We’re still just coming to grips with the long awaited commercialization of virtual reality technology and Samsung, unsurprisingly, is already trying to push the boundaries of technology and wallets. Although it will insist it’s still in the prototyping stage, Samsung showed off at the Display Week conference in San Francisco a display designed for virtual reality and boasting of a 3840×2160 4K resolution. The screen’s size is 5.5 inches, which is pretty much smartphone size. Almost ironically, Samsung might have found a use for the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium’s 4K screen as well.
Sony probably never intended the Xperia Z5 Premium’s feature to be used for VR, so it remains mostly a gimmick. In virtual reality contexts, however, a 4K resolution at that size, giving it a pixel density of 806 PPI, ism’t just a bragging right. The screen’s close distance to our eyes in a VR headset tends to make pixels even more discernible. So wearers will actually be able to notice the blocky pixels when using lower resolution displays. A 4K smartphone screen, used as a VR display, will definitely step up the visuals.
It’s still not certain when and where Samsung will use this new screen panel. It says it’s still a prototype, so the Galaxy Note 6 (or, as the leaks put it, Note 7), might be out of the question. That said, Samsung’s partnership with Oculus means that the latter might have access to that technology as well. The Oculus Rift, like the HTC Vive, currently has a 2160×1200 resolution, which is a little above 2K.
Samsung also had other experimental technologies that might benefit VR as well. “Bio Blue”, for example, could help reduce the amount harmful blue light coming from screens and bombarding our eyes. A lightfield display also helps give a sense of depth, almost like holograms, which can be viewed at different angles, with parallax in full effect.