Varjo has announced new VR headsets aimed at the professional markets for applications such as high-end simulations, computer-assisted design, etc.
If you don’t know Varjo, their claim to fame was to feature “human-eye resolution” in VR headsets. Ubergizmo covered the company for the first time back in 2017, and much progress has happened since. Today’s announcement introduced two new headsets, the Varjo VR-3 and the Varjo XR-3, two headsets for professionals.
Like the Varjo VR-1, there are two display zones, a super-sharp area where your vision is focused, and the rest of the screen is very sharp, but not as insanely sharp.
To give you an idea, the 2880×2720 general panel is already considered great for VR purposes. However, Varjo offers a small 1920×1920 sub-display for each eye to ensure that the image in your focus area is exceptionally sharp.
Additionally, the displays have excellent color accuracy (for VR Headsets), thanks to a 99% coverage of the sRGB color gamut. To achieve excellent contrast and brightness, Varjo uses a technology that could be compared to micro-dimming in LED TVs.
The goal for all this technology is to provide an image quality that is beyond anything conventional VR can offer, even other “pro” headsets. For example, Varjo makes it possible to read the fine text in virtual environments, which is crucial if you want to have training for various cockpits with all kinds of instruments that operators look at.
Secondly, Varjo’s headsets eye-tracking is good enough for users to behave normally by moving the eyes to glance around instead of rotating the whole head, which is OK for “VR Gaming.” Such unnatural behavior doesn’t work for professional training where a company has to drill in good habits to the trainees. It’s not 100% perfect, but it’s pretty much as good as it gets at that price point."PRETTY MUCH AS GOOD AS IT GETS"
As their names indicate, the VR-3 headset is for immersive VR applications, while the XR-3 also supports eXtended Reality apps, and therefore has a LiDAR and cameras to sense the outside world.
We haven’t been able to try the headsets because all the briefings were virtual, but the Varjo founders made a compelling argument about how comfortable the headsets are, with features like active-cooling and a 40% lighter weight than the Varjo VR-1. The company aims for potential users to wear these for sessions of two hours comfortably, and yes, glasses are OK too.
Upon putting the headset on, the lenses will automatically move to adapt to the distance between your eyes, which is unique to every user.
We could geek out for a while, but it comes down to having VR and XR headsets that can run extremely realistic simulations that can not be optically achieved by the competition at the end of the day. The image clarity is the fundamental value of Varjo.
Everything else, such as the design, comfort, eye-tracking, camera quality, and industry support level, just piles on top of what seems to be a high barrier of entry.
What would it cost to get such high-end headsets? They cost $3195 (VR-3) and $5495 (XR-3), respectively, and will ship in 8-12 weeks after ordering.
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