Retina Resolution VR Headsets Promise Users the “Reality” in Virtual Reality
A virtual reality headset with the sharpest resolution so far has just been unveiled. Varjo’s VR-1 virtual reality headset offers users a human eye-resolution with an immersive experience that is as close to reality as possible. The headset has a resolution of 60 pixels per degree which will be 20 times higher than that of the current VR headsets.
Although the headset has been designed for industrial designers and will cost $6000, it’s a harbinger of what to expect in the consumer VR market in the coming years. The headset will also be useful in various construction and engineering applications and can also be used in training and simulation projects where a high level of fidelity is required in implementation. Apart from the cost, there will also be an annual $995 service license that users will pay.
Varjo is targeting a niche that many of the big tech players have had trouble cracking into. Some of the top manufacturers such as Sony and Oculus have struggled with finding a user base for their task-agnostic headsets while Microsoft has stretched itself widely across a large range of field service and enterprise training applications. Varjo’s decision to break into the ultra-high resolution VR headsets for designers is therefore timely.
Design is one of the most promising use cases for both virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. The use of VR is expected to streamline the design process and shorten the design time as well as the product lifecycles in various endeavors ranging from product design to architecture. Additionally, a new generation of builders and industrial designers will likely lean more heavily on the simulated environments that are made possible with virtual reality technology.
In this regard, Varjo is positioning itself at the frontiers of innovation that will help it satisfy the future high-market for high spec virtual reality headsets. The startup hopes its VR headsets will be a top choice and plans to build partnerships with various enterprise power users in various industries, particularly in the auto industry.
The auto manufacturers will likely be a high-prospect market. Designing for premium vehicles to the lofty standards required of the modern market is often hinged on the use premium tools for the auto design. Virtual reality design is increasingly filling this need and accomplishing this will require high resolution VR headsets such as the Varjo headsets. The high resolution of the headsets enables a seamless interchange between the real and the virtual for a smooth design process.
The headset has been under development over the past two years and provides support for a suite of professional 3D tools as well as engines including Autodesk VRED, Unreal and Unity. It’s built with a Bionic Display that will render the surface details, shapes and contours with a high degree of fidelity to the point where these details will look quite realistic. With the Varjo SDK, users can access the custom design tools as well as a seamless integration with new 3D engines.
Varjo has so far raised a total of $46 million and its VR-1 hardware is so far its only VR headset product. The startup is also planning to roll out a mixed reality add-on later in the year as its tries to gain on the Microsoft HoloLens’ dominance in this niche.
It’s yet to be seen what the uptake will look like but more professional designers are likely to discover the benefits of high-fidelity VR headsets and take up the project. Varjo has an experienced team of engineers from some of the leading tech giants such as NVIDIA, Nokia and Microsoft and is confident that the product will see some good uptake.