Volvo Cars has made a multi-million euro investment in Varjo Technologies Oy, whose headset with screens and cameras can be used to allow engineers to test-drive cars to dodge hazards such as virtual moose.
Varjo — founded by Nokia Oyj and Microsoft alumni — has been developing an augmented-reality headset with a significantly higher image resolution than those produced by its rivals, costing $5,995 plus camera add-ons.
Backed by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom’s Atomico and EQT Ventures, the company developed the capability to merge high-resolution video of the real world with digitally rendered objects.
“We can simulate a pedestrian or an animal walking out in front of the car, and you can use the sensors in the headset to track the eye movements of the person wearing the device,” Zaki Fasihuddin, head of Volvo Cars Tech Fund said.
“This type of technology can help us learn a lot more about how to make our products safer and more user-friendly.” Volvo has built a reputation for safety over decades, being among the first carmakers to introduce features such as three-point seat belts.