Varjo Technologies has developed a new headset named XR-1 Developer Edition. Shipping XR-1 to mixed reality developers, designers and researchers is expected in the second half of 2019.

The XR-1 is capable of delivering photorealistic image quality with integrated eye tracking. It is the culmination of two and a half years of intensive R&D. The XR-1 enables the real and the virtual to achieve true visual parity – with the XR-1, the dream of ‘Hard AR’ (where you can no longer tell apart what is real and what is virtual) has at last been achieved.

The XR-1 upgrades Varjo’s human-eye resolution headset (VR-1) with a front plate featuring dual 12 mpx cameras. The core technology makes photorealism possible with video-pass-through. It means that the device uses cameras to digitize the world in real time, and then multiplexes it inside the GPU with the virtual content to show the combined result to the user.

The XR-1 enables users to examine photorealistic mixed reality in a full field of view. With the XR-1, virtual objects appear as real as anything in the physical world and can themselves cast shadows or even illuminate reality. Black objects appear truly black, opaque objects indeed block real or virtual light, and semi-transparent objects will refract the light from the real world behind it.

For the first time, users can also switch seamlessly between mixed reality and full virtual reality modes. The depth sensors in XR-1 allow mapping real-life objects and environments for building natural occlusion. Examples of industrial applications for the device include UX design, collaboration with photorealistic 3D models, training and simulation, as well as unique research and data analytics across real and virtual environments with XR-1’s 20/20 Eye Tracker.

“XR-1 brings all the convenience of seeing your body as well as the real world around you and being able to look at your colleagues while designing a virtual object or environment,” said Urho Konttori, chief product officer and co-founder of Varjo.