Q&A: How Cognitive3D and Varjo Enable Companies to Improve Immersive Training and Design

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Last week we partnered with Varjo to fully support their headsets and enable actionable insights from immersive environments.

Combined with Varjo’s human-eye resolution visual fidelity and the 20/20 Eye Tracker, the integration with Cognitive3D means that even more professionals can now benefit from accurate analytics gained from realistic training and research scenarios.

To highlight this partnership, we sat down with Tony Bevilacqua, the Founder of Cognitive3D and Jarno Pelkonen, Head of Ecosystem Development at Varjo for a quick Q&A.

The Varjo XR-1 Developer Edition, a photorealistic mixed reality headset.

Why did you see the need to create a spatial analytics platform when you started the company?

Tony: This was a simple decision for me because prior to Cognitive3D I led product at a mobile analytics company for games and entertainment.

During my time there I attended GDC (Game Developers Conference) and was exposed to early versions of the Oculus DK and DK2.

This was my first interaction with VR/XR. The experience was substantially different than anything I’d ever encountered before.

It dawned on me that there was a lot of value in understanding how people interacted with 3D space, and VR/XR was the perfect vehicle for collecting that data. This was the foundational principle for establishing Cognitive3D in 2015.

What impact is Varjo hoping to have on the XR industry in the near future?

Jarno: Our mission is to revolutionize how professionals work and collaborate in immersive environments in a way that’s never been done before. We are building the ultimate mixed reality experience, one that rivals how we interact in real life.

The only way to do that is by giving users a 20/20 view into the world. The level of detail provided by our VR/XR headsets creates a genuine feeling of presence, making the user feel like they’re actually there. The virtual can no longer can be distinguished from what’s real.

For example, when they sit in a virtual car, we want them to see the grain on the leather seats and the grooves on the steering wheel. The resolution we provide can’t be matched by any other headset on the market.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced over the past 5 years?

Tony: When I first started Cognitive3D, the devices on the market didn’t support the full depth of sensors that we were looking for. It was only recently that capabilities such as eye tracking and biometrics became available.

We also saw limited adoption of immersive tech because costs were high and the quality of optics wasn't there yet. It took some time before headsets like Varjo were developed and we were able to collect the insights we were looking for.

This is one of the reasons we’re so excited about our support for Varjo because they’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible for immersive environments.

What industry verticals do you see the biggest opportunities and use cases for XR?

Jarno: We believe the biggest opportunities for XR are in industries that require complex or demanding simulations. These verticals include aerospace, automotive, medical and energy.

The use of photorealistic VR/XR is essential for designers when creating technical prototypes.

Designing a car in VR/XR translates into faster turnarounds and massive savings in development costs. During the design process, it’s important that they’re able to see every detail as well as the big picture.

With XR for demanding training simulations, the benefits are two-fold. Firstly, the employees can be removed from the risk and still receive the same level of training. Secondly, XR training allows normal plant, hospital, facility operations running intact while training in real-to-life XR environment.

There is a high need for realistic environments in these use cases because it directly impacts how the users behave. Varjo’s human-eye resolution technology is currently the only way to match learning outcomes from XR with real world scenarios.

Without high fidelity graphics, it’s easy to overlook minute details. But it’s crucial that every factor in the simulation is considered and as realistic as possible. In training, mistakes can be fatal or costly.

Together, Varjo and Cognitive3D enable companies to maximize the benefits in immersive training and design.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities and innovations arising?

Tony: Moving operations and analytics to VR/XR can be useful for scenarios that are dangerous or difficult to repeat otherwise, both in training and research.

Additionally, training in VR/XR has proven to be much more effective than traditional methods, as people learn much better by doing.

The precise eye tracking and human-eye resolution available only in Varjo’s headsets are necessary requirements for companies to increase trainees’ immersion and capture actionable data.

Check out Varjo's human-eye resolution devices.

Read more about Varjo and Cognitive3D's partnership

Posted by Albert Liu
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