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Panasonic breaks out of VR’s “headset” bubble with fresh “eyeglasses” design, Ars Technica


      … And they’re only getting better –

             

“Reference design” has the potential to revolutionize virtual reality comfort.

      

      

  

           

      

            

                                  

                                                                    All other things being equal, this looks a lot more appealing to wear than a “standard” VR headset                                                                                  

                                        

                                                                    Those tiny displays can’t match a standard VR headset’s field-of-view just yet, but it’s early days.                                                                      

                    

                                        
                                                                    Color coordinated!                                                                  )   

        At this point, it’s clear there are a number of persistent issues holding virtual reality back from the world-changing potential many industry watchers saw just a few years ago. VR technology as a whole is still plagued by problems like relatively high costs, limited resolutions / field of view, awkward natural motion controls, and a general lack of “killer app” software.

        But despite (slow progress

        more vividif they ever make it to an actual consumer product.But those specifics are less important at this point than the “compact and lightweight body enabling the device to be worn in comfort without the need for a headband, “as Panasonic puts it. Panasonic credits a collaboration with 3M and Massachusetts-based Kopin Corporation for creating a new “optical module” that “allows the display of natural and distortion-free images in super single focus” despite the eyeglass-like shape.Can these eyeglasses actually provide a passable VR experience in such a form factor? A hands-on report from The Vergementions that the micro OLED panels create a smaller, squarer image that has a smaller viewing angle than existing VR headsets. The eyeglass-style arms that hold Panasonic’s device over the ears also had some trouble keeping the “front-heavy” design in place when the head was tilted forward, according to the Verge.

        For the moment, though, we’re less concerned with these specific limitations than we are excited about the potential of this completely new design direction for VR devices as a whole. Remember, it was just over seven years ago that Oculus’ “state of the art” VR prototype was an (x) ********************************************************************** (resolution (per eye) box) held together with duct tape and held to your face with an elastic strap. If that prototype couldlead to the excellent Oculus Questin just a few short years, imagine where Panasonic’s “eyeglasses” design could lead with more time and dedicated development.

        Putting virtual reality into a comfortable, easy- to-wear eyeglass-style form factor won’t solve all of the myriad problems holding the technology back. But Panasonic’s efforts could be the first step in breaking down the major walls of comfort and form factor that are still preventing mass adoption of VR.

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