Thursday, November 30th 2017

Varjo's Ultra-High Resolution Alpha Prototype VR Headset to Start Shipping Soon

Varjo ("shadow" in Finnish, pronounced "Var-yo") Technologies today brought unprecedented levels of Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality (VR/XR) realism a step closer for professional markets through its new development partner program. The company's first public technology demonstration occurred at one of the world's leading startup events - Slush. Global brands including 20th Century Fox, Airbus, Audi, BMW, Technicolor and Volkswagen will now be collaborating with Varjo to optimize the company's human-eye resolution VR/XR Bionic Display for their respective business sectors. The company's recent $8.2m Series A round, led by EQT Ventures (with new, additional funding of $6.7m from Tekes, the Finnish funding agency for innovation) has enabled Varjo to begin the early access program for its partners as well as ramp up R&D capabilities.

Varjo will start shipping Alpha Prototypes to its first technology partners before the end of the year. Beta Prototypes will begin shipping to existing and new partners in the design, engineering, simulation and entertainment sectors during Q1 2018, allowing the next wave of VR/XR innovators to join the 'Resolution Revolution'. The partners will provide feedback on product experience, features and usability, and combine their industry insights and expertise with Varjo's product development.
Varjo Alpha Prototype headset specifications
  • FOV: 100 degrees for context display, 35 horizontal for focus displays
  • Context display: 1080x1200 @ 90Hz, 8bpp (for each eye)
  • Varjo Bionic display: 1920x1080 @ TBD, 8bpp (for each eye)
  • Integrated 100Hz stereo eye-tracking
  • Steam VR tracking with controller support
Varjo's patented Bionic display mimics the complex characteristics of the human eye to let you see things in the virtual world just as clearly as you see them in the real world. The company is working closely with both of the industry's leading graphics chip manufacturers - NVIDIA and AMD - to provide the best possible VR/XR experience for its partners. Varjo prototypes are also shipped with both Unreal and Unity plugins to enable content creation on all major platforms.

Unveiling its Bionic Display technology capable of human-eye resolution and vision of its future headset ( at Slush, Varjo has gone from idea to functional prototype in just 15 months of operation. The company is on-target to launch its first commercial headset in 2018.

"I'm incredibly proud of the team that took a proof of concept into a custom-built technology prototype in just a few short months," said Urho Konttori, CEO and founder of Varjo Technologies. "Together with our world-leading partners, we are now perfecting the technology and plan to launch a profoundly revolutionary VR/XR headset by the end of 2018."
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2 Comments on Varjo's Ultra-High Resolution Alpha Prototype VR Headset to Start Shipping Soon

Actually, one important spec that was left out is that the panel display is 70 megapixel, opposed to the 1.2 megapixel of a Rift. I believe the resolution quoted in the article is only for the foveated rendering area directly in front of your eye. The link below has a screen shot showing the difference between a Rift screen, and the high res portion of the Varjo screen. Out side of the retina tracked high res portion, the rest of the screen renders in low res, which allows this thing to actually work without the need for a freakin NVidia SATURNV just to run PacMan (and also is exactly how your eyeball works). I have seen a few different write ups on the effect of eye tracking with foveated rendering, and all have claimed that there is no discernible lag of the high res area not keeping up with your eyes movements. Sounds promising, but undoubtedly it will be expensive.... Unfortunately it seems that small start ups like this will be the only ones actually making meaningful advances in the tech, while the giants focus on digressing and stuffing phone hardware into a headset for the masses to watch 360 degree ("VR" lol) videos and play mobile games.
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They have yet to make the hi-res micro display image movable. Until that's fully enabled and synced with foveated rendering, this is just a higher res and fov VR set.
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