Varjo Reveals Mixed Reality Headset, the XR-1 Developer Edition

Not content with launching its $6000 USD human eye resolution virtual reality (VR) headset the VR-1 back in February, Finnish hardware manufacturer Varjo has just announced a new device called the XR-1 Developer Edition.

Just like its forebear, the Varjo XR-1 Developers Edition will be solely aimed at the enterprise market, but unlike the VR-1 this new device is a mixed reality (MR) headset. This means Varjo is planning to take on the MR goliaths that are Microsoft and HoloLens 2, plus Magic Leap and its Magic Leap One Creators Edition.

The culmination of two and a half years of intensive R&D at Varjo, the XR-1 delivers photorealistic image quality with integrated eye tracking. In a press release, Varjo claims: “The dream of ‘Hard AR’ (where you can no longer tell apart what is real and what is virtual) has at last been achieved in a professional product.”

In fact, the XR-1 is an upgrade to the VR-1, adding a front plate featuring dual 12 mp cameras, capable of producing high resolution with < 15 ms latency. It’s so fast that Volvo has been testing the headset whilst driving cars, with XR-1 prototypes being used to aid workflow since the summer of 2018. Volvo has been that impressed with the device that as of May 2019, Varjo will receive an investment by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund. Additionally, Varjo claims an 82 x 82 degrees field of view (FoV) which would make it the class leader.

“XR-1 brings all the convenience of seeing your body as well as the real world around you and being able to look at your colleagues while designing a virtual object or environment,” said Urho Konttori, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Varjo. “The XR-1 can show mixed reality with true-to-life fidelity you can only achieve using video-pass- through. Lifelike mixed reality is quite literally impossible to achieve with optical-see-through systems like HoloLens.”

Varjo hasn’t said how much the XR-1 Developers Edition will cost but as its an upgraded VR-1 it isn’t going to be cheap. Shipments of the cutting-edge headset to mixed reality developers, designers and researchers is expected to begin in the latter half of 2019. As VRFocus learns more about the Varjo XR-1 we’ll let you know.

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