Varjo Technologies today announced its new user interface, code-named ‘Varjo Workspace’, which is designed to seamlessly let professionals use their Windows computer applications and 3D software tools with the company’s recently announced developer-focused AR/VR headset, Varjo XR-1.

The company’s software is said to let users fluidly switch between passthrough, AR, and VR modes, which aims to let developers more realistically work longer within the headset itself, and switch between modes when needed.

With access to Windows desktop, which includes multiple virtual monitors, the new software is built to leverage the company’s latest ‘human eye resolution’ headset, the new $10,000 XR-1 Developer Edition, which includes outward-facing cameras for passthrough AR. The company calls this simultaneous access to both 2D and 3D content “a critical part of Varjo’s vision of the future of computing.”

Image courtesy Varjo Technologies

Aiming to appeal to the enterprise sector, Varjo produces high-resolution headsets such as its pricey VR-2 and VR-2 Pro variant. Like the XR-1, these devices contain Varjo’s proprietary ‘bionic display’, which blends a central 1,920 x 1,080 micro-OLED ‘focus display’ with a larger ‘context’ display at 1,440 x 1,600. The idea is to give you a higher pixel per degree (PPD) where it counts the most—the center of your eye—while keeping a reasonably large field of view (FOV) with the larger, albeit lower pixel-dense context display. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our deep dive hands-on article here.

Varjo Launches $10,000 XR-1 Dev Edition, Combining VR & AR in a Single Headset

Unlike the company’s other headsets though, XR-1 instead includes two fixed-focus 12 megapixel cameras, which have a 90 Hz refresh and a 94-degree circular viewing angle—larger than the FOV of the headset’s context display—meaning you’re served up AR imagery at an FOV that dedicated AR headsets simply can’t reach.

Coming out of stealth in 2017, Varjo has partnered with a few big names in the automotive industry, including Volvo, Audi, Volkswagen, and maintains that those professionals using its new software could hypothetically modify a 3D car model using existing CAD and visualization tools like Autodesk, or game engines such as Unity or Unreal Engine, and then observe the model in either AR or VR to get a better sense of its design.

Urho Konttori, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Varjo, says that with Workspace, the company is showing how professionals will use and interact with computers in the future:

“Unlike other immersive computing UIs, Varjo Workspace is not built on ‘hand-waving’ Hollywood UIs with no practical basis in reality, but instead integrates the way we work today using professional 2D applications – all enhanced by the capabilities of Varjo’s XR-1 Developer Edition,” Konttori said. “Varjo is unique in being the only product maker capable of photorealistic visual fidelity in both VR and XR, with perfect color accuracy and control. This is a key enabler for the next computing paradigm. Today, the XR-1 and Varjo Workspace greatly expand the value of mixed reality for professionals by enabling immediate iterations and radically faster 2D/3D workflows.”

Varjo is currently shipping its Workspace software to customers and partners in tandem with its XR-1 software suite.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Xron

    Looks interesting, hope the price won’t scare off some smaller companies.

  • Ardra Diva

    I would really love to try one of the Varjo headsets. The reviews and examples look absolutely stunning – miles ahead of the crap consumers are offered right now.

    • mellott124

      I tried it at I/ITSEC. It’s quite good for particular markets. Hand tracking was really good and low latency. Display looked nice and definitely improved from earlier versions I’ve seen. This is not a consumer device in any way shape or form.

    • Immersive Computing

      Excellent concept, very interested to try working in XR using their hardware and software.

  • brandon9271

    “new $10,000 XR-1 Developer Edition….” LOLOLOLOLOLOL

    • Keng Yuan Chang

      But from what I read, it is really the only AR headset that works the way people want to believe as seen on Magic Leap CG films.

  • Mike Porter

    Friendly reminder: this headset weighs about 1 kilogram (2.3 pounds).

    • Debbra

      I am outsourcing from the solace of my home, working some basic jobs which only require from you a PC and web access and it is the best occupation I at any stage needed…. 6 months have passed since I started this and I earned in total 36,000 bucks… Basically I make close to 80 bucks each hour and work for 3-4 hours most of the days.And awesome thing about this job is that you can work when it’s convenient to you and you get paid at the end of every week >>>

  • Uncle Right

    Don’t spam VR community with this nonsense. Nobody is interested in this.

    • Immersive Computing

      As someone who has been using VR since early 1990’s, I’m very interested in their technology and their concept of professional designers working in XR (I’m an industrial designer).

      The VR community comprises of many people with different interests and requirements; for me, gaming is the least interesting aspect of VR.

      • Uncle Right

        You must be working there..

        • Immersive Computing

          What a strange comment?

      • Cy James

        I agree with Immersive Computing. What initially interested me about VR/AR was virtual work-spaces, not gaming.

    • Carl Wolsey

      Most people who aren’t interested in something simply don’t read it. Don’t speak for the community as a whole, you’re no authority.

  • Keng Yuan Chang

    I think VR AR headsets should be in a helmet form like frame, as it distributes all the weight over the entire skull.. and have all the parts spread out and counter weighing each other inside the helmet.

    Not just XR-1 but for all the current gen headsets, even for Quest. If you cannot wear it comfortably for more than an hour it’s no workspace replacement.

    • Ardra Diva

      you really think people would rather wear a helmet than a visor? The push should be to less, not more.

      • Keng Yuan Chang

        For users want to wear it for hours, to me the answer is a def yes.
        Or we can wait for the components to come down in weight…

        • dk

          the solution is easy …visor unit u can snap to any type of head interface including full helmet ….but after a while might get hot especially if it’s something active

      • Carl Wolsey

        It’s not a question of making something smaller, the fact is they can only be reduced to a certain weight right now and that weight isn’t as noticeable when distributed. Obviously long term the goal is to decrease the size – that much is obvious – what the original comment is talking about is making the best of the current weight and size constraints.

  • That’s a great concept! Varjo is really a startup that is trying to innovate in the VR field