Varjo Reality Cloud Makes Virtual Teleportation Possible with XR-3 Headset & Its LiDAR Sensor

While Apple was one of the first to integrate LiDAR into mobile devices for depth sensing, headset maker Varjo has developed a truly remarkable feat with its implementation of the sensor.

On Thursday, Varjo introduced Varjo Reality Cloud, a system that uses the LiDAR sensors embedded in its XR-3 device to scan an environment and stream volumetric video of it in real-time, essentially simulating the teleportation of people and spaces.

With Varjo Reality Cloud, an XR-3 headset can scan and record an individual scanned in one location, and transmit the feed to another XR-3 user in a remote location can see that person anchored in their environment using the headset’s passthrough AR functionality. Conversely, the volumetric video feed can present people and their surroundings to remote XR-3 users, allowing them to interact with the entire scene.

Image by Varjo/Vimeo

“We believe that Varjo’s vision for the metaverse will elevate humanity during the next decade more than any other technology in the world,” said Timo Toikkanen, CEO of Varjo, in a statement. “What we’re building with our vision for the Varjo Reality Cloud will release our physical reality from the laws of physics. The programmable world that once existed only behind our screens can now merge with our surrounding reality – forever changing the choreography of everyday life.”

In addition, Varjo has acquired Dimension10, a Norwegian startup specializing in virtual meeting software, to further develop Reality Cloud.

Varjo will release an alpha version of Reality Cloud to existing customers and partners later this year.

Images by Varjo/Vimeo

Several virtual collaboration solutions have emerged in recent years alongside AR headsets like HoloLens, Magic Leap, Spatial, and Arvizio enabling virtual collaboration between remote participants in headsets and via mobile devices using virtual avatars to represent presence. In 2019, Magic Leap acquired Mimesys, a startup that uses depth sensors to transmit volumetric video of individuals for remote collaboration, but its system has only been presented as a demo so far. Additionally, Google recently unveiled Project Starline, a system combining high-resolution cameras, depth sensors, and light field displays to enable 3D video conferencing.

Varjo’s Reality Cloud could represent a leap forward in this space, enabling interaction with remote participants and environments in 3D. It’s not quite teleportation in the science fiction sense, but it may eventually move further in that direction than anyone else has accomplished to date.

Cover image via Varjo/Vimeo