headsets for around the $400 mark.
  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 5,637 Volunteer Moderator
    I think really compelling new tech like this could possibly drive Oculus to sell a PC headset a above the $400 mark, especially now that they have Quest covering the budget-conscious mass market for both stand-alone and streamed PCVR.

    The fact that they’ve iterated on the design so much over the course of the Half-Dome prototypes helps a lot—the latest digital varifocal design looks like it would be much more cost-effective to produce than the earlier mechanical version. If they can get all the necessary elements working together in a refined, product-ready state, then I could see them going to market at a slightly higher price point like $500 or $600. The goal would be to scale up manufacturing of the new tech, so that they could beat the cost out and get back down to something they can put in a $400 headset for the non-PC masses.

    I think the end goal would still be an all-in-one stand-alone/wireless streaming headset at an accessible price, but a more expensive PCVR headset might still have its place as a means to roll out totally new innovations. I don’t see them going up in price for a G2-like product (same old design with higher specs), but to push a radically new, paradigm-shifting design into mass production—that might make it happen.
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  • Pixie40Pixie40 Posts: 173
    Art3mis
    All I know is... I'd strongly consider buying a Oculus HMD that had this tech built into it. Sounds exciting.
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