What is low Persistence?

It is quite a difficult task to make virtual reality technology consumer-friendly. There are so many different aspects one needs to take into account at all times. Decent manufacturers use a technology known as low persistence. This technology aids in reducing judder and latency, which helps create a fun and immersive VR experience.

Low Persistence is Vital in the VR World

A combination of powerful technologies will help create a VR ecosystem everyone can enjoy. Low persistence plays a big role in this process. Reducing latency and shaking images while experiencing VR all attributes to a proper experience. Otherwise, users would experience a wide range of effects, including simulator sickness and spatial desync. None of those experiences are even remotely fun, that much is certain

There are benefits and downsides to low persistence, though. One downside is how images can get blurry when one moves because the image is always “there”. Users may experience the visual effect of seeing data from previous frames. Low persistence aims to rectify this situation by showing a frame, turning off, and then showing a new frame when it is ready. This reduces the blur to a bare minimum and often gets rid of it completely.

The downside to this technique is how the VR hardware needs to be more powerful to accommodate low persistence. More specifically, it needs a higher refresh rate than it would normally display. Unfortunately, not all current VR headsets are capable of achieving higher refresh rates, since the hardware is fairly limited in what it can achieve. Furthermore, the displays in the headset need to support the higher frame rate as well.

To put this into perspective, low persistence would turn showing an image 60 frames per second into operating at a minimum of 76 FPS or higher. Right now, 90 FPS is the “maximum” refresh rate most VR headsets can handle. Future generations could go as high as 120 FPS or higher. It will take a few years before low persistence can effectively become the norm in VR. As is usually the case, the hardware has to catch up with the software.

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