A notable trend for VR and AR companies in 2019 was to commit to developing for enterprise users. While many companies may have cut their teeth on entertainment, some are finding that focusing on business use cases is the more sound strategy. Magic Leap, for example, recently announced that they will begin targeting business customers, and Microsoft’s Hololens 2 has already been adapted into many work-ready scenarios. So it should not come as a surprise that Varjo, who have been pushing for human eye-resolution VR and AR have doubled down in the business space. Today Varjo announced the development of a new 2D/3D immersive user interface and “infinite desktop” that aims to reinvent the way we work, design and interact with software.
Varjo “Workspace” is what the company is calling its new “Dimensional Interface.” This virtual environment is a space in which professionals can use Microsoft Windows applications as well as 3D software tools within an VR or AR environment. This allows users to switch between real, virtual and mixed reality modes to perform their work, but also to have an opportunity to experience that work in 3D.
Instead of taking a holographic approach like the Hololens, Varjo does “mixed” reality a bit differently. Instead of having everything slightly see-through, they’ve created modes with a “video-pass through” where a video of the room is shown through other virtual elements. This allows for situations where augmented reality and virtual reality are blended – including some stunning capabilities from a visual standpoint.
According to Varjo Chief Product officer Urho Konttori, this video-pass-through method is key to a realistic experience.
“Video pass-through is the only way to reach photorealistic mixed reality. We believe it has higher value for the customers where the quality of the virtual objects is high. This is especially so for training and simulation and design use cases. Optical see-through is great for on-the field use cases, but what you can achieve is very ghost like, and limited field of view. With video-see-through you can achieve full field of view, and objects appear and behave completely realistically.”
In a series of demonstration videos, Varjo showed off the new features – which include the ability for a virtual object to react to lighting changes and to reflect the real room in which they reside.
More straightforward, and yet still ground-breaking is the ability to access a Windows desktop at any size with incredible sharpness, readability and resolution. This is due to Varjo’s investment in their human eye-resolution technology (which we’ve previously covered on SPAR 3D). Varjo claims that because of this technology, they are the only headset that can display readable text on a virtual screen and to mix the virtual and real worlds together so seamlessly.