A prototype headset Half Dome takes on some of VR's big annoyances, like tunnel vision and difficulty focusing on stuff right in front of your face. Facebook's Oculus Core Tech unveiled a prototype VR headset at F8. Screenshot by Sean Buckley/CNET
Facebook is developing a virtual-reality prototype headset, referred to internally as Half Dome, that could advance VR technology past some of its key frustrations, like tunnel-vision field of view and not being able to read something you hold right in front of your (virtual) face.
Facebook executive Maria Fernandez Guajardo, who is head of Core Tech product managment at Oculus, introduced Half Dome, which looks a little like an Oculus Rift with miniaturized Frankenstein's monster bolts all over it, and other VR advancements in a presentation at F8, Facebook's developer conference and opportunity to announce major initiatives.
The headset widens field of view so that users see more in their peripheral vision and enhances varifocal screen so that if you're handed a note in virtual reality, you can actually read it when you hold it up in front of you.
The company is also working on motion-capture tools to improve the fidelity of your hand and finger movements.
This year, F8 takes on added significance, coming as Facebook grapples with scandals on multiple fronts. Facebook faces questions over its privacy track record and its general trustworthiness to steward of one of the most powerful platforms for information and digital relationships on the planet. Zuckerberg has pledged he would "fix" Facebook's biggest problems this year.