Varjo Aero aims to bring high-end VR to the masses - Varjo Aero 1

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Varjo has been promising a VR headset for all—and here it is

Quick read

➨ Varjo Aero is very much a high-end device, costing $1,990 or €1,990 and shipping by the end of 2021
➨ The company is marketing Aero as an expansion of its reach beyond its traditional enterprise customer base, to VR enthusiasts such as regular professional users, creators, even gamers
➨ The headlines are a resolution of 35px per degree (115° field of view), advanced ergonomics and significantly reduced weight, and professional-grade mini LED displays
➨ In addition, Aero comes with built-in eye tracking and foveated rendering, as well as lower PC hardware requirements compared to Varjo’s other headsets

The story

In between HTC Vive’s unexpected virtual reality (VR) glasses and the anticipated Oculus Quest 2 Pro announcement next week, Varjo has revealed its new headset, Aero. Aimed at professional users, it is also the company’s first device that is open to the consumer market.

Varjo Aero, the latest headset in the Finland-headquartered company’s portfolio after the release of VR-3 and XR-3 earlier this year, is, like its those, still very much a high-end device, costing $1,990 or €1,990 and shipping by the end of 2021.

The company is marketing Aero as an expansion of its reach beyond its traditional enterprise customer base, to VR enthusiasts such as regular professional users, creators, even gamers.

Varjo Aero aims to bring high-end VR to the masses - Varjo Aero 3
Varjo Aero

Urho Konttori, founder and chief technology officer at Varjo, says: “We’ve heard the demand from leading-edge VR users such as aviators, creators and racing simulation enthusiasts to bring our highest-fidelity devices to everyone, not just enterprises.”

 “As a result, we are proud to bring to market Varjo Aero, the best VR headset that anyone can get. This device, together with our Reality Cloud platform, continues our mission to make a true-to-life metaverse accessible for all.”

Compared to the prices of its other headsets ($3,195, VR-3, and $5,495, XR-3), Aero is a sign that Varjo is striving to make its hardware more accessible to a wider user base, a step the company also took with the release of VR-3 and XR-3.

In this spirit, there is no annual software subscription fee, although the initial outlay is for the headset only—there are no controllers or base stations (for external body tracking) included.

What Varjo has delivered is a headset that sounds highly capable and is quite possibly a challenger to other leading PC VR headsets on the market.

Varjo Aero aims to bring high-end VR to the masses - Varjo Aero v Valve Index
Varjo Aero v Valve Index
Varjo Aero aims to bring high-end VR to the masses - Varjo Aero v HP Reverb G2
Varjo Aero v HP Reverb G2

The headlines are a resolution of 35px per degree (115° field of view), advanced ergonomics and significantly reduced weight, and professional-grade mini LED displays.

In addition, Aero comes with built-in eye tracking and foveated rendering, as well as lower PC hardware requirements compared to Varjo’s other headsets, making it all the more accessible. Read the full specs for Aero below.

Full specs

Varjo Aero aims to bring high-end VR to the masses - Varjo Aero front and back
Varjo Aero front and back views

Displays

Dual Mini LED LCD; 2880 x 2720px per eye

Brightness: Calibrated to 150 NIT 

Colours: Calibrated with coverage of 99% sRGB, 95% DCI-P3

Refresh rate: 90Hz

Optics

Custom-made variable resolution aspheric lenses with 35 PPD peak fidelity

Edge-to-edge clarity; no reflections, no ghost rays

Field of view

Horizontal: 115°

Diagonal: 134° at 12mm eye relief

Interpupillary Distance

Automatic IPD adjustment with motor

Supported IPD range: 57–73mm

Audio

3.5mm audio jack

In-ear headphones with mic in-box

Weight

487 g + headband 230 g (including counterweight)

Dimensions

Width 200mm, height 170mm, length 300mm

Connectivity

Headset adapter and USB-C cable (5m) in-box

PC connections: DisplayPort and USB-A 3.0

Positional tracking

SteamVR 2.0/1.0

Eye tracking

200Hz with sub-degree accuracy; 1-dot calibration for foveated rendering

Comfort and wearability

3-point precision fit headband

Replaceable, easy-to-clean polyurethane face cushions

Active cooling

Aero will also integrate with the recently launched Varjo Reality Cloud service and fully support virtual collaboration immediately with early access to the platform’s VR teleportation software.

Additional functionality, such as content streaming from the cloud, will be supported in steps when Varjo Reality Cloud becomes generally available.

Find out more about Varjo Aero at the company’s launch event later today. Sign up for a spot here.

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Images: Varjo

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