Varjo, maker of ‘bionic eye’ headsets, is gaining increasing notoriety as the high-end option in the enterprise VR space. This week Varjo announced a partnership with Lenovo which will see the PC maker specially certifying some of its enterprise workstation computers to designate compatibility with the headset.
Similar to the ‘Oculus Ready’ program in which Oculus tests and badges gaming PCs with an ‘Oculus Ready’ sticker, Lenovo will begin designating some of its enterprise PCs as ‘Certified for Varjo’ to make it easier for businesses to identify and purchase machines that have the necessary power and ports to run Varjo’s headsets.
While HTC has a strong presence in the enterprise space, Varjo is targeting the high-end of that sector with its ~$5,000 headsets. The company’s headsets feature a novel lens and display arrangement which provide a small window of retina resolution fidelity in the center of a wider field (and lower resolution) of view. This makes the headsets uniquely useful for some enterprise use-cases, especially those which value being able to easily read realistically sized text or see textures and other details with high precision. As such, Varjo has positioned its headsets as being ideal for design, architecture, high-end training, and more.
And that’s where the Lenovo partnership (described as a “technical and business collaboration” between the companies) comes into play. Next to its consumer PC line, Lenovo also sells high-end enterprise workstations under its ThinkStation and ThinkPad product lines. These machines are often built specifically for performance, security, and reliability. However, workstations aren’t always equipped with the kind of high-end graphics power required for VR, let alone headsets like Varjo’s which need to run two displays per eye.
To make it easy for enterprise customers to identify and buy Varjo-capable machines without needing to get into the technicals weeds, Lenovo will designate some of its enterprise PCs as ‘Certified for Varjo’, though it’s unclear if this will be represented with a physical badge on the machines, as we’ve seen with similar certification and badging programs.
This is a boon for Varjo; not only is Lenovo one of the worlds largest PC manufacturers, they also have a strong reputation in the enterprise space specifically; their sales channels could bring additional business to Varjo thanks to the big business proximity.
Lenovo itself also has a growing reputation in the VR space. The company manufacturers the Oculus Rift S headset, as well as the Mirage Solo standalone headset; the Varjo partnership adds to the company’s clout as a recognized player in the VR space while also working to boost the profile of Varjo. The inroads made through this “technical and business collaboration” may ultimately go deeper than mere product certification in the future.