Google is developing a VR display with 10x more pixels than today’s headsets

[The rest of the 28:49 minute video on YouTube from June’s SID Display Week 2017 conference included in this short story from Road to VR is interesting, but skip to 19:30 (or even 21:39) for a demonstration of where VR headsets are now in terms of field of view and acuity, and news about a Google project that would dramatically increase the sense of presence evoked by VR and AR displays. –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Android Headlines]

Google is Developing a VR Display With 10x More Pixels Than Today’s Headsets

By Dominic Brennan
Dec 11, 2017

Earlier this year, Clay Bavor, VP of VR/AR at Google, revealed a “secret project” to develop a VR-optimised OLED panel capable of 20 megapixels per eye. The project was mentioned during SID Display Week 2017 but has gone largely under the radar as little information has surfaced since.

Following a general overview of the limits of current VR technology, and an announcement that Google is working with Sharp on developing LCDs capable of VR performance normally associated with OLED, Bavor revealed an R&D project that hopes to take VR displays to the next level. A video of the session comes from’sNicolas “Charbax” Charbonnier.

“We’ve partnered deeply with one of the leading OLED manufacturers in the world to create a VR-capable OLED display with 10x more pixels than any commercially available VR display today,” Bavor said. At 20 megapixels per eye, this is beyond Michael Abrash’s prediction of 4Kx4K per eye displays by the year 2021.

“I’ve seen these in the lab, and it’s spectacular. It’s not even what we’re going to need in the ‘final display’” he said, referring to the sort of pixel density needed to match the limits of human vision, “but it’s a very large step in the right direction.”

Bavor went on to explain the performance challenges of 20 MP per eye at 90-120 fps, which works out at unreasonably high data rates of 50-100 Gb/sec. He briefly described how foveated rendering combined with eye tracking and other optical advancements will allow for more efficient use of such super high resolution VR displays.

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  1. Sean Coleman
    Posted December 13, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Wow… I guess I’m not surprised. I think the more people are introduced to VR the more
    big companies like Google are going to see the opportunity to capitalize on this new technology by making their own. The fact that this would be even better than 4K technology blows my mind because I didn’t think that existed yet.
    How good can the resolution get before the technology feels too real? We may find the answer when Google develops this technology. By the times they develop this I think that society will be more interested in VR as a whole.

  2. Shu Hua Li
    Posted December 13, 2017 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    It sounds interesting! This VR headset also reminds me the “magic mirror” service by Rebecca Minkoff. Though one is a headset and the other one is a mirror. These two are both trying to provide high pixel optical experience to their customers by high technological devices.

  3. Stephen Ong
    Posted December 17, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I definitely believe this is a big step for up for Virtual Reality. VR is becoming more and more applicable to real world situations and not just entertainment. So for Google to develop better display with 10 times more pixels than todays headset will make things feel that much more realistic. VR is being used in the medical field, for flight simulators and to help people rehab, so it will definitely give an even more realistic feel than in previous times. Virtual Reality is still in the baby stages of their development, so the better the graphics the more realistic and the simulations will feel. Surgeons use VR, which allows them to get all their mistakes out in the simulators and get their precision work up to par with where they need to be when they work on actual patients. So the more realistic and better graphics will definitely promote and put them in a much more realistic mind set than before. Also people who are using VR to help upper body rehab will also be aided. The added visuals will undoubtedly help them feel and utilize their upper body work in a more realistic type setting. It will also help patients who are recovering mentally to stay in a much better light. Overall Vr is definitely making big strides as the application for VR is growing more and more vast as it definitely helps to keep children and adults engaged in educational activities as well. Definitely a positive to have better display pixels in the case of education because children definitely will be much more inclined to pay attention as it is already being used to supplement traditional learning experiences.

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