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Varjo reveals latest headset for advanced training at I/ITSEC 2022

28th November 2022 - 23:00 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in Orlando

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The XR-3 Focal Edition is in use with the US Marine Corps' H-1 helicopter mission rehearsal trainer. (Photo: Varjo)

The new Varjo XR-3 Focal Edition provides improved image clarity and can be integrated in multiple training systems, including JTAC and helicopter mission rehearsal simulators.

On 28 November at I/ITSEC 2022, Varjo displayed the latest version of its XR-3 head-mounted display (HMD), the XR-3 Focal Edition.

The latest HMD provides improved visual quality for mixed reality (MR) applications where real-world objects are incorporated, including cockpits. The company said it is best used when visualising small text and illustrations on physical instruments in MR is mission critical.

The Focal Edition can be integrated with real instruments such as gauges, panels and meters in an MR scenario where the trainee is fully immersed in a virtual environment but needs to retain the ability to interact with the physical world.

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The headset provides dual high-resolution, 12-megapixel cameras that are calibrated for image clarity at a range of 30-80cm from the headset in comparison to a standard XR-3.

The optimised components in the camera system change the distance of the focus so the lens brings a sharper depth of field, closer to the user.

Varjo CCO Sepp Aaltonen told Shephard at the show that the upgraded XR-3 can be used for JTAC (joint terminal attack controller) training, where it can replace expensive dome displays.

Companies like SimCentric have been using Varjo’s XR-3 HMD since last December for its MR SAF-TAC JTAC training range. 

The Focal Edition is already in use with the US Marine Corps' H-1 helicopter Mission Rehearsal Trainer (MRT), where Veraxx integrated the XR-3 into a cockpit simulator. Veraxx can incorporate the headset into a basic seat trainer or a comprehensive FMS-like device.

Aaltonen said the XR-3 Focal Edition is fully Trade Agreements Act/Buy America Act (TAA/BAA) compliant, meaning that at least 50% of its overall manufacturing cost originates from the US or designated countries and that the product has undergone substantial transformation in the US or designated countries.

‘The use of XR-based devices across the training and simulation segment has grown exponentially over the past year, and we’re pleased to be working with the world’s leading simulation and training companies across both civilian and defence sectors,' Aaltonen said.

‘We heard from our customers the need for more precise visuals at a closer distance, specifically when looking at dashboards, cockpits and cell phones and we responded with the XR-3 Focal Edition to address the need,’ he added.

Varjo said the Focal Edition can support the most demanding security requirements of the US DoD as it is sold with a perpetual, offline licence that enables operations in non-internet-connected environments that do not require users to create accounts.

The Focal Edition can also be delivered with radio frequency capability removed for use in some classified environments.

Aaltonen said the company realises where the future of military training requirements lies. Although the Finnish start-up only launched its first product in 2019, it will soon be able to provide connected training capabilities that can support multi-domain training operations, he said.

Shephard's I/ITSEC 2022 coverage is sponsored by:

Norbert Neumann

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert is the Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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