“Everyone at Varjo seems to be comfortable with the uncertainty.”
Lead Service Designer – Joined Varjo in February 2022
“I love exploring different forms and all sorts of textures. At university, I was interested in designing physical products manually with my hands, for example, sculpting with clay.
My family from my mother’s side has a rare genetic bone disease that can make one dependent on different kinds of assistive devices and using a wheelchair. That drew me into designing assistive devices at the beginning of my career. Many of the devices were pretty ugly and poorly designed. I wanted to make them look and feel good so the users could feel proud about using them.
The market for assistive devices in Finland is not huge, so I shifted gears and started to work with digital design, usability, UI, UX, and design research in smaller startups. Afterward, I transitioned to work in the biggest Finnish companies in the teleoperator and finance industry.
Working in a bigger company as a team leader took me away from the actual design work that I love. Thankfully, here at Varjo, I have plumbed back to doing the real design work. I am a lead service designer in the design team and I’m happy to be working in a company that combines both hardware and software services. We work together to make it seamless for the customers.
The number of professionals at Varjo for converging all the digital and physical solutions is huge. Some specialists I didn’t even know exist – like experts in optics and color-coding.
“I believe VR/XR is the next big thing now that I've seen the visual fidelity devices can achieve.”
One of my first Varjo demos was a video of a digitized real-life room with Urho Konttori, our founder, flipping through LP vinyls. Until that point, I’d only experienced VR as a space with digital avatars, but being there, in the digital twin of a real-world space, with another person was a “far-out” experience. It made me have endless runs in my head of all possible scenarios of how we can use this technology.
Bringing people digitally together from different parts of the world for collaboration with the feeling of the presence of others is a winning combination. For example, before virtual reality and mixed reality, the latest technological leap speeding up the development for design professionals was 3D printing, but it’s still slow and expensive in many cases. A seamless combination of hardware and software can save time, money, and resources.
“At Varjo, everyone seems to appreciate and look up to the company they're working in.”
There are a lot of unknowns in the VR/XR space from the human behavior point of view. We have a technology that enables this leap forward and it’s experienced and interpreted quite differently by each user, team, company, and service provider. Many levels need to be taken into account, but that’s what makes it so interesting.
Everyone at Varjo seems to be comfortable with the uncertainty. There are many unknowns, yet the common theme remains “yeah, we don’t know, but we have to figure it out”. I think that is the coolest thing here.
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