Researchers from Stanford University and Samsung have managed to create an OLED display based on a technology for solar panels. Such screens could reach a resolution of 10,000 pixels per inch, and would make it possible to create virtual reality headsets with unparalleled realism.
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Despite recent improvements, one of the weak points of virtual reality headsets is the low definition of the screens. Placed a few centimeters from the eyes, it is possible to distinguish each pixel as well as the space between the pixels. This phenomenon is called the grid effect. Even with the Oculus Quest 2 that has just been released, which boasts 1,832 x 1,920 pixels at each eye, the individual pixels are visible.
Researchers from Stanford University, in collaboration with SamsungSamsung, are working on a new type of OLED display that could solve this problem. This technology, originally developed for ultra-thin solar panels, promises displays with a resolution of up to 10,000 pixels per inch (dpi). For comparison, even the new iPhone 12 does not exceed 476 dpi.
This new technology is based on an optical metasurface, a reflective metalmetal layer with nanoscopic undulations, placed under the OLED layers. This makes it possible to manipulate the resonanceresonance of the colorscolors at the pixel level. Compared to the OLED panels used in televisions, this technology doubles the luminous efficiency, and improves the purity of the colors.
However, we should not expect to see such screens flooding the market right away. The researchers have so far only manufactured individual pixels as a proof of feasibility, but Samsung is continuing work for integration into a screen. This technology could eventually be used for smartphones and televisions, but it will most certainly first be adopted for virtual reality headsets. However, such a pixel density will require much more powerful graphics equipment than that available in current devices.