Meta is reportedly planning big upgrades to the displays used in its upcoming headsets, though we expect it will be some time before rumors of a micro-OLED panel it’s working on materialize.
One problem that most VR headsets suffer from – whether they’re inexpensive models like the Oculus Quest 2 or a more high-end device like the Meta Quest Pro – is the ‘screen door’ effect. Because your eyes are so close to the display, you may start to see pixel gaps that make the image appear to have black lines (making it look like you’re viewing objects on the screen through a screen door).
However, Meta appears to be addressing the issue soon, with reports indicating that it is working with two South Korean manufacturers, SK Hynix and LG Display, to develop a new batch of micro-OLED displays for its headsets (via electric (opens in a new tab)).
If true, the high pixel count of the micro-OLED panels should make the screen door effect much less noticeable, and may even eliminate it. Moreover, headsets would also benefit from the better contrast and energy efficiency provided by OLED displays compared to the LCD displays currently used by Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest Pro.
Unfortunately, if Meta plans to adopt this display made by LG and SKHynix, we expect we won’t see it until a headset follows the Oculus Quest 3. Since the Quest 3 will almost certainly be released later this year – unless it comes out delay – there probably won’t be enough time for these display companies to develop a new display for it, let alone manufacture it and incorporate it into the project.
It’s much more likely that these micro-OLED displays will first appear in the Meta Quest Pro 2 or Oculus Quest 4, both of which are at least a few years old. That said, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Quest 4 joined the Quest 3 in losing its improved micro-OLED panels.
The new displays will likely be quite expensive – too expensive for Meta’s cheaper line of Quest devices. For that reason, we expect this to be a prosumer upgrade that will remain exclusive to the Quest Pro line for a generation or two – much like the eye and face tracking features that Meta introduced with the first Pro headset, which it said won No we will go into base models until the cost of components goes down.
We’ll have to wait and see if and when these improved panels come to light – and on what models they’re used – but hopefully we’ll see better screens on Meta headsets soon. The screen door effect can be a big obstacle to an immersive VR experience for some, and upgrading your hardware is the only way to remove it and make the best VR headsets even better.