Google’s upcoming VR OLED display more than triples the PPI of the Vive/Rift


At the Society for Information Display’s 2017 conference, Google AR/VR head Clay Bavor announced a “secret project” to make very high-resolution displays for virtual reality. It now appears that Google is going to announce this OLED screen in May, with the initial specs being quite promising.

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The best consumer VR displays today have a 2 megapixel resolution per eye at 110 degree field of view. Comparing that to tunnel vision, Bavor argues that more pixels are needed to drive a better experience.

Google’s secret project with a leading “OLED manufacturer” promises 10x the resolution for an equivalent of 2.5x 4K displays, while more than doubling the FOV. Bavor noted that a final product would not need to be that powerful and that appears to be the case.

The 2018 advance program for the Display Week conference in May notes that Google is announcing an 18 megapixel 4.3-inch OLED display with “wide-field-of-view.” Meanwhile, a 1443 PPI is touted with a 120-Hz refresh rate.

Display site OLED-info suggests a 5500 x 3000 resolution, while the HTC Vive Pro offers 1440 x 1600 pixels at 3.5-inches (615 PPI) and the regular Vive is at 1080 x 1200 at 3.6-inches for 448 PPI.

Given this extremely high resolution and the data associated with that, Bavor noted at the time that a headset would have to rely on foveated rendering. This technique renders what you’re currently looking at in high-resolution while the periphery fades out in order to be as efficient as possible.

While Google may be announcing the display on May 22nd, it’s far from clear whether it is ready for consumer use any time soon. So far, Google has only shown interest in portable or phone-based headsets and making a connected device would be far from the course for them.

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