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HANDS ON WITH VARJO’S BIONIC DISPLAY

SYNOPSIS

I had the opportunity to visit Varjo and Jani Ylinen. I will be taking a quick look at the extremely impressive Bionic display HMD that takes the visual side of Virtual Reality to the level at which it should have been from the beginning.

BACKGROUND DATA

Virtual reality (VR) is a potent and powerful tool for teaching, learning, design and creating new worlds and experiences as well a gaming platform. However most know and see it from games even though it has been around for decades as a scientific tool. With the eruption of consumer level tech like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and Vive Pro as well as the PlayStation VR this world of computing and computer entertainment has come to our homes. However the Bionic display is not a consumer system even if they probably will sell it to a consumer customer if someone wants to buy it. This HMD is an industry system and priced at the level while outperforming everything on that level.

ON THE WRITER

If you’ve followed my blogs you know that I see augmented reality (AR) as more pertinent tool for everyday life and see VR as a precision tool, but I am somewhat skeptical towards it mostly because of the quality and the usability of the HMDs currently on the market. I for one seem to have a larger head than the Vive is designed for and I wear glasses. Thus using Vive is anywhere from extremely uncomfortable to not being able to see anything for me. If VR is to really become an everyday technology it has to have the same possibilities and abilities as the current AR devices, namely mobile handsets. This means they have to work whether the user has a big head, glasses or is normal.

USABILITY

Bionic display (Bd) is comfortable even with glasses. It is the first headset I have tested that actually takes people’s eyes, eyewear and so on into account. The prototype I tested did not yet have the automatic Interpupillary distance (IDP) measuring and adjusting functionality integrated so it was hand-adjustable. The finished product will also include eye-tracking and focusing, which according to Mr. Ylinen, will work even with glasses.

The viewport in the HMD is interesting as you have a sort of a Heads-UP Display (HUD) in the middle where your vision will be at the sharpest. It took me a couple of minutes to get a handle on it and after that I no longer noticed it and the experience became a natural one. In my mind I believe that a VR experience that can be described as natural is the highest praise I can give for usability and immersion and the Bd deserves it.

TECH-SPECS

At the moment Varjo seems to project that their HMD, which uses Full HD and adjusts for the wearer’s vision, to be about 20% heavier for the computer running it than the normal Vive. I frankly was amazed because of this. The quality of picture and the over-all performance made me expect a Quadro and Xeon combination, however the testbed used was your basic high-end gaming PC with quad core at 4GHz, GeForce 1080TI and 64GB of RAM. This means that you can run the HMD on a laptop.

Currently Varjo uses Steam tracking for the headset and HTC Vive’s Lighthouses. Similarly the development is on both Unity and Unreal engines for the foreseeable future. While this gear is basic, the HMD is not yet Vive compatible and does not support gaming. This is a serious piece of industry tech for simulations, design and so forth. Perhaps in the future we might see gaming compatibility, but it is not important.

OPINION

I am not easily impressed with VR-hardware because of my standards. I believe that VR has to be easily accessed by everyone and currently it is not. Bd is not wireless (I understood Varjo is looking into this, but wireless technology is always problematic), but as it stands out it is far the best VR HMD and system I have ever used. My first contact with VR was in a Trocadero arcade in London in the late 1980s and to me they have seemed to have been stuck in in time ever since. I believe that the Bd is the first true leap forwards in decades because of the quality of picture, performance and comfort. Perhaps we will at some point also get some sort of cooling inside the eyepiece.

On Friday I found the future of VR, which Versoteq will support. All our VR software can easily be updated to support this HMD. While most of our customers will be quite alright using Vive or Oculus, certain types of software and projects are better handled with this level of technology.

Jaani's picture
05/22/2018 - 14:46
Jaani

Versoteq will be present at OT World in the next month. Meet us there to discuss the possibilities of 3D health and medical technology. We're helping companies to dive into the world of additive manufacturing or 3D printing (which is maybe more common term in the media). Our board member Ph.D. Jari Pallari will be giving a speech on Wednesday 16th of May at 15:00 at Hall 1 on Digital Manufacture, be sure to check that out.

We see a lot of potential in bespoke biometric medical devices. The challenge is for companies to manufacture them cost effectively and with a standard quality. We aim to solve those issues with our 3D automation solutions. At OT World we will publish our online platform and start adding first customers to the service. Talk to us at Leipzig 15.5-18.5.2018 or contact us directly!

Rauno's picture
04/26/2018 - 09:23
Rauno

Mass Customization is a buzzed topic and for a good reason. Why should one choose a Mass Produced option product, when a product can be tailored for the individuals needs? There are multiple ways of achieving mass customization, but in this blog post we'll take a look at mass customization solutions within healthcare.

Mass customization of physical products can be achieved in numerous ways and most often mass customization refers to modularized manufacturing, meaning to create a product offering by allowing a customer to build up a suitable solution by choosing various modules. This is not rocket science, really and a typical example of this is a modular sofa or a customized bicycle.

This kind of mass customization suits well for satisfying certain individual needs, but healthcare solutions are highly individual and therefore a modular approach is less relevant.

Is there an alternative approach? Yes, there certainly is and 3D-printing or additive manufacturing offers a new kind of opportunity.

One great example is e-Nabtle. e-Nable is a open source community formed by a group of individuals using 3D printers for for the creation 3D-printed hands, arms and upper limb assistive devices. The community is made of engineers, hobbyist, students, teachers scientists, coders and coders who put their effort to help disabled individuals.

The assistive devices are created by talented group effort, but this example is not mass customization. Mass Customization with additive manufacturing requires the use of automated 3D customization solutions that enables the design of a healthcare product with the customers unique dimensions. Conventional customization requires the attention of a CAD-engineer manipulates the 3D-data into a 3D-model of a product with the customer dimensions. The conventional customization takes a lot time and effort and therefore the price of these solutions are rather high.

We at Versoteq have had the opportunity to partner with Peacocks Medical Group that is one of the largest medical equipment manufacturers in the United Kingdom. Peacocks innovated a 3D-printed foot orthoses solution Podfo that is better and more affordable than most other options in the market. We at Versoteq have created the 3D customization solution for Peacocks that allows the orthoses to be mass customized.

Our 3D-customization solution creates the production model that will be 3D-printed. The process starts with the clinician who performs a simple 3D-scan of the customers feet. The 3d model of the patients feet are then transferred to the Versoteq software, that automatically creates a 3D-model of the orthoses that is then 3D-printed. This decreases dramatically the time of the customization and the resources that were previously used for customization can now be allocated for more important tasks.

This is just one case of mass customization with the assistance of automated customization and many other solutions can be found. Multiple companies use similar solutions for prosthetics, implants, custom equipment. New 3D printing innovations and research within healthcare emerges daily and this is only the beginning. It is great to be a part of a the innovators that create meaningful solutions for healthcare.

Join us in our adventures in 3D printing world and subscribe our blog to learn more!

By Max Hurmerinta

Jaani's picture
04/19/2018 - 18:16
Jaani

We celebrate the International Women's Day by giving a tech blog post since there should be more women involved in technology. We'd actually thrilled to see more women in our company doing 3D software, so if you're looking for a position contact us!

The picture above is from an augmented reality (AR) demo of a collaboration software where one can teach the insights of a hearth. As you can see there's a business card underneath the hearth working as a target image. This has now become ancient history. Apple brought ARKit to iOs and Google followed fast with ARCore for android. Both of these enable mobile devices to show AR content on any flat surface. We're glad to see that companies like us get benefits from this competition, since now Google has published ARCore 1.0 which enables positioning content on walls and even on more complex forms. This will let us place the heart to your chest for instance or create curtains to your window frame with ease and it will work on millions of "normal" mobile devices. Apple will most lightly follow up soon and maybe provide us with even better tools to create stunning experiences but also value adding software solutions which will make a difference. We understand the technology, but the real revelations come from our customers once they know the possibilities, which we among others are trying to educate. So spread the word (especially to women): Possibilities for great value adding solutions for AR are growing!

Facebook is also doing development on this front by allowing people to publish 3D models online, so I'm going to share our 3D scanning reference piece when I'll share this post to Facebook. Be sure to check it out! Facebook is also developing on the 3D front with AR studio which is also a promising platform. It has very good facial recognition features which have produces many cool marketing campaigns from Game of Thrones to Star wars to Supercell. Even though many women watch and play these brands I get the feeling they aren't the optimal audience. More women in the tech scene would definitely help to create content which is aimed for all!

Rauno's picture
03/07/2018 - 15:58
Rauno

3D-Printing, what is it?

3D-printing is a form of additive manufacturing where a layer upon layer of some sort of media is constructed on itself. Think of it like an inkjet printer but instead of rows on a paper it prints layers of ink to form an object.

Healthcare aids

There are numerous different aids people use to care for their health from toothbrushes to shoehorns to walkers and wheelchairs and specialist chairs, for example. While easy to produce things like toothbrushes are cheap the more tasking ones like a scoliosis braces are not as they are fully bespoke for the user.

Currently our most important customer is Peacocks (https://www.peacocks.net) from UK and we’ve created a system to automatically create bespoke insoles for them. Naturally similar things can be done for other things too, like braces and durable casts.

Benefits

The benefit of 3D-printing is that the tools and aids are created faster than handcrafted ones and since the original model in a file it can be recreated at any time. The product can also be easily modified later on or even printed in a different media. Naturally the 3D-scanning equipment is something that usually is used to create perfect models, especially when healthcare aids are concerned. This is where Versoteq can be of especially great service as we offer products that help your company with automatic 3D design and customization of products. This enables you to have near push-button 3D-scanning and printing, among other things.

Braces

There are a few different types of braces, but let’s cover orthodontic ones first. There are quite a few ways to do these and some enterprising people have made these themselves, however this is dangerous and thus I won’t show it here. Now for the braces. The newest seems to be the prototype at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology where 3D-printed braces have been mated with near infrared therapy device. The creation of such things is still very involved, however it is easier to mass customize other braces.

Scoliosis braces

Scoliosis, the bending of the spine, is a difficult thing to live with. It will eventually, if not tended to, destroy the spine and while developing it is painful and will make moving and even sitting or lying down uncomfortable if not even painful. The company called UNYQ has 3D printed scoliosis braces that seem to both work and as importantly are comfortable and do not restrict movement.

Other braces or guards

Naturally other types can be made too, from knee braces to arm braces or neck, etc. However, you have to always think of the possible costs labor and thus a short-term brace might not be the financially wise, even if the bespoke versions were far more comfortable. As a personal note, I adore Jake Evill’s 3D-printed cast concept. I have had to wear casts on multiple occasions and some have been worn for over six weeks. This has led to infections and frankly extremely miserable time. I for one am an advocate for patient comfort and safety, thus the Cortex cast is a huge leap forwards in healthcare aids. https://www.dezeen.com/2013/06/28/cortex-3d-printed-cast-for-bone-fractu...

Interestingly the concept of a cast or brace can be modified slightly and made into a sports equipment. Again, this would allow for lighter guards as well as more movement in the limbs. Depending on the printing compounds the guards, pads, etc. would be as durable and safe as standard ones if not even better.

Mobility

While mobility aids are usually considered their own category, I do consider them a direct healthcare aid. They allow us who are mobility impaired ability to get about, exercise, move, practice sports and so on. Thus, they directly impact our physical and mental health.

https://www.dezeen.com/2016/05/18/benjamin-hubert-layer-3d-printed-wheel...

Benjamin Hubert’s 3D printed wheelchair is an interesting and promising curiosity and I wish it well. While it does not suit my own needs, the chair itself is a clear indication of what can be done. It is also in production right now.

Conclusions

3D-printing and scanning offers new ways to create and design healthcare and mobility aids and more importantly it is an affordable way to even create one-off aids. However right now it is not cheap but it is still cost effective and allows near unlimited customization of designs and adaptability to any and all users. This adaptability is where Versoteq excels at, our greatest strength is our competence in mass customization and automating tedious and costly and laborious tasks.

For us who have to use aids 3D-printed ones are the future as they can be made specifically to each one of us.

Jaani's picture
02/24/2018 - 15:49
Jaani