Volvo Cars and Varjo, the Finnish producer of AR headsets, have arranged the possibility to simultaneously drive and use a mixed-reality headset at the same time, with the Varjo XR-1 headset. Providing photorealistic mixed or virtual reality at a high-definition resolution, it looks set to shake up the automotive electronics industry.

The XR-1 enables engineers and designers to evaluate environmental factors, solving issues of safety before they present themselves to customers. As an example, the XR-1’s eye-tracking technology analyses driver concentration: by measuring distraction levels, Volvo Cars can develop new features accordingly, cancelling noise or limiting excessively visual elements. Altogether, the XR-1 enables developers to refine the user experience. 

“With this mixed-reality approach, we can start evaluating designs and technologies while they are literally still on the drawing board,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars: “Instead of the usual, static way of evaluating new products and ideas, we can test concepts on the road immediately. This approach offers considerable cost savings by identifiying priorities and clearing bottlenecks much earlier in the design and development process.”

“From the very beginning, our vision has been to create a product that can seamlessly merge the real and the virtual together,” said Niko Eiden, Founder and CEO of Varjo: “The incredibly advanced ways in which Volvo Cars uses the XR-1, shows that Varjo’s technology enables things that have been previously impossible. Together with Volvo, we have started a new era in professional mixed reality.”

For more info on Volvo and Varjo’s collaboration, click here.