Varjo Mixed Reality Headset & Reality Cloud

Just finished watching the new Varjo Reality Cloud introduction video. Varjo has strong ambition to deliver mixed reality experience in way that we could only dream of until now when we think about the future of Spatial Computing.

They have designed a headset with optics that provide realistic portray of the Virtual Reality using, low latency video passthrough that digitized the world in real time, featuring highly accurate 3d reconstruction of the real world environment, world-leading precise eye-tracking, wide field of view, and other technologies that delivers unparalleled mixed reality experience.

The video passthrough of the Varjo XR-3 headset delivers photorealistic visuals. What Varjo refers to as “..the only true mixed reality headset”. Visual quality that is unmatched by any other XR headset on the market today.

A few of the Varjo XR-3 highlight features:

  • Photorealistic, true-to-life mixed reality, powered by low-latency, 12-megapixel video pass-through
  • 115° Field of Voew and over 70 ppd
  • 99% sRGB color coverage and 93%with DCI-P3 color space
  • Powered by LiDAR depth sensing technology, provides real-time occlusion and 3D world reconstruction
  • Ultraleap hand tracking and integrated 200 Hz eye tracking for natural interactions
  • Inside-out tracking (beta), no need for base stations to track user interactions in the real world environment

source: varjo.com

When I first read about it, straight ahead I’ve understood how amazing their technology is. As you know, with current mixed reality headsets, the virtualization is projected/augmented to the human eye and the world is seen through a transparent lens. The result is that true solid blacks are not possible and the digized content is semi-transparent and not opaque compared to optical see through. Video see through is the most lucrative, one used in Varjo’s headset.

It more similar to an AR experience on a high resolution smartphone. Where their the real world is also projected using a video stream from the rear camera of the phone.

This makes the mixed virtual content not blending fully and realistically with the real world. With Vario X-R3 is a completely different story. The virtual content appears very much part of the real world, especially with realistic projected virtual lighting that mimics the real world lighting and reflects real-world objects from the scene onto the virtual 3D models.

This alongside advanced complementary AR Cloud platform, compatibility with professional 3D platforms and software like Unity, Unreal Engine, OpenXR 1.0, Autodesk VRED, PREPAR3D and VBS Blue IG among others–this allows users to shape and form the real world with virtual content.

You probably heard about LiDAR technology, that of Apple devices. However, Varjo XR-3’s LiDR sensor and stereo RGB video feed set a new benchmark, providing pixel-perfect occlusion of objects and people. Further closing the gap between the virtual and the real world. Virtual content appears so realistic, that you will have hard time to tell what’s virtual and what real. This is of course what all of us were waiting for. I know I did since I start using AR for the first time.

Having said all that, still, Varjo’s headset is still far from looking similar to shape and size of our comfortable sunglasses. It’s still bulky and something that you might see people using in professional circles, and not outdoors in the streets–which is the thing I’ve been waiting for.

Watching their presentation, you can see they have collaborated with many companies, but as a consumer, I want to see how this amazing technology is brought to the consumer market, not just for professional simulations, collaboration apps and military training type of experience.

The technology is there, so it seems (I haven’t tried it myself), but as a consumer, it seems like I still need to dream of a mixed reality headset for the consumer market, one that is designed for outdoor use.

Having said that, these are the technologies, that eventually will find their way to the consumer market as well. These products need to fund themselves in some way, and the great market for it is the professional market, like aerospace, military & defense, education, and healthcare. Then it will penetrate stronger into the media and entertainment.

As we move forward, all the complementary technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine vision, big data and analytics, face and object tracking, miniaturization, advanced sensory technologies, connectivity advanced optic, AR Cloud, etc—all those we’ll continue to progress and unite and support the future of mixed reality.

Technical Specifications (via varjo.com)

DISPLAY AND RESOLUTION

Full Frame Bionic Display with human-eye resolution.
Focus area (27° x 27°) at 70 PPD uOLED, 1920 x 1920 px per eye
Peripheral area at over 30 PPD LCD, 2880 x 2720 px per eye
Colors: 99% sRGB, 93% DCI-P3FIELD OF VIEW

Horizontal 115°REFRESH RATE

90 HzMIXED REALITY

Ultra-low latency, dual 12-megapixel video pass-through at 90 HzXR DEPTH

LiDAR + RGB fusion, 40 cm–5 m operating rangeHAND TRACKING

Ultraleap Gemini (v5)COMFORT AND WEARABILITY

3-point precision fit headband
Replaceable, easy-to-clean polyurethane face cushions
Automatic interpupillary distance adjustment 59-71mmWEIGHT

594 g + headband 386gDIMENSIONS

Width 200 mm, height 170 mm, length 300 mmCONNECTIVITY

Two headset adapters in-box
Two USB-C cables (5 m) in-box
PC Connections: 2 x DisplayPort and 2 x USB-A 3.0+POSITIONAL TRACKING

SteamVR™ 2.0 (recommended) or 1.0 tracking system
Varjo inside-out tracking (beta) utilizing RGB video pass-through camerasEYE TRACKING

200 Hz with sub-degree accuracy; 1-dot calibration for foveated renderingAUDIO

3.5mm audio jack with microphone support