New VR Screens May Kill Smartphones
The smartphone screen is one of the wonders of the world. And it’s not just that it’s bright and colorful. In a sense, displays are now as good as human biology allows. The manufacturers have put so many pixels in such a small space, which is just amazing. And now they can’t make the screens themselves bigger, because then they will become too big to be held in their hands. The only way to get even more benefit from the smartphone screen is to bring it closer to our eyes, that is, not to hold it in your hands, as usual, but, for example, to set it on your head at eye level. In this case, the device should be more like glasses than a familiar smartphone.
Does that sound unlikely? In fact, many companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Google and HTC, are already working on similar devices. And when they appear on the market, then what we have previously seen only in films will become part of everyday life.
The “diffraction limit” of the human eye
When you look through a small hole, objects look blurry. This is because when a ray of light passes through the hole on the way to your retina, it is slightly scattered. You can check this by making your own “pinhole camera” and viewing the text in the distance through it. The smaller the hole, the more blurry the text looks. This means that the ability of our eyes (given their size) to see details is limited.
For a human pupil with a width of about 5 mm, we can express this limit in pixels per degree, and then this indicator will be about 60. So, for example, if you hold an object at a quarter of an arm’s length from your eye, the view is 2.5 degrees, which means that a small square display with a resolution of 150 by 150 pixels will look “perfect”in your opinion. You just don’t need more pixels, because you won’t be able to see them.
© Getty Images
Since about 2010, our smartphones have reached such a level of quality that we can no longer notice pixels on the screen, no matter how close we bring it to our face. As you may remember, Apple aptly described such screens with the word ” Retina “or”Retina”. Now even large-screen televisions have reached this level. Anything that goes beyond the 4K resolution is a waste of money, because you will not be able to see the difference, unless, of course, you sit so close that you feel the heat from the screen.
This means that the 6-by-3-inch smartphone that we hold in our hands will never take up more than a tiny part of our field of vision and will never be able to show us more than a few dozen lines of text, as it is now.
But our appetite and ability to assimilate visual information is simply huge. We love displays, and the bigger they are, the better. For example, many of us would like it if our laptops could magically unfold and have four screens, instead of one, like the super-cool folding devices in the TV series “Westworld” (Westworld).
Ideally, we would like to see screens in all directions with the possibility of turning them off if we want to pay close attention to the real world. But this is too far from such early prototypes as Google Glass, which have an even smaller display area than a smartphone.
The maximum possible screen
What if you could fix the display in front of your eyes with glasses that would be convenient to look at and that could accurately determine the rotation of the head? You could create “magic” by completely surrounding yourself with a screen with pixels that are too small to be seen. Wherever you turn your head, the pixels right in front of your eyes are rearranged to display the part of the virtual world that you turned your gaze to.
Such a screen will seem really big – about like 16 monitors with a resolution of 4K, having a total of 200 million pixels. Just imagine that you can snap your fingers at any time and surround yourself with 16 monitors containing any content you want – email, video, messenger and anything else. At the same time, no one will be able to see this content except you, and all this will be with you everywhere, anywhere and at any time, like your smartphone.
The trillion-dollar market
Will you take a queue at the Apple Store for a $ 500 headset from Apple that will create the impression of 16 magical weightless floating 4K monitors that no one else can see but you? Of course, many will answer in the affirmative. By the way, you will still be able to use the keyboard and mouse. You just won’t need a monitor anymore.
© Hoxton/Paul Bradbury
That is why many giants like Apple, Microsoft, HTC, Google, as well as startups such as Magic Leap, Avegant and ODG are working on creating such a magic screen. The global display market is estimated at about one trillion dollars, and therefore anyone who releases such a device will be successful and rewarded.
Available for everyone
Since such screens are autonomous and, therefore, they do not require a lot of computing power, they will be cheaper than their predecessors. At their price, they will be able to compare with smartphones. This means that, like smartphones and PCs, they will be widely available, and will be in the hands of billions of users over the next 10 years.
It is quite possible that this will provide people around the world with more opportunities for work and training, which at the moment offer only expensive desktop and wall screens available to a select few.
Virtual and augmented reality are a blessing, not killer applications
Like camera apps for smartphones, AR and VR apps will become part of a new type of screens. If you have such a device, you will be able to display 3D content or project a 3D image on the real world, travel through virtual worlds and communicate with other users around the world. Incredible applications using virtual reality that will improve human connections and experiences, despite long distances, are already in development.
In the next couple of years, manufacturers will release headsets and glasses that will replace the smartphone screen and change the way we perceive visual information. First of all, we will do with these screens what we are doing now with the screens of our smartphones. After that, VR and AR technologies will reach us, which will allow us to complement the real world or replace it with a completely new virtual space.
And how do you feel about the prospect of the release of smart glasses and headsets that will replace smartphones? Share your opinion in the comments!
Based on the materials of TechCrunch