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Google Suggests Specs for Optimal VR Display

Google Cardboard is often considered an ‘entry level’ head-mounted display (HMD) for virtual reality (VR). Using a smartphone handset the screen resolution is limited by the design decisions of external hardware manufacturers. Today however, Alex Faaborg, Staff Designer at Google, has revealed his thoughts on the requirements for a display in which resolution would no longer be a factor.

Talking at a speaker session entitled ‘Designing for Virtual Reality’ at Google I/O, San Francisco, today, Faaborg suggested that a screen with a resolution of 12,600 x 6000 would cross the line from being able to see pixels to where it was no longer an issue. Explaining his belief, he highlighted that this was based on two key factors: resolution and field of view.

Google Cardboard

“For a lot of people a field of view of 210 degrees horizontally by 100 degrees vertically will cover everything,” Faaborg stated. “And then in terms of pixel density, if for every degree we had 60 x 60 pixels, that would be pushing the limits of our vision. That would be 20/20 vision.”

Faaborg went on to suggest that this number ‘may be overshooting it’, as the 12,600 x 6000 figure was based on the idea that the screen would have identical pixels throughout. He noted that the human eye only has high resolution images in the centre of its vision, so were a display to be made with lower pixel density as you progressed away from the centre of the screen, this would likely work just as well.

This is the latest in a long line of reveals from the various speaker sessions at Google I/O, with more likely to be coming before the day is out. VRFocus will of course keep you updated with all the latest details from the event.