Sony has presented a brand new prototype VR headset which promises to be quite exceptional if the end product matches the presentation.
On the occasion of its Technology Day online event, Sony presented its brand new VR headset prototype, which promises to take the technology to the next level.
The technical sheet has in any case something to dream of, with in particular two “micro-displays”4K OLED. This is already a small feat in itself, as there are very few models that can claim such a resolution – let alone that benefit from OLED technology. At present, the product that comes closest to it is certainly the Pimax Vision 8K Plus, which embeds QLED panels.
But what sets this prototype apart from other proposals on the market is how Sony wants to exploit OLED technology. The Japanese firm seeks to completely remove pixelation, which is still one of the main obstacles to immersion. To achieve this, Sony has developed proprietary miniaturization technology that achieves “more than double the number of dots compared to the screen of an OLED smartphone”.
An imperceptible latency
Sony has also tackled the problem of latency. That’s a hell of a hurdle, because viewing an image in VR is nowhere near as trivial as viewing it on a standard screen. To begin with, you have to synthesize a variant of the same image for each eye, which already doubles the calculation time. It is then necessary to ensure their perfect synchronization.
For these reasons, even today’s best headphones rarely manage to go below the tenth of a second per frame mark. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is one of the main factors contributing to the feelings of dizziness and seasickness that can occur with prolonged use. To solve this problem, Sony wants to divide the computing time by ten to less than a hundredth of a second.
A field of vision larger than life
The other big part is the reconstruction of the field of vision. This one should be as perfect as possible, because if the information sent from the eyes does not match that from the inner ear, the user will feel like they are literally next to their own sneakers. Nausea guaranteed! Thanks to a set of skilfully arranged lenses, the Sony team explains that its prototype is already capable of offering an image without any “offset” compared to the real field of vision.
These two improvements would be a game-changer. If the helmet keeps its promises, the response time of the screen and the difference with the real field of vision will then be negligible; the promise of fluid and organic movements that do not yet exist in the VR ecosystem.
The future king of the metaverse?
All of these qualities would make them absolutely ideal headphones for applications like gaming or virtual events. But Sony sees even further and hopes to go beyond entertainment. By reducing the obstacles to prolonged use, Sony also specifies that this technology would be particularly suitable for remote collaboration, and promises “a feeling of breathtaking immersion”.
But that’s not all. The firm also hopes to offer a product suitable for “a wide range of fields”. The presentation mentions for example the trades which could exploit the precision and the reactivity of this new technology. We think among others of designers, engineers, artists, town planners, or even medical interns who would like to polish their scalpel.
If the metaverse is still a relatively abstract concept, the technology that will allow it to exist is fast approaching anyway. At this point, we may not be so far from true photorealistic VR … at least, for those with the war machine they need to run such a monster.