Here is everything you need to know about the Varjo VR headset, including how its uniquely situated apart from every other VR headset.

You may have seen in recent news an annoucement for the new Varjo VR-1 Headset. Well I’ve gotten my hands on the Varjo VR headset three times, once at AWE in May 2018, once at VRX in December 2018, and once last week in San Francisco during a private press only event. At the bottom there is a link to an interview with Varjo CMO JUSSI MÄKINEN

Article by Micah Blumberg, Silicon Valley Global News, vrma.io

The Varjo VR-1 headset at $5995 USD is not being sold or marketed to consumers, only businesses and academic institutions may purchase one, and its only designed to support the most demanding scenarios where you need extreme visual clarity and the best eye tracking money can buy.

The first thing other stories are not emphasizing enough is that Varjo invented it’s own eye tracking system. Yes eye tracking, Varjo developed it’s own next generation eye tracking system with sub-millimeter accuracy. In demos I was able to select airplanes in a VR simulation of an airport with a simple glance. In this simulated Airplane Control Tower I could select tiny buttons with my eyes and I could make out tiny text that would be too small to read in another VR headset.

The conclusion is that eye tracking with this much precision in VR, with a screen resolution this good, adds up to a new level of interaction with a computer system that you will not find in other VR products.

The ability to track where the user is looking is also critical for next level product research, market research, and for science research especially as it pertains to the study of neurology and cognitive functions.

Anyone looking to do next level affective computing, combining deep learning with a VR headset and with eye tracking will want this headset. It’s plausible to me that medical researchers will figure out how to do very accurate medical diagnosis with this headset.

As far as I am aware you just can’t purchase eye tracking this accurate from anyone else, and without this screen resolution eye tracking wouldn’t be as valuable on another hmd.

During a photogrammetry demo I literally got chills running down my spine, because I was transported to another place, a photo realistic place, it was like being in a Lucid Dream, except it was real, and it looked as real as this reality that you are in now.

While it looked like a perfect replication of reality in reality it was only a demo of nearly perfected photogrammetry a ground truth volumetric capture of another place and time that I was experiencing through the Varjo headset with its human eye resolution display.

Varjo has in every sense achieved the promise of what Virtual Reality has been for the past 30 years or so. In that it is completely capable of transporting you to photorealistic looking holographic worlds.

The key question: Some of you may know from my previous article that the Varjo VR headset integrates two displays into one. A smaller super high resolution display sits in the center of lower resolution display. You might want to know how that feels to get a sense of if you would be okay with this unique arrangement. The good news is that your eyes will probably get adjusted immediately to seeing through the Varjo’s unique display. My eyes out of curiousity went back and forth between seeing the VR contents through the high resolution center, and the lower resolution sides of the display, but intuitively when I was just enjoying the VR demos my eyes adjusted to the Varjo so that I quickly forgot the split nature of the display and I was able to just enjoy the super high visual quality of the VR experience in every direction that I peered.

The advantage is that you get the experience of the very best visual quality that you can hope for in a VR headset with the ability to run it on any standard VR capable desktop PC.

That last detail is important because it means it runs all your standard VR software, and it means its easier to travel with, to bring to clients, or fellow researchers since you don’t need to lug around a super computer.

Varjo says that the resolution is “60 pixels per degree”, and “20X+ higher than any other VR headset currently on the market”, and importantly that number feels accurate, it looks right, it looks good enough for my brain to replace reality.

Varjo’s technology did not just appear out of nowhere, they utilize acclaimed optics and patented technology that they have been developing over the past couple years by the company’s team of 100+ engineers, developers and designers with backgrounds at Nokia®, Microsoft®, NVIDIA® and Intel®.

Detailed Technical Specifications for the Varjo VR-1 include: 
 
Resolution:

Bionic Display™ with human-eye resolution (over 60 PPD / 3000
PPI)
Combining 1920x1080 low persistence micro-OLED and 1440x1600 low
persistence AMOLED
 
Optics:
Dual lens design combining different refractive index lenses for minimal color aberrations, zero ghost rays, and minimal reflections. Each surface coating has been methodically designed to maximise brightness and clarity of the light fusion needed to achieve human-eye resolution.
 
Colors:
Contrast ratio at over 10 000:1 enabling the deepest blacks
Individually calibrated colors, delivering outstanding accuracy & 
image quality
 
Eye tracking:
20/20 Eye Tracker™ with industry-leading accuracy and precision even with eye glasses
Automatic IPD adjustment 
 
Field of view:
87 degrees
 
Connectivity:
Thin and light optical fiber cabling of 10-meter length with USB-C
Link Box for easy connection with PC
 
Tracking:
Compatible with SteamVR™ Tracking V1.0 and V2.0
 
Comfort & wearability:
Active airflow system
Detachable head strap & adjustable headband
Easily replaceable face cushions in two different sizes�Can be used with glasses
 
Weight:
605g (including headband 905g)
 
Mixed Reality:
Upgradeable with Varjo’s Mixed Reality Add-on, available in 2019
 
There is a separate optional service option available for $995 USD

Interview with JUSSI MÄKINEN, CMO at Varjo, recorded at VRX December 6th 2018

https://youtu.be/Uxw1xhG4BV4