Published on January 15th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Varjo’s ‘Workspace’ Demo is a Glimpse of VR’s Long Term Future in the Workplace
It remains to be seen how a virtual reality headset would become an everyday utility. But, as Ben Lang shares at Road to VR, the VR company Varjo is moving in that direction with a headset that provides a virtual desktop with diverse capabilities at retina resolution. The unit also has pass-through AR vision allowing for many other workplace scenarios. There are big hurdles to cross in providing a good UX and making the unit affordable but it does show a glimpse of how we all might be working in the future.
Image Above: Varjo
Finland-based startup Varjo, makers of high-end enterprise VR headsets, has charted a rapid growth, similar to the early years of Oculus. Now with some 150 employees, Varjo wants to make its headset lineup more widely accessible by reducing prices so that smaller businesses can justify the cost. Beyond the unique selling point of the company’s headsets—a novel display concept which offers ‘retina resolution’—Varjo is pioneering the way in which VR headsets could be a part of the day-to-day enterprise workflow.
This week at CES 2020 I got to see Varjo’s latest demo which combined the AR-capable XR-1 headset with the company’s ‘workspace’ concept which envisions replacing real monitors with virtual ones to streamline 3D and CAD workflows.
Retina Resolution in a VR Headset
Like Varjo’s other headsets, the XR-1 has what the company calls the ‘Bionic Display’; when you look through the headset you see a reasonably wide field of view but the center of the view has extremely high resolution. This is done with a novel combination of a small high density display in the center with a larger lower resolution display for the peripheral view. The result is genuinely impressive, and Varjo has reached a point where the boundary between the low and high resolution parts of the image is nearly invisible.
With this approach, Varjo is the only company selling a complete headset which can offer genuine 60 PPD ‘retina resolution’—detail which matches the limit of the human eye—at least in a portion of the field of view.
nd while there’s plenty of value to be had from headsets which don’t reach that level of detail, it’s an absolute necessity if you want to fully replace real monitors with virtual ones.
To that end, Varjo is going beyond just building headsets. The company revealed its ‘workspace’ concept, a vision of office productivity where 3D and CAD workers can easily be co-present with 3D content and with the traditional 2D tools they use to create it.
Varjo’s Vision of an XR Workplace
At CES 2020 this week I got to see Varjo’s workspace concept in action. And while there needs to be major improvements to UX and form-factor before workers will be wearing headsets at their desks all day, the vision that Varjo showed is quite compelling.