Meta’s virtual reality headset prototypes are shown off by Mark Zuckerberg.

Reality Labs, a part of IT giant Meta, has shown new prototypes in its quest for lightweight, hyper-realistic virtual reality visuals. The ideas, codenamed Butterscotch, Starburst, Holocake 2, and Mirror Lake, might add up to a slim, brightly lighted headset that supports better detail than its current Quest 2 display, according to The Verge.

At a virtual roundtable last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Reality Labs head scientist Michael Abrash, as well as other Reality Labs members, presented their findings.

The focus of the event was on what Meta refers to as “time machines”: large proofs of concept aimed to demonstrate a single feature, such as a super-bright lighting or a super-high-resolution screen.

“I think we’re in the middle of a tremendous move forward towards realism right now,” Zuckerberg said. “I don’t think it’ll be long until we’re able to build scenes with almost flawless realism,” he continued.

Following last year’s announcement, Zuckerberg reiterated plans to release a high-end headgear dubbed Project Cambria in 2022. Thanks to high-resolution cameras that can relay a video feed to an internal screen, Cambria supports both full VR and mixed reality. Eye-tracking will also be included, which is a vital component for future Meta headsets.

Meanwhile, famous Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo predicts that Apple would release its augmented reality and virtual reality-based headset in 2023, dubbed “mixed reality.” Kuo stated in a series of tweets that the company’s AR/VR headgear will begin testing in the third quarter of 2022 and will be released in January 2023. He also stated that the device will be available for purchase prior to WWDC 2023.

According to the analyst, the delay in the distribution of the company’s AR/VR headset is likely due to Covid-restrictions in Shanghai, which he claims disrupted the development process. Another reason Apple may have postponed the debut is the continuing global chip scarcity, which has hampered the availability of smartphones and other gadgets on the market.

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