We’re not quite to holodecks yet, but virtual reality is improving at an increasing rate. Valve Software is contributing to that progress with their Valve Index VR Headset.
The Valve Index VR Headset makes use of two 1440X1600 RGB LCD screens that have 50 per cent more subpixels than OLED screens. That increase in pixels means that the images you are viewing are sharper, but don’t require the same rendering cost. The headset also benefits from a reduced “screen door” effect thanks to a fill factor that is three times better than OLED.
Frame rates are important when you’re shooting for realism and optical comfort. Valve’s headset is back compatible to 90Hz, but runs at 120Hz. It also has an experimental mode that takes frame rates up to 144Hz. Improved frame rates means you can play longer, and be more comfortable as you do.
Another challenge that VR headsets face is keeping images sharp when your head is in motion. Valve has achieved a 5X improvement over first-generation PC VR HMDs with a reduced illumination period of 0.330ms to 0530ms.
Valve Software didn’t just stop there, though. They also improved the field of view by allowing for adjustable lens distance. The audio system is optimised for enhanced immersion. And the whole setup received an ergonomic makeover for better fit and comfort. Perhaps best of all, any content that you’ve bought for other headsets—HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality—all work on Valve.