Volvo is investing in VR headset-maker Varjo after testing out its XR-1 prototypes to “test-drive virtual car designs on the road.”
The XR-1 Developer Edition is a “video-pass-through headset” promising “visual parity” between augmented and real elements presented to the eyes. The headset is supposed to ship late this year.
According to Varjo:
The XR-1 upgrades Varjo’s human-eye resolution headset (VR-1) with a front plate featuring dual 12 mpx cameras. The core technology making photorealism possible is video-pass-through. It means that the device uses cameras to digitize the world in real time, and then multiplexes it inside the GPU with the virtual content to show the combined result to the user. The Varjo VR-1 is the only device with the high resolution to make the seamless visual blending possible, and the XR-1 has the only camera technology capable of producing high resolution with unperceivable latency (< 15 ms).
Volvo released a video showing the headset and their efforts to visualize early designs with the system.
The headset promises to let wearers “switch seamlessly between mixed reality and full virtual reality modes” with depth sensors to map real-life objects. “XR-1 enables examining photorealistic mixed reality in a full field of view. With the XR-1 virtual objects appear as real as anything in the physical world and can themselves cast shadows or even illuminate reality. Black objects appear truly black, opaque objects indeed block real or virtual light, and semi-transparent objects will refract the light from the real world behind it.”
We’ve seen some demos from Varjo in the past with its VR-1 headset providing impressive resolution improvements. We’ll report back when we get to go eyes-on the XR-1 as well.