As Oculus's latest VR headset, the Oculus Go, began flying off the shelves this week (opens in new tab), the company was busy revealing the next prototype of the Rift, and it makes a number of significant changes. The "Half Dome" headset looks very similar to the existing Rift, but offers a 140-degree field of view—up from around 100 on the current model—and displays that move towards or away from your eyes automatically to help you focus on objects.
Oculus did not confirm whether the "varifocal" displays would require eye tracking, but head of product management Maria Fernandez Guajardo told Facebook's F8 developer conference that the headset will automatically "move the screens depending on what you're looking at". The alternative to eye tracking that I can think of is that the headset calculates what you're most likely to be looking at based on what's on screen.
Basically, if you hold an object close to your face in virtual reality, the screens will shift to help you see it in more detail. It's a neat trick, and apparently doesn't come with any noise or vibrations, nor does it require a larger headset.
The other major change is the field of view, and it's a big step up. It's not quite the 200-degree field of view headset that Tuan tried out in January (opens in new tab), but that extra 40 degrees should make a big difference. You can see a comparison between the current Oculus Rift and the Half Dome prototype in the image below. Remember, it's just a prototype for now, and Oculus gave no clues as to when we can expect a consumer version.