Virtual Reality 'Sunglasses' to Launch This Year

virtual reality sunglasses dlodlo
Chinese VR startup Dlodlo plans to release the lightweight headset in October. Dlodlo

Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for virtual reality headsets the size of “normal-looking glasses” may well be realized 10 years ahead of schedule after a Chinese firm announced plans to release lightweight goggles later this year.

VR startup Dlodlo said its V1 headset would “redefine” virtual reality glasses when it is released in October, leaving behind the bulky aesthetic of current headsets such as Samsung’s Gear VR, the HTC Vive or Facebook’s Oculus Rift.

The firm describes the VR headset as having “an innate nobility with an easy way to wear, ultra-lightweight style of sunglasses.”

If it lives up to its promise, the Dlodlo V1 will fulfill a prediction Zuckerberg made at his Facebook F8 conference keynote earlier this year.

“Over the next 10 years, the form factor’s just going to keep on getting smaller and smaller, and eventually we’re going to have what looks like normal-looking glasses that can do both virtual and augmented reality,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s going to take a long time to make this work, but this is the vision, and this is what we’re trying to get to over the next 10 years.”

Dlodlo’s V1 glasses resemble wrap-around sunglasses and are more than four times lighter than Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset. A 1,200x1,200-pixel screen means the V1 also has a higher resolution than the Rift.

Even if it proves successful, the Dlodlo device may well also be just a transitional technology as we advance towards more immersive virtual reality environments.

Ivan Sutherland, a pioneering computer scientist who created one of the first head-mounted displays in the 1960s, envisioned something similar to Star Trek’s holodeck.

“The ultimate display,” Sutherland wrote in 1965, “would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter. A chair displayed in such a room would be good enough to sit in…With appropriate programming, such a display could literally be the Wonderland into which Alice walked.”