LG thinks it has a solution for the screen-door effect that is common among today's VR headsets, and it wants to patent the technology. Interestingly LG's solution isn't to throw more pixels at the viewer.
The patent, which was published last week and noticed by UploadVR, describes a "light diffusion member" that sits between the display panel and lenses.
"In the display for virtual reality, a light diffusion member, which diffuses light emitted from a light-transmitting area of a display panel to a light-blocking area of the display panel, is interposed between the display panel and an optical lens, whereby a user who views an image displayed on the display panel at a very close position does not perceive the light-blocking area, which improves the image quality of the display," LG explains.
It remains to be seen how effective this would be, assuming it is something LG goes forward with. Other headset makers have toyed with higher resolution displays to solve the screen-door issue. Pimax, for example, is seeking crowdfunding for a VR headset that contains two 2160x1200 displays (one per eyball), which it's billing as the world's first 8K VR headset. One of the claims is that the jump in resolution (versus headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) fills the gaps between pixels that result in a screen-door image.
"Our goal is to create an intuitive VR without the shade of the headset, and sharp enough that you won't be disturbed by pixels," Pimax says.
It's worth mentioning that LG is working on a Steam VR headset. It was recently spotted at a VR festival in Korea.
Just tried the LG SteamVR HMD with the flip-up screen @ #KVRF, it's fantastic! Can't wait for the release version pic.twitter.com/wXMC0mQw9eSeptember 18, 2017
The headset is similar to the Rift and Vive—it has two 1440x1280 OLED panels, a 90Hz refresh rate, and a 110-degree field of view (FOV). Implementing its patented technology could be one way of separating its headset from the competition.