Facebook VR is set to evolve over the next few years. While some like to separate physical and digital realities, the social media company is set to combine the two. Not only will Facebook continue bringing virtual and augmented reality devices, but a perfect mixed reality is the endgame goal.
Facebook has already sorta achieved this with the Oculus Quest. The self-contained VR machine has multiple cameras that can allow users to see outside of the headset. However, people around that person have no idea they're looking at them.
Facebook VR reverse passthrough is terrifying to look at
In order to tackle this issue, Facebook is working on introducing reverse passthrough to their next generation of VR. Via RoadToVR, Facebook researchers have found a way to combat the issues of eye contact inside the headset. And it's pretty damn terrifying.
The technology uses light-field displays on the outside of the headset that shows a representation of the user's eyes. Facebook says that this tech is used as normal flat displays caused the user’s eyes to look as if they were floating.
The real-time display of the Facebook VR technology is still rather uncomfortable to look at. While the light-field displays have proper representation of depth and direction, they still look off. From the pictures provided, users look as if there's a magnifying glass on top of their face.
Why is this tech important?
Facebook's wish to create an accessible metaverse for everyone requires technology like this to succeed. A metaverse requires people to easily have the ability to switch in and out of both realities. However, for ethical reasons, it's important for outsiders to know if someone is looking at them.
This ethical issue was one of the reasons behind the failures of the Google Glass. Google's AR smart glasses notoriously allowed people to record strangers without any signs of knowing. It seems obvious that Facebook is not willing to repeat those mistakes.