Want a cheap and easy way to drastically improve display resolution? Nvidia has the answer. A research team has found that stacking two LCD displays on top of each other can pretty much quadruple the display resolution output. The technique may unlock inexpensive, high-resolution displays for devices like the Oculus Rift. Nvidia has even created a prototype device that they 3D printed. It looks a bit like and Oculus Rift and works much better than you would expect for a prototype.
This all started as a test. An LCD panel is opaque, but the pixels are somewhat transparent. Nvidia researchers started with this idea and then just stacked two displays on top of each other to see what would happen. They had to tweak the software to support the strange hardware configuration, but what they found was that two 1280 x 800 display screens could output at a much higher resolution. The two display panels are slightly offset from one another, allowing for a multiplicative effect. The panels are offset in such a way that each pixel on the front display acts as a sort of shutter for four pixels on the rear panel. They only have to be offset by a quarter of a pixel for this to work. Then some software was written that could operate the two displays in this configuration. Voila: cheap, high-res displays.
Ok, it’s not quite that easy, but it is actually really simple. Nvidia is looking to use this technology in heads-up display (HUD) units like the Oculus Rift. Almost all of the HUD devices on the market today use low-resolution displays in order to keep costs down. This of course reduces the quality of the user experience. The technique could even allow for a wider field of vision for these devices while still increasing the resolution to something that provides a much more pleasant experience for us. This is a pretty big breakthrough, and it shouldn’t take us a long time to see it in consumer devices. There’s a video explaining everything that you can view below, too. What do you think? Does increasing the display resolution on a unit like the Oculus Rift make it more appealing to you?