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.

Varjo Launches VR-2 Headset with SteamVR Support, Improved 'Bionic Display', and Hand-tracking Option

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.

Image courtesy Varjo

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.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Immersive Computing

    Buying IBMs old PC business was smart move, Lenovo moving onwards and upwards.

    Consumer side wasn’t impressed to receive a faulty Lenovo WMR from them directly, return it and then spend 5 weeks chasing a refund.

  • Rogue Transfer

    Not just ‘manufactures’ Rift S, according to Facebook’s Jason Rubin, Lenovo co-designed it too(hence the Lenovo name on the device and obvious differences from Quest & Rift CV1).

    With the release of Oculus Link; hand-tracking for Quest; and no new announcements for the future of Rift S at OC6, is this Lenovo seeking another avenue to stay relevant in VR?

    With the standalone focus of Facebook’s Michael Abrash’s future talk summing up that: “This is the Quest generation” and nothing about Rift S, how long will the Facebook deal with Lenovo last?

    Their previous headset, the Lenovo Explorer only got supported for 2 years before being discontinued. It’s looking like the Rift S will quickly fade in Quest’s greater features-to-price ratio.

    How long will Facebook support the Rift S – when Lenovo is getting a major cut out of every sale of it? Esp. when Facebook can reduce costs and focus on a single device(Quest for standalone & PC) going forward now. (Facebook cut the Rift CV1 off quick, esp. with no cable replacements sold.)

    I expected Lenovo to be scrambling, it looks like they’re making more deals to mitigate their likely future cutting out of mainstream VR.

    • Mike Porter

      I kind of agree, Lenovo is struggling to stay relevant and was never a relevant company for VR.

      That said, discontinuing Rift S in the future will only make sense if Quest 2 finally will have a wired PC tethered mode as Quest 1 should have had from the beginning as many of us hoped and as the video-over-USB fails to perfectly replicate.

  • Ardra Diva

    Varjo dares to be great. I hope their tech makes it to a consumer version. I’m sick of these tiny incremental upgrades from Oculus and the rest.

  • Leo Richard Comerford

    ‘Notoriety’ is the wrong word, as it specifically means a bad reputation.

  • It’s a good deal for Varjo, especially for its reputation. Everyone I talked with told that Varjo is very cool. For Lenovo is a bit strange IMHO, considering that Varjo is a very small niche in the market

  • Mike Porter

    It baffles me how Varjo is still selling headsets when it infringes both on a Google as well as a Facebook patent.