When it comes to display technology the more pixels the better, even more so when using them for virtual reality (VR) purposes as no one likes the ‘screen door’ effect. It’s been revealed that researchers at Stanford University and Samsung are working on ultrahigh-resolution OLED displays capable of 10,000 PPI (pixel-per-inch), perfect for XR.
The teams have managed to take existing designs from thin solar panels to develop this new OLED technology, which uses a combination of a base nanopatterned metasurface and RGB OLED films. This has allowed them to build a proof-of-concept design which achieves the high pixel density whilst offering double the luminescence efficiency and higher colour purity – in comparison to traditional colour-filtered white-OLEDs found on TV’s.
“We’ve taken advantage of the fact that, on the nanoscale, light can flow around objects like water,” said Stanford University materials scientist Mark Brongersma. “The field of nanoscale photonics keeps bringing new surprises and now we’re starting to impact real technologies. Our designs worked really well for solar cells and now we have a chance to impact next generation displays.”
These micro displays could be used not only in VR future VR headsets but also on glasses for AR capabilities and even contact lenses. Samsung will be using the research to develop a full-sized display which reportedly should be much easier and cost-effective to produce.
OLED displays have been favoured for TV’s and VR devices due to their improved black levels but headsets such as Valve Index and Oculus Quest 2 have utilised fast-switch LCD panels to improve refresh rates.
At past conventions like CES 2019, companies such as Taiwan’s INT Tech have showcased impressive 2,228 ppi and higher displays with Varjo’s enterprise-class headsets using a 3000 ppi ‘Bionic Display’. One with a 10,000 ppi could provide flawless image quality and the researchers saying the tech could theoretically be scaled to 20,000 ppi.
It’s going to be a few years before ultrahigh-resolution OLED displays make it into VR, as and when further advancements are revealed, VRFocus will let you know.