eMagin may not ring a bell but the company's OLED technology is attracting interest from several industry heavy-weights. A new filing with the SEC reveals Apple, Valve and LG were among the companies that participated in a $10 million stock issuance.
One of the problems with current AR and VR headsets is that display technology still hasn't evolved enough to make it a truly immersive experience. eMagin's flagship product could be a big step forward, the firm has a 2048 x 2048 pixels OLED microdisplay with a ~70 percent fill factor. This screen would eliminate the "screen-door effect" of current headsets, where users can see the lines between individual pixels.
Microdisplays like the one from eMagin are very dense, the company has panels with a pixel density of over 2,500 ppi. For comparison, a headset like the Oculus Rift has an OLED panel with 461 ppi. eMagin expects to be able to offer its displays in volume by mid-2018.
Emagin’s latest 2K × 2K OLED microdisplay is said to use 9.3µm square pixels with an RGB stripe subpixel arrangement, and, crucially for AR and VR use, also offers low persistence capabilities thanks to a high frame-rate and global illumination. While the company’s website presently lists the display as being capable of 500 nits, the SEC documents indicate that a much brighter 5,300 nit version has been demonstrated, which the company says “surpasses” the needs of AR and VR headsets.