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Oculus shows off its latest next-generation headset prototypes


Oculus shows off its latest next-generation headset prototypes – TechCrunch

At its developer conference Wednesday, Oculus showed off a pair of prototype designs for its next high-end headsets.

Two years ago, Oculus showed off its Half Dome prototype which utilized a technology called varifocal lenses to allow users to adjust where the points of focus were in an image, this is technology similar to what Magic Leap uses on its headset, but is designed to allow for a much greater range of focal planes.

The company showed off tow new prototypes including a “Half Dome 2” prototype and a “Half Dome 3” prototype.

“Half Dome 2” is optimized for weight and size significantly shrinking down the form factor of the previous prototype while reducing the weight by 200 grams. The device is also shrinking the 140 degree field-of-view of the first design, though the company says the headset will still boast a FoV that’s 20% wider than the Rift.

The headset still utilizes a system that mechanically moves the lenses inside the headset to adjust the focus, but Oculus is also looking further down the line.

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“Half Dome 3” integrated the technology of its previous designs with an electronic varifocal module that has no moving parts and integrates a number of stacked lenses that can be turned on and off to let users move through various planes of focus (the company detailed the headset could switch between 64 planes of focus with this setup). This will enable users to view items in focus at closer distances and will let headsets function more like human eyes.

There weren’t any timelines thrown around for either prototype being productized, but Oculus is clearly investing in the high-end still inside Facebook Reality Labs.

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ouster, looming layoffs and devaluation turn WeWork into cautionary tale”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

Major layoffs are all but inevitable at high-flying real estate startup WeWork after Adam Neumann succumbed to pressure today to step down as CEO and take the role instead of non-executive chairman of the company he cofounded nine years ago.n

Two well-placed sources tell us that the scope is likely to be massive, and includes some of of its newest business divisions, which these same sources anticipate will be jettisoned to get the company’s focus back on its core business. One of these sources speculates that over time, up to half of WeWork’s 15,000 employees — 9,000 of whom have been brought on in the last two years — could be laid off to shore up the unprofitable company’s expenses. The sentiment echoes a new piece in The Information that reports a “group of executives from WeWorku2019s parent company and bankers” have discussed laying off as many as 5,000 employeesu2014a third of its workforce.n

Neumann won’t have as much say in the matter, either. As part of his departure from the role, he has agreed to further reduce the power of his supervoting shares from an original 20 votes for every one vote that a regular investor in WeWork would receive to just three, reports Bloomberg. His wife, Rebekah, a cofounder who is thought by insiders to have played a heavy role in the company’s original — and highly atypical — IPO prospectus, is also leaving the business.n

It’s rather breathtaking, the speed with which the couple was just elbowed aside. Still, some others involved in the company look poised to get a far worse deal. The Japanese conglomerate SoftBank currently stands to lose billions of dollars on its investment in the company — if it doesn’t wind up writing down nearly the entire investment.u00a0 Even an aggressive ratchet clause won’t do much to protect SoftBank if WeWork’s shares eventually sink on the public market.n

It would seem an extreme correction to a culture that had become, well, anything but restrained. It’s also far from clear that it would have the intended effect of attracting public shareholders to the company, whose wheels began to come off when SoftBank first plugged $4.4 billion into WeWork roughly two years ago, according to our sources. (Roughly $6 billion more would follow.) As says one of these individuals, who has known Neumann for many years, “Adam already had a healthy ego. What the f_ck do you think is going to happen when he’s given billions of dollars?”n



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