Earlier this month, Google virtual reality head Clay Bavor discussed the company’s efforts on a mind-boggling 20 megapixel screen that was currently under development. The screens would be a staggering 17x resolution improvement on displays in current generation VR systems like the Rift and Vive. They would also be totally unusable, because at the frame rates needed for VR, such displays would burn through 50-100 GBs of data per second.The key for working this out would be utilizing a technology called foveated rendering to track where a user’s eyes are looking and ensure that only the area at the center of their vision is being rendered at full resolution.While this will undoubtedly be a technology that enables the future of high-end VR, it’s still one that relies on expensive displays that aren’t even widely available yet.
A Finnish startup is positing that they’ve come up with a way to bring human-eye level resolution to VR headsets through a technique that will direct a pair of insanely high-resolution displays to the center of your vision. With current technology, the company claims this will enable perceived resolutions north of 70 megapixels.Varjo, which means “shadow” in Finnish, is looking to bring this technology to higher-end business customers by next year at a price of “less than $10,000” according to the company.
Why show off this tech now? Largely because the company is currently raising cash stateside and was just awarded a few patents related to these technologies last week.I had the chance to demo a prototype of the company’s technology last week using a modified Oculus Rift headset with Varjo’s display systems embedded.I suppose the best testament to the company’s technology was that I spent most of the demo questioning whether my eye sight had actually been improved. After being dropped into an apartment scene, I was almost disturbed by my ability to read the spines of books on bookshelves several feet away.