New VR Company Wants To Add More Visual Clarity to Headsets

Varjo is led by former Nokia and Microsoft product managers.


More and more companies are moving into the realm of virtual reality hardware, and while Rift and Vive get most of the press and new hardware startup is looking to change the way we see virtual and augmented reality. Literally.

One of the biggest issues with the current crop of headsets is resolution. Varjo, a new company headed by product managers from such tech giants as Samsung, Microsoft and Nokia, wants to improve on the resolution of images we see in VR and AR. To put a number on it, it wants to boost resolution up to 70 times more than what is currently available–to a point that it calls human eye resolution.

The way it will work is that the headset will put a smaller high-resolution display at the center of the field of view, with lower resolution displays along the left and right edges, Varjo CEO Urho Konttori explained to The Verge. The idea is to simulate the way the human eye actually works with peripheral vision. We know something is there, but since we aren't focused on it, it isn't as sharp. The Varjo headset will use eye tracking to adjust the center of the field of view so the eye will always see the clearest image.

Make no mistake. Varjo knows this will be a high-end headset, wanting to make it capable of both VR and AR displays. To that end, it is using much higher quality components, which will likely drive up the cost of the initial units once they hit the market, likely into the thousands of dollars. The team plans to launch an early free version of the set compatible with Steam VR for partners before the end of the year, with a commercial launch later in 2018.

You can get a more detailed technical description from The Verge's chat with Kontorri, but take a look at the comparison below to see the technical explanation translated to a visual example.

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