Varjo promises to make VR as crisp as human vision

Would you like to use a VR headset with an image resolution that matches that of the human eye? That’s what the newly revealed Finland-based startup called Varjo claims to have made in secret. The company says it has created a VR and AR headset that can display images at a whopping 70 MP, well beyond what is currently supported by headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, both of which show content at 1.2 MP resolution.

Varjo says they call the technology behind their VR headset “20/20”, which is supposed to convey that looking through their device is similar to seeing things with a human eye that has perfect vision. The company’s press release says its image sensor is supposed to simulate how the human eye works, which in turn allows it to display such a high resolution image with a 100 degree field of view. The technology is also supposed to support “video-see-through” features, which means people should be able to see the real world through the device, with AR and MR (Mixed Reality) elements placed in that world.  Exactly how this technology works is still something of a mystery.

Varjo claims its technology was developed by a team of scientists that previously worked at big companies such as Microsoft, Nokia, Intel, NVIDIA and Rovio. There are still a ton of questions about how “20/20” will work outside a demo room, such as the frame rate of the images shown in the headset, and what kind of PC, if any, will be needed to show content on the device. Even the headset itself hasn’t been shown publicly. Instead, Varjo has posted up videos and images that are supposed to demonstrate how its product will compare to current VR products on the market.

The company says its first VR headset will be launched sometime in the fourth quarter of 2017. It claims it is targeting “professional users”, which is usually a code word for a product that will be highly expensive and will be out of reach for most regular consumers. Of course, we have heard claims about highly advanced VR and AR products in the past, such as Magic Leap, which has raised a ton of money from investors in the past few years, but released no products at all. Hopefully Varjo is not in that same category.

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