May 31, 2017

Samsung revealed a new display technology last week at the Display Week 2017 that can be used to triple the amount of pixels that can be used in VR headsets.

The new ultra-high resolution display that Samsung is targeting specifically for use in VR headsets provides a 2,024 x 2,200 resolution that is confined to a 3.5-inch screen. That provides an unprecedented 858 pixels per inch. With the Rift and Vive hovering around the 460 PPI mark, that makes the new display density twice that of the current top VR headsets on the market and around 3.5 times the amount of pixels. The display is also capable of a 90Hz refresh rate and 100 nits brightness.

The benefit of such a high resolution display means that the pixels are less obvious and images are a lot sharper when viewed through a VR headset. It could also help with those who experience the feeling of nausea when looking so close at a display because you can see the individual pixels. Samsung provides both of the displays for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift that run at 1080×1200 resolution per-eye with a 90Hz refresh rate.

Samsung isn’t the only one trying to address the issue with virtual reality headset displays. Google is working on a secret project with an unknown manufacturer to bring a new display to VR headsets. While Google’s display is still in the lab stage, it could be very likely that Samsung’s version is an early version of this.

Samsung doesn’t mention the added processing required to push more pixels and what the increased load will be on the device, but I would expect to see a display like this included on the next version of the Gear VR as well as the next generation of virtual reality headsets.

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