Mainstream mixed reality headsets have come a long way since the early Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, thanks to high-resolution displays, faster refresh rates, improved motion tracking, and more. However, enterprise-level headsets have arguably made even bigger strides, and with its new third-gen HMD VR and XR, Varjo could give us a glimpse of the kinds of upgrades we can expect to see trickle down. on mainstream VR in the next two years.
Available today, the new VR-3 and XR-3 from Varjo have a number of advantages over today’s best consumer headsets. First, the VR-3 and XR-3 have a 115-degree field of view, which Varjo says is one of the widest FOVs of any helmet on the market and a significant leap from helmets. like the 88 FOV of the HP Reverb G2. degrees.
On top of that, the VR-3 and XR-3 (which feature the same custom optics designed by Varjo) offer ultra-high resolution that uses a central focus area of 1920 x 1920 pixels per eye in addition to a peripheral focus area of 2880 x 2720 pixels per eye, which is four times the resolution obtained in a Valve Index and twice the resolution of the HP Reverb G2. And in case that weren’t enough, Varjo’s optics are also based on displays similar to those used by Samsung on the Galaxy S10, which deliver strong color reproduction that covers 99% and 93% of sRGB and Adobe spectra. RGB. In short, Varjo’s full frame “bionic displays” could deliver the best picture quality of any headset available today.
Better specs aren’t the only upgrades to the latest generation helmets either, as the VR-3 and XR-3 also come with a redesigned three-point precision headband to better fit a wide range of Head shapes while being 40% lighter than before, with support for fully automatic IPD tuning, 200Hz eye tracking, and a new mask design that makes cleaning and disinfection easier between uses. Varjo also added new stereo pass-through cameras so you don’t have to constantly lift his headphones when you need to check in on the meat space.
But for me the most important upgrade of the VR-3 and XR-3 (aside from the optics) could be their new active cooling fans, which should prevent the headset from getting uncomfortably wet as many other helmets after prolonged sessions.
Meanwhile, for businesses that need headsets that can handle both VR and XR applications, the XR-3 has LiDAR sensors that can use depth information to merge the real world with 3D renderings.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I haven’t had the opportunity to experience Varjo’s new helmets in person, however, based on some of the comparison examples published by Varjo, the optics of their new helmets are quite impressive. In a screenshot from a flight simulator, the increased resolution of the VR-3 and XR-3 makes it possible to actually see the instrument panel in the aircraft cockpit, meaning that instead of fumbling around by trying to squint at various readings, a potential pilot could receive training that would be more easily conveyed to the real world. And with the Varjo’s FOV increase (which is up 40% from the company’s previous headsets), the enhanced VR or XR immersion should also get a huge boost.
Finally, while the $ 3,200 VR-3 and $ 5,500 XR-3 are still quite expensive, especially compared to your average mainstream headset (and that doesn’t include the $ 800- $ 1,500 subscription fee), Varjo’s new helmets cost about half the price of their predecessor. helmets. Regardless, if this is the kind of optics and image quality we can hope for in future mainstream headsets, I can’t wait for this technology to spread and become more affordable.