Varjo's VR-1 headset has a astonishing level of realism

Varjo's VR-1 headset has a astonishing level of realism

So far, virtual reality has not come to be seen with complete clarity. There's always some pixel, some texture that doesn't fit, or some geometric shape that shouldn't be where it is. The Finnish company Varjo not only wants to change the situation, but to go further and take an evolutionary leap in the realism of the virtual universe. What do you mean? With their new VR-1, they combine a hyper-realistic central panel with an ordinary display for peripheral vision.

The central panel of the VR-1 is pompously named "Bionic Display". It is a "micro-OLED" panel of 1,920 x 1,080 with a resolution of 3,000 pixels per inch (for context: the high-resolution prototypes presented by Google and LG last year had 1,443 ppi). It is assumed that, in this central panel, the resolution of the images should be similar to that reached by the human eye, nothing more and nothing less.

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The elegant design of the new VR-1. / © Varjo

Our colleagues at Ars Technica, who have been able to test the glasses, have stated that the resolution is indeed as real as life itself. At least in the central part of the display. Outside this hyper-realistic perimeter, there is a 1,440 x 1,600 panel that produces images more in line with the current commercial standard. The angle of vision of the VR-1 is 87 degrees, somewhat lower than that of the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, not to mention the 200 degrees of some more experimental glasses such as those of Pimax. The "bionic screen" comprises only a fraction of that field of vision. So, according to Ars Technica, the image is hyper-realistic as long as the user is looking ahead. As soon as you look to the side, it seems that the image quality drops considerably. On the other hand, it should be mentioned that the generation of graphics with such a high resolution consumes many more resources than conventional VR headsets (which already consume enough).

The new glasses also use eye tracking, a feature not yet widely exploited by the world of VR. And that's not all, Varjo would also be planning to launch a frontal camera system to integrate video into the visualization, so that the glasses can alternate between virtual and mixed reality.

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The left side represents the visualization with the HTC Vive Pro, and the right with the new VR-1. / © Varjo

The glasses use conventional SteamVR bases for tracking, and support use with Unity and Unreal engines, so in theory the user could use them to play video games or enjoy consumer software. Only theoretically? Let's say that for its price, the number of users who will be willing to buy the VR-1 will be rather few: the device costs almost 6,000 dollars, and an annual fee of almost 1,000 must be added. So those who don't have $7,000 burning their pockets will have to wait a while before this type of technology is implemented in more accessible equipment.

What do you think of these new glasses? Do you think this kind of resolution will reach the mass market soon? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.

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