A Chinese startup has shown a prototype of ultra-thin and lightweight VR glasses that can be worn for a long time. EM3, a startup specializing in virtual reality technology, has demonstrated an ultra-thin and lightweight Ether virtual reality headset prototype. It is only 6.8 mm thick and weighs about 37 g. The device looks more like a pair of glasses than a headset. EM3 noted that due to the weight and size of current VR helmets, users feel physiologically uncomfortable after about 20 minutes after they put them on, which is a severe limit in VR games. Other meta-universe scenarios, such as social media, online education, learning, creativity, conferences, and summits, will require a lighter and smaller solution.
Many companies tried to reduce the thickness of VR headsets, but that is difficult to achieve because of the optics' limitations.
The EM3 Ether VR glasses prototype has two microdisplays with a resolution of 2560 × 2560 pixels in full color. The field of view (FOV) of each display is 80°. EM3 claims that the use of larger format microdisplays can increase this figure up to 100°, while the overall glass thickness will not change.
According to EM3, Ether uses "a unique near-field optical module that connects the full spectrum of light over a small section to achieve precise imaging, thereby significantly reducing the thickness of VR glasses."
The Ether prototype can be connected to a smartphone. EM3 plans to market VR glasses based on this prototype in late 2022.