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Facebook’s research department shows on its website a prototype of a “sunglasses-like” product for viewing virtual reality (VR). The researchers at Facebook Reality Labs want to find out whether their approach will allow them to develop VR glasses that differ from existing VR headsets.

The researchers expect that light VR glasses that fit comfortably will allow people to spend longer in a virtual environment. The approach must also ensure that virtual reality can be used for social interaction and to increase the productivity of the wearer.

The concept of the Facebook researchers still has to overcome some obstacles, they write in their paper (pdf). For example, the glasses cannot yet display the full color spectrum. Also, among other things, the stereo reproduction, which makes depth visible, the resolution of the images and the weight of the glasses must also be improved.

Facebook prototype sunglasses virtual-reality

“Right now, our work is purely research,” Facebook writes. Nevertheless, the researchers believe that their approach has brought them a step closer to developing everyday VR glasses, provided the problems can be solved.

Facebook owns the Oculus brand, which sells VR headsets. In addition, the company is rumored to be working on glasses with augmented reality (AR). With this technology, the world is not replaced, but supplemented with virtual images. However, an AR headset would be a longer term development.