This happens when they assume that anyone over age 45 is not a customer for VR – these VR glasses are unusable by the nearly 180 million Americans who need prescription lens corrections:
I had every intention of wearing Meta’s (Facebook)glasses, equipped with cameras, microphones and speakers, as my everyday glasses. Then something funny happened on the way to the optical shop.
At Lenscrafters, they wouldn’t install the special prescription lenses I had made for the glasses. According to a shop employee, they couldn’t service the glasses. There was even an internal memo about it. The glasses needed to be made to order with the prescription lenses preinstalled, at least according to everyone I asked about it.
This underlines a big problem with smart glasses, still, at the end of 2021: These things are not ready to be your everyday prescription glasses yet, much less be.
I’ve mentioned this to Intel and Facebook staff years ago. But they remain clueless.
VR headsets are designed, usually, to have a focus distance at about 6 feet (2 meters). If you can focus on that without glasses, you can then get a clear view in the VR headset (or glasses). If you need a correction to view that clearly (very many people do need a correction), then your options are squinting/eye strain or possibly wearing glasses inside the headset.
The author notes that Lenovo’s glasses cannot be worn over existing glasses, at all. The HP Reverb G2 headset has no diopter adjustments. A new HTC Vive Flow headset says it has diopter adjustments from 0 to -6, but none in the + range, such as +1 to +4 (common reading glass corrections).
As the writer of the above story notes
Using the glasses means you either have vision good enough to not wear prescription lenses, or you’re wearing contacts or you find a way to add prescription inserts. These inserts don’t work at my level of nearsightedness, though, so I need to pop in disposable contacts.
EXCEPT – the optometry industry has a long-standing bias against providing contact lenses to persons over age 50, unless they have previously used contact lenses. I just asked my optometrist about contacts (for use in conjunction with my photography hobby) and got a bizarre answer that boiled down to, in so many words, “we don’t prefer to do contacts for older people”.
I am fortunate in that I do not need to wear distance correction glasses for most things, and even my reading correction is low (+2.5 or so). I can kind of, sort of, make VR headsets mostly work – except for the eye strain problem. Most people with vision corrections are not as fortunate as I am. And yet, even when I make it work, I still have to deal with slightly blurry visibility. Ideally, about a +1.5 diopter works okay for clearer seeing inside the headset.
As the writer of the above article points out (do read the whole report), the tech industry is going down an insane path with these ideas, cutting off a large part of the population while they do it.