Helsinki-based Varjo, the leader in industrial-grade VR/XR solutions for multiple design and engineering industries, has this week announced its new Varjo Reality Cloud platform.
This ground-breaking technology was previewed and written about on Architosh back in June of last year. (see: Architosh, “Varjo Unveils Reality Cloud—Groundbreaking Virtual Teleportation,” 24 June 2021). Today it is available and allows users to do complex, multi-party, remote session collaborative design and engineering from anywhere in the world. Varjo Reality Cloud allows even the most complex metaverse stream to happen in real-time to supported devices to professionals (but also prosumers!).
Varjo Reality Cloud
The Varjo Reality Cloud is a significant milestone for the Scandinavian company, comparable to the introduction of its first VR-1 headset with human-eye resolution technology. Last summer, its CEO, Timo Toikkanen stated, “we believe that Varjo’s vision for the metaverse will elevate humanity during the next decade more than any other technology in the world.” At its introduction last summer, the technology looked stunning.
The VR/XR company states that its long-term plan is to build the ultimate hardware and software stack for scalable high-performance immersive computing across all headsets, regardless of manufacturer.
There are several things to point out about the Reality Cloud:
- It is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- NVIDIA GPUs in the data center are state of the art and future-proofed for running graphically-intensive virtual and mixed-reality immersive content
- Loss-less Fidelity — proprietary foveated transport algorithm delivers a stream of immersive content with lossless visual fidelity. A compression rate of 1000:1 and a bandwidth of 35 megabits per second via highly secure, enterprise-grade data encryption.
- Human-eye resolution VR/XR content is streamed from the cloud to Varjo headsets
As noted above, the future holds the promise of support for non-Varjo headsets.
During the global pandemic the automotive design industry, which is globally dispersed, turned to virtual reality solutions to combat the inability to fly during the lockdowns and travel bans. Already a leader working with nearly every single automotive company in the world, Varjo’s technology and its new Reality Cloud solved critical collaborative design issues.
By streaming highly secure streams of immersive VR/XR content and applications to remote workforces, designers, engineers, and management in the auto industry were able to regularly review, discuss, and showcase new auto designs from anywhere in the world. A specific use case has been built around Autodesk VRED, the most in-demand and utilized rendering visualization solution in the automobile industry.
Urho Konttori, co-founder and CTO of Varjo stated:
We’re excited to step beyond delivering the world’s highest quality VR/XR hardware to offer a pioneering software service that makes human eye-resolution metaverse (as well as virtual and mixed reality workflows) possible to experience in nearly real-time. This can be on practically any device, platform, or headset with the necessary resolution, not just our own.
While Autodesk VRED is the lead integrated and supported application with Reality Cloud, later in the year other applications will also be supported, including leading 3D engines like Unity and Unreal Engine.
To make this an industry standard, Varjo intends to expand device support beyond its own portfolio of headsets to enable any user to join collaborative immersive sessions from a variety of iOS and Windows devices including phones, tablets, and PCs in the second half of this year.
Varjo’s technology has garnered some of the highest praise from industry leaders across aerospace, automotive, architecture, and other design and engineering industries. Here is what some of the industry is saying positive about Varjo Reality Cloud.
“Varjo Reality Cloud enables us to work together seamlessly through both virtual and mixed reality. This virtual space allows us to review design models together as if we are standing there physically together in the same space,” said T. Jon Mayer, Head of Exterior Design at Volvo Cars. “The technology is a significant step towards democratizing the use of VR and XR for collaboration through ease of use and lower PC hardware requirements.”
“Varjo Reality Cloud opens the access to immersive design collaborations for everyone, everywhere at KIA. Reducing the complexity and technical requirements is key for the success of immersive technology in the future,” said Thomas Unterluggauer, Visualization Manager, KIA.
“Varjo Reality Cloud enables professional users to easily access and benefit from the highly scalable NVIDIA A10G Tensor Core GPUs to power the photorealistic and collaborative visualization service,” said Lisa Bell-Cabrera, Director of Business Development XR at NVIDIA. “This is the first time Varjo software runs in the cloud on an NVIDIA GPU, and it’s a great step forward in bringing scalable, true-to-life virtual reality experiences to professionals across industries.”
“Automotive manufacturers are often amongst the first to adopt cutting-edge technologies and many are turning to virtual and mixed reality to ease the many business challenges they face today,” said Lukas Fäth, Senior Product Manager at Autodesk. “With Varjo Reality Cloud, users can create collaborative Autodesk VRED sessions on-demand and easily invite key decision-makers to join. Combined with the human-eye resolution built into Varjo’s headsets, users can collaborate around realistic, real-scale virtual models in real-time, making immersive workflows more efficient than ever before.”
Reality Cloud is available today with cloud streaming support for Autodesk VRED and is available for up to five concurrent users per company at USD 1,495 per month.
For professionals interested in using Varjo Reality Cloud, please visit www.Varjo.com/realitycloud.
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
Architosh will be providing more in-depth information from our pre-launch web call with Varjo. One thing of significance to note is that when support immerges for game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine the applications that are built around those engines should also be supported. The company also did mention that the AEC market is still very important to Varjo. The company’s industry-grade VR/XR headsets have proven instrumental and groundbreaking in aerospace and automotive industries, in addition to medicine, science, and engineering.
I asked about Volvo and Urho Konttori, co-founder and CTO, reiterated that Volvo was an investment partner in Varjo, and they, along with just about every other automobile company in the world are active customers helping them advance the technology. As you can hear directly from them in the quote above, Varjo’s Reality Cloud technology is aiming to democratize high-end virtual and mixed reality by lowering hardware requirements.
The benefit of this democratized approach means that executives and managers who do not know how to run design software like Autodesk VRED can experience it via the Reality Cloud. Customers like Rivian, Volvo, Kia, and others will be the first companies to deploy and scale immersive workflows and collaborate across continents in multi-user environments.