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Human Eye Resolution VR is a treat if you know where to look

Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

VR is still in its infancy. It's on stage in front of color TVs or computers before they become personal. It is easy to forget that there are so many headsets (and cardboard boxes). Varjos VR-1, a smart-looking headset designed for professionals who use content one day, reminds us that we're still in the early days of this technology. This is one of the first VR headsets to offer an extremely high pixel-per-inch result that your eye can enjoy.

Varjo is a Finnish startup that wants to bring the best VR headsets to market. Originally a VR headset should be created with a camera so that it can also function as an AR headset. Varjo plans to release a module for the VR-1, which will do so this year. However, when Varjo began to introduce its technology to potential corporate customers, he said that these customers wanted a higher resolution than AR at that time. Varjo has doubled in the development of a VR headset with "human eye resolution", which can be imaginatively said that the pixels in the display are so small and dense that they are invisible to the human eye.

VR headsets are just a display with loupes above. A headset that focuses on your head and focuses properly conveys the perception of 3D space. However, the magnifying element also highlights all the individual pixels in the display, as if you were standing with your TV from nose to nose. Varjo reduces the effect by using a hybrid "bionic" display. The external display is the same as the HTC Vive Pro – an AMOLED with a resolution of 1,440 x 1,600 per eye.

The headset and its box. The cables are plugged into the box, which is plugged into the computer via two USB-C cables.

The other end of the box. It is powered by two USB-C cables.


This is extremely high, but nothing compared to the MicroLED center display with 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and a claimed 3,000 pixels per inch (the same display) found in the viewfinder for high-quality broadcast Cameras from companies like Sony. While the individual pixels do not completely disappear, they are smaller than any previously used headset, and the result is an impressive window into the future of the VR. The distraction of the huge pixels makes the VR content more realistic. There are no jagged edges or blurry text. Everything is sharp and clear, like a video game played on a high quality 4K TV.

In addition to a very high number of pixels per inch, the Bionic display in the Varjo VR-1 has a pixel of . Per 60 degrees, the claim to "human eye resolution" is raised. The PPD of a display is a number that should take into account the viewing distance when discussing the pixel density of a display. It is calculated using the following formula: 2dr tan (0.5 °) . d is the viewing distance, and r is the resolution of the display (there are calculators available if you want to skip computing). An iPhone XS has a PPD of 82.6 from a distance of 10 inches, while a 4K TV with four feet has a PPD of 55.7 and a PPD of 67.5 if it is five Foot distance is considered.

Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

A human eye with 20/20 eyesight should not be able to detect pixels with a PPD of 60 or higher. The PPD of the VR-1 of 60 should mean virtually invisible pixels – which means no ugly memory that you wear displays that are attached a few inches from your eyeballs.

In practice, I did not find the VR-1 so magical that the lower PPI distracted the outer display, and on more than one demo there was a clear difference in handling the two displays. A representative from Varjo told me that this was due to the lower resolution source material intended for the HTC Vive Pro or a lower resolution display. Consequently, the chic center display with its high PPI revealed programming errors. In a car demo, the reflections on the two displays looked fundamentally different, while in a flight simulator the stars in the outer display looked normal, but disappeared in the center display with higher resolution.

Only in a Unity demo were things the case appeared flawless. Unity supports higher resolutions so that the stars and reflections appear the same on both displays.

Below, Varjo displays screenshots of the same content on the Varjo VR-1 headset and a Vive Pro. This is a good example The discrepancy in the two displays was also found in the VR-1.

Yes, the difference is really strong sometimes.

But I did not care about the difference, and it makes perfect sense when you're considering Varjo's intended customers: designers, engineers, and producers of VR content. This is a reference display that provides the best possible picture right now. Therefore, content does not have to be manually reconfigured to achieve higher resolution. Getting the most out of what's currently popular in a consumer headset (the HTC Vive Pro), along with the best that's professionally possible, means that a content producer just has to take a look at the site to see what the audience will see, and then look straight ahead and shape the design of what they want to see their audience someday.

Similar to how video editors hang a large 4K TV on the wall to see what the content will look like for the rest of us, but have $ 30,000 reference in front of them to view the content to see how he wants to be .

And considering that, the price of the Varjo VR-1 feels a little less astronomical. According to Varjo, the VR-1 will be available for $ 5,995 – nearly $ 6,000, with an additional $ 995 annual license. One company employee emphasized, as my eyes jumped out of my head, that the VR-1 is not for you or me. It's designed for professionals who design all that you and I use. It's the reference monitor, not the 4K TV.

But it's still exciting, because it means the technology can really improve. One day, when prices dropped, we may have shown ourselves great in the headsets the rest of us can afford, and after an hour on the Varjo VR-1, I can safely say I'm from the view am amazed. A good display makes the difference in virtual reality.

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