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VR At Human Eye Resolution Could Be On Its Way

A company founded by ex Microsoft and Nokia employees is working on high-density VR displays.

The field of virtual reality (VR) is still in its infancy in many ways. The technology has many directions it could head in to change and develop, but many experts and analysts agree that the view needs to be better through VR headsets before it gains wide-spread acceptance. A company comprised of former Nokia employees is trying to solve that problem.

Many currently existing and upcoming head-mounted displays (HMDs) offer HD and 4K displays, with some aiming for even higher resolution, but so far, no display has reached what is dubbed ‘human eye resolution’ – something which approaches 70 times what is currently available with most commercial VR headsets.

Most companies are tied to current display technology and need to wait for that technology to advance before any discernible improvements can be seen. A new company that has been set up by former managers at Nokia and Microsoft named Varjo is aiming to circumvent current limitations by using current technology and software in innovative ways. The CEO of Varjo, Urho Konttori previously worked on products such as Microsoft’s Lumia phones, developing the imaging technology used in the smartphone’s cameras, as such, the first goal for the company is to produce a physical product.

Comparison of details of the 3d model used in a Varjo example VR scene.

The design for Varjo’s headset involves small, extremely high-density displays in the centre, with lower solution displays on the outside left and right edges, mimicking the way the human eye and peripheral vision. The product will also make sure of Foveated Rendering technology, as used in other VR headsets, which uses eye-tracking to allow only what is currently in the user’s field of view to be fully rendered, saving on processing power.

The prototype is still in development, but a reporter at The Verge experienced a version of the technology using a retro-fitted Oculus Rift, which placed two of the small ultra-high density displays into the headset. The results allowed for a much clearer, sharper image than is usually possible with a typical VR display.

The developers at Varjo are hoping to create a version of the headset, compatible with Steam VR for release to selected industry partners later in the year, with a full consumer launch planned for some time in 2018.

VRFocus will bring you further information on the Varjo headset as it becomes available.

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