February 19, 2019 / 2:24 PM / 4 months ago

Finnish startup Varjo rolls out $5,995 VR headset

HELSINKI/LONDON (Reuters) - Atomico-backed Finnish startup Varjo on Tuesday launched its top-of-the-range virtual reality headset, aiming to take VR technology to the aerospace and automotive sectors.

The most widely known VR headsets such as HTC Vive or Facebook’s Oculus have so far mostly made headlines with consumer applications, but with a $5,995 price tag Varjo is betting on industrial uses in architecture, engineering and construction.

“There are millions of architects or engineers working on architectural projects ... once they start to use VR on a daily basis, that’s when we start to see the volumes,” Niko Eiden, founder and CEO of Varjo, told Reuters.

“That’s when we start to see the cost go down.”

Varjo has collaborated with partners including Airbus, Audi, Saab, Volkswagen and Volvo in development of the VR-1, which was launched in 34 countries on Tuesday.

Varjo - which has raised around $45 million from investors such as Atomico and EQT Ventures - said its new headset has a resolution of more than 60 pixels per degree, more than 20 times higher than any other VR headset on the market.

“The Varjo headset is an important milestone for the VR industry because of the incredibly high resolution that it offers. This has the potential to offer the most realistic virtual reality to date,” said Ben Wood, head of research at UK-based tech consultancy CCS Insight.

Reporting by Tarmo Virki in Helsinki and George Sargent in London; editing by David Evans

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