Mixed Reality and the “screen door effect”

One of the things that struck me (or to be more precise didn’t strike me!) when I first put on a Mixed Reality headset was the lack of this effect.  I had always found the screen door effect a little annoying in the past so how did this new generation of headsets seemingly make it go away?

The old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” perhaps applies here – Microsoft wanted to make all our current apps accessible while wearing one of these new headsets and reading a Word document or Excel spreadsheet through a screen door was never going to be tenable.  And so software tricks aside there is only one solution to this problem – make the pixels so small that you simply cannot see them!  This is one of the reasons why Mixed reality headsets have a higher resolution that any of the currently popular generation of headsets.  Compared to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive (at 1080×1200 per eye) Mixed Reality headsets all have a higher resolution at 1440×1440 per eye*.  It is this extra resolution that keeps that screen door at bay at the same time as giving you a clearer, cleaner experience across the board.

The above diagram illustrates the relative difference in resolution for some of today’s popular headsets.

  • Note that the Samsung Mixed Reality headset has a slightly higher resolution than the Mixed Reality standard

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