Taiwan-based display and electronics maker AUO plans to showcase a range of new displays this week, including a 2.9-inch 3.5K × 3.5K display with HDR capabilities for VR headsets.

AUO announced Monday that it plans to showcase its newest displays during the annual Display Week event this week in Silicon Valley. Among its latest wares is a 2.9-inch LTPS LCD display made for VR headsets.

Beyond simply having a very impressive resolution of 3,456 × 3,456 (1,688 PPI) per display, AUO says the new display uses mini LED backlighting which affords it up to 2,304 dimming zones for HDR.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is the ability of a display to produce ranges of brightness that far exceed standard displays, thereby allowing the display to more realistically portray varying levels of brightness, especially for high brightness content like scenes with bright sunlight, fire, explosions, and more. No commercially available VR headsets offers HDR capabilities.

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Though the HDR capabilities of AUO’s display can’t be controlled on a per-pixel basis, the 2,304 dimming zones spread across the display can be adjusted individually to boost brightness where needed according to the current frame.

Other specs of the display are still unknown: refresh rate, response time, contrast ratio, and response time of the HDR zones, and it isn’t clear what challenges the latter could pose for critical VR-specific display characteristics like low-persistence.

The company says that some of its other new LTPS LCD displays (not intended for VR) boast a 120Hz refresh rate, 8.3ms response time, and up to 1,000 nits peak brightness, though it isn’t clear if these specs are shared by the VR display.

AUO plans to show the new HDR VR display this week at Display Week, though hasn’t spoken of price or availability of the display.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Amazing but… how much does it cost?

    • El D7my

      Dependence on 2nd manufacturers

  • Rosko

    HDR this is what we need.

  • Kuu

    This is finally enough resolution to replace all your displays with a HMD. Work, play, watch movies and do all your stuff in VR.

    Hoping for it to be integrated into headsets in 2020 together with foveated rendering and eye tracking, so that RTX2080Ti successor card is able to drive the displays at full resolution.

    • The Bard

      It would work only if that headset was 200 grams maximum and well ventilated. Currently headsets are like ski-googles. Just pain to wear for longer than 20-30 minutes.

      • Smokey_the_Bear

        exactly, they are still far to heavy to replace all other screens. MAYBE in 5 years…certainly not by 2020.

        • Kuu

          Ergonomics vary a lot from person to person, current headsets are light and comfortable enough for ~10h sessions in my case. The only thing that kills it for virtual desktop usage is resolution. Maybe add to that Valve Index FOV which is well within current technology capabilities. Do that and suddenly the market for VR becomes almost everyone shopping for a display…and willing to pay a premium for being able to work/play in exiting virtual spaces.

  • oompah

    Great if it is used in standalone headsets

  • The Bard

    We hear about it, we barely ever see it later. Samsung presented some panels 1 year ago or so and there is a silence. I hope Samsung will present some strong VR headset soon.

  • cataflic

    Ok…when we’ll see it in a hmd?
    …..late 2020?
    Hmd priced at 1500 €?
    Promised you a miracle
    Belief is a beauty thing
    Promises promises……

  • mellott124

    Just saw it at SID. Crappy optics on their demo but no SDE. However they had a regularly spaced pattern of black dots. Not sure why they’re there but I’m t needs to be removed. They also said it’s a prototype and basically said don’t expect it anytime soon.

  • Jordy

    I’ll like this display to be in a HMD asap… but HDR does not mean more god rays?

  • Weston mossman

    Damn 48×48 dimming zones? Compared to Samsungs TOTL QLED Q90 at 30×16 dimming zones, that sound pretty good.

  • El D7my

    Am sure UHPD from INT-TECH will rip this ;)