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Simula One: the linux based VR headset for the office

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SimulaVR announces an upcoming Kickstarter campaign, launching in January 2022. The campaign aims to crowdfund its Linux-run and retro-designed Virtual Reality Computer. Targeting office-VR and technical users within enterprises.

SimulaVR targets the office with a new VR category

The startup SimulaVR, known for its VR computing platform, announces a Kickstarter campaign launching January 2022, aiming to crowdfund an office-focused VR Head mounted display called Simula One. SimulaVR likely took note of both how Oculus began on crowdfunding; the newly funded French Lynx R-1; and now the Arpara 5K VR headset exceeding its funding goal within 15-minutes.

SimulaVR, since its start, positions itself with the vision that VR is not only for gamers and media consumers. But also for the office environment. Reality devices will change how we work: believing that office-focused VR can become the norm, away from laptops and PCs. Additionally, SimulaVR aims to target the technical and developer-centric crowd with the Linux operating system and a retro design resembling early home computers such as Magnavox Odyssey, Atari 2600, and the Apple II.

vr expert - pc vr

SimulaVR headset specifications

  • Processor: Rumored to be the 12th gen Intel NUC.
  • Display: Two 2,448 x 2,448 high-fidelity panels (one for each eye) in 90Hz.
  • Optics: Custom 3-lens (non-Fresnel) design providing 36.2 PPD100 degree FoV (diagonal; monocular).
  • Tracking: 6DOF Inside-Out body and face tracking via Ultraleap.
  • Camera: Headset camera view to see your surroundings while working.
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth for keyboard & mice connection.
  • Operating System: Linux-based, SimulaOS.
  • Compatibility: Any app on Linux Desktop, such as Firefox and LibreOffice.
  • Rendering technology: Text-specialized rendering for clear text quality.
  • Adjustability: InterPupillary Distance (IPD) from 55mm to 77mm, and “eye relief” between 13mm-17mm (meant for people who wear glasses).

What office VR entails

SimulaVR’s focus is more technical as it aims at replacing Linux-run laptops (commonly used for programming) in the office with their VR offering. Interestingly, on a company blog, SimulaVR positions such a device within a new reality category they call VRC, or Virtual Reality Computer. Attempting to create a new Blue Ocean market and product strategy. This new product category is portable and productivity-focused: distancing VR from video games and entertainment towards enterprises and office tasks. As SimulaVR writes, that the Simula One “will offer a very capable computing experience coupled with a higher PPD display than any other portable headset on the market.”

However, this supposed new product category does not consider the many other reality devices on enterprise use cases: such as the Extended Reality leader, Varjo. Yes, the competition does not directly position itself as an office–productivity VR Computer, rather the value proposition is centered around design, product development/testing, and meetings in general.

The challenges of an office-worn VR Head mounted display are not simply sharp text, portability, and window management. It is also comfort and lessened eye strain, combined with seamless XR-functionalities such as transitions between the virtual and the real world. Again, Varjo is already busy with building a meeting and work environment within their ecosystem as stated by Urho Kontorri Varjo founder in his appearance on the VR Expert Podcast.

vr expert - varjo podcast

Conclusion

SimulaVR realizes its vision of office-VR and announced an upcoming Kickstarter in January 2022 for a VR headset targeted at technical developers and general office tasks. Aiming to position itself in a new product category they call Virtual Reality Computers (VRCs).

It will be interesting to see how the Kickstarter campaign turns out. And if the market responds well to VRCs.

 

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