The virtual reality game is getting interesting, but the displays on the current generation of headsets are still getting in the way of truly immersive experiences. To solve this, Google and LG Display teamed up to produce an ultra high-resolution OLED panel intended for the next generation of VR headsets. This display was first discussed back in March, but it’s now been officially unveiled at the Display Week 2018 expo.
The OLED panel.
The OLED display in question is a 4.3-inch 4,800×3,840 (18MP) unit with a 120Hz refresh rate and 120×96 field of view (FoV), and it’s touted as the “world’s highest-resolution OLED on glass display panel.” Those figures aren’t far off from what Google says are the upper bounds of human vision at 9,600×9,000, 2,183ppi, and 160×150 FoV. For reference, the HTC Vive’s 3.6″ 1080×1200 display results in 448ppi, and the Vive Pro’s 3.5″ 1440×1600 panel 615ppi. Both of those have 90Hz refresh rates and 110-degree fields of view. In short, Google’s new panel is vastly superior to those on the market today.
The OLED panel through VR optics.
Google made sure that two of these displays could be used in tandem (one for each eye) when powered by a mobile chipset, though the refresh rates might have to be reduced to 75Hz in those applications. To handle the large amount of data being transmitted, Google and LG are using a custom driver integrated circuit (IC) and foveated rendering, which only renders what the user is currently seeing in high resolution.
Unfortunately, there still isn’t any information on when we can expect to see these displays make it to market. But if the experience is as enticing as the specs claim, it’ll be worth the wait.