Facebook Introduces One of The Most Surprisingly Stupid Ideas Ever
By Frank Yin
When most people think about VR or virtual reality, they think of a chunky gaming box covering a person’s eyes. But many do not know that VR can be used in education, jobs, and the military. Although there were 57 million VR users in 2020, big companies such as Facebook and Sony hope to make VR more popular. Recently, Facebook demonstrated a VR prototype with the ability to project users’ eyes on the outside of the headset. Facebook’s idea is not plausible and has development issues.
In 2014, Facebook purchased a VR company called Oculus and VR went viral. Then, VR started losing popularity due to its price and low quality. Many companies such as Google stopped their VR efforts when popularity dropped. However, the pandemic has allowed a revival in VR, and companies are trying to make the product more appealing.
Facebook is trying to combat the issue of appearance by using projected eyes, so that people can still communicate naturally in real life while using VR. Most people use VR to play video games and it can be enjoyed in groups. If people wanted to communicate with eye to VR eye-projection contact, complications would arise. For instance, both individuals would have to face each other which could be inconvenient depending on the game. Even if that works, the eye contact would be unnatural because the projection matches the movement of the user’s eyes. Hence, the user’s eyes which follow the screen, would cause the projected eyes to fail at locking eyes with the other person.
While being a wacky idea, issues with unnatural projections are evident. The projected eyes blink at different times, and the projection quality is low. With more research and development, the projected eyes could match the user’s. However, the projected eyes are likely a waste of time. Since the projected eyes will likely not lock eyes with other people, the innovation is a more technologically advanced version of putting googly eyes on the headset.
The unclear thinking process of the idea likely will lead to Facebook trashing it. Executing this idea is an outright embarrassment for Facebook and will hurt their reputation. Fixing the appearance issue is important, the founder of a technology company, Denise White said, “Part of the reason VR headsets have yet to take the world by storm is that they simply aren’t ‘sexy’”. Facebook knows this problem, but they have the wrong focus.