This ridiculously sharp Virtual Reality display is for industrial applications, but it offers the consumer market a taste of what’s coming. The world’s sharpest VR headset is now available and offers more than 60 pixels per degree of human eye resolution, which is about 20x higher than other VR headsets.
Varjo’s VR-1 is designed for industrial designers, engineering and building applications, as well as for certain training and simulation applications where fidelity is essential.
The headset has an adhesive price of almost $6,000 and an additional annual service license of $995. Given the difficulties faced by companies such as Oculus and Sony in finding customer bases for agnostic headsets, and with large players such as Microsoft already staking flags across wide ranges of company training and field service, Varjo’s decision to specialize in designers with a high-market product is intelligent.
VR is expected to shorten design time and project life cycles in areas such as architecture and product design, and in simulated environments a new generation of industrial designers and builders is likely to be trained. Varjo is positioned as the world’s leading headset and has developed partnerships with corporate power users, including AirBus, Volvo and Audi.
“Premium cars can only be produced using premium tools,” says Jan Pflueger, who works at Audi on Augmented & Virtual Reality. “We need the high resolution of the Varjo device to design in virtual reality. With this high resolution, there is a seamless transfer between the real world and the virtual world.”
The device, developed over the last two years, supports a series of professional 3D software tools and engines, such as Unreal, Unity and Autodesk VRED. A Varjo SDK also allows customized design tools and new 3D engines to be integrated. The company raised a total of $46 million, and VR-1 is its only headset product for VR. Varjo plans to introduce an add-on for mixed reality later this year, possibly in an attempt to gain some ground from HoloLens from Microsoft.
It remains to be seen whether more companies will see the benefit of a high fidelity headset. But the team of Varjo, which includes Nokia, Microsoft, NVIDIA and Intel engineers, seems confident.
“For 2 + years, the whole Varjo team has worked hard to make nothing less than the best headset on the planet,” says Urho Konttori,Varjo’s co-founderand chief product officer. “Nothing was left to chance, nothing was compromised and we are pleased that our partners ‘ response was overwhelmingly positive. VR-1 marks the beginning of a new era for professionals in virtual reality.”