What Does Super Retina-Resolution VR Mean For Industry?

Stop the press! The world of VR is once again about to change, this time through the release of the sharpest VR headset in the world.

Men playing virtual reality with hololens

No, we don’t mean one with the pointiest edges. We mean the Varjo VR-1, which has been taking the VR world by storm since its release in February 2019.

The new technology embedded in this familiar-looking headset is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The headlines have been focusing on its amazing resolution capabilities, but there’s one catch. Sorry gamers, this one is for industrial use only!

But what does that mean, and how will it impact the industry as we know it?

What Is The Varjo VR-1?

Let’s start at the beginning. The Varjo VR-1 is a Virtual Reality headset, developed and owned by tech company Varjo. All very good, but so very normal up to this point. After all, there are plenty of companies out there who create VR headsets, why is this one so exciting?

Well, because this is the first VR headset ever to achieve human-eye resolution. Let that sink in for a minute. This headset can offer image resolution 20x higher than any other VR headset on the market, with a staggering 60 pixels per degree of detail.

That makes it as sharp as a human eye with 20×20 vision. Achieving ‘retinal resolution’ has been the ultimate goal for VR headsets since their inception, and now, it’s been achieved.

Of course, all of that innovation comes at a price – and that price is around $6000 (£4565), with a yearly service licence fee of £995 on top of that.

Unsurprisingly then, this isn’t a headset that’s aimed at the gaming industry (which will leave a lot of gamers very upset). Instead, the Varjo VR-1 is firmly aimed at businesses and industries.

Changing The Face Of Industry

The super-sharp, retinal-quality VR headset has been specifically designed for industrial designers, engineering and construction, training and simulation purposes. It’s a premium piece of equipment, designed to provide the high-resolution tool these industries have been craving for years.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of applications for the headset, but today we’re going to focus on three.

1. Design

Designing in a VR environment has been a dream for a long time, but the low quality of current VR headsets have kept it firmly in the world of fantasy.

To design effectively in a VR environment, you need precision, detail and clarity in even the tiniest of areas. There hasn’t been a VR headset out there with enough detail to work, and so VR environments have been left out of the workflow.

Human-eye resolution enables designers to create and interact with true-to-life VR prototypes, translating into faster turnaround times and massive savings in time, work, modelling and development costs.

It can also significantly shorten project lifecycles in areas like architecture and product design, were models and sketches can be brought to life, examined and tested without the need for expensive prototypes. In time, we will have a new generation of industrial designers and builders who have been trained in simulated environments and can use this technology to deliver better results, faster.

2. Education And Training

There are some areas in industry that require some pretty intensive and fiddly training. Things like surgical training, flight training or nurse training all need a level of high precision that requires a 100% accurate visual field. In the past, medical students learnt on cadavers and pilots on low-quality, monitor-based simulation units.

But with sharp retinal resolution and eye tracking, these exercises can be done in the virtual world with ease. Every detail can be seen from near or far in absolute accuracy to reality, allowing for a higher quality training experience in a fraction of the time. And with the worlds most advanced eye-tracker built in, the Varjo headset can deliver extreme precision in the most demanding of training scenarios.

3. Healthcare

We’ve talked before about the benefits of AR and VR technologies in healthcare, but in case you haven’t read that one, here’s a refresher.

Both VR and AR technologies (which will be coming to the headset over the next year) have been instrumental in changing and developing the healthcare industry.

With such precise and delicate tools, researchers can make discoveries, experiment with new surgical techniques, train new doctors and nurses more efficiently and even create new ways to manage pain in patients.

Varjo may be the first to achieve this milestone in VR history, but we’re willing to bet they won’t be the last. More innovations will be hot on their heels, eager to bring more change and transformation to the world of industry.

By focusing specifically on industry rather than broader uses, the Varjo VR-1 has the potential to help dozens of industries take their next leap forward, bringing us one step closer to a world where virtual reality tools are commonplace.

If you’d like to find out more about the applications of VR for your industry, get in touch with the team at Orbital Media.