There is a new kid in the AR and VR block, and it is promising to introduce changes in the segment that is virtually unthinkable at the moment. Varjo, as the Finnish start-up is identified as has come up with a new generation headset that will have a resolution that almost mimics the human eyes.
This marks a significant departure from the present crop of headsets – Oculus Rift or HTC Vive – that offer resolutions of 1.2 megapixels for each eye. In contrast, the Varjo designed AR and VR headset will have a resolution of more than 70 megapixels.
That is insane given current technological advancements though the demo that Varjo had of its technology in New York recently was equally mind-boggling. The company used an Oculus Rift headset that has been tweaked to carry full HD 0.7-inch Sony MicroOLED screens. That translates to 3,000 pixels per inch which is then used to fill up a 20-degree field of view.
This marks a significant departure from the current practice where the entire display is lit up at a fixed resolution, irrespective of where the user might actually be looking at. Even then, the present headsets require significant processing power to remain operational.
Of course, Varjo that stands for shadow in Finnish isn’t revealing all at the moment though what is evident is that they are using foveated rendering technology to ensure super high resolution images without requiring equally high processing capabilities. The key here is to track the human eye to find out where exactly the field of vision is and to light up only that spot at the highest resolution.
That, in turn, is also how out human eye functions as anything that is outside of the direct line of sight is vague. What is not known though is how they wish to produce and display such high-resolution images. It will also be interesting to know what the latency and fame rate will be and so on.
The company meanwhile claimed they have such heads working on the product that has earlier held top positions in companies like Microsoft, NVidia, Intel, Rovio or Nokia.
Varjo also stated they are targeting the enterprise segment first with headsets likely to cost around $10,000 initially. The first commercial products are projected to be ready by Q4, 2017. It will be up against companies such as Magic Leap, Microsoft, and Meta.
More models and hopefully affordable ones will be arriving later next year.