Microsoft has announced the launch of the next-generation Samsung HMD Odyssey Mixed Reality headset at San Francisco. Integrated with AKG headphones, the Samsung HMD Odyssey includes array microphone for voice commands including dual motion controllers. The headset will be available in the Korea, Brazil, China, US and Hong Kong by the end of 2017. However, the pre-orders will start in the US from October 3.
Previously, several manufacturers had released MR-enabled headsets in partnership with Microsoft. Some of them are Lenovo Explorer, Acer MT headset, HP Windows MR headset and Dell Visor. You can also pre-order the headsets now but they won’t be available until October 17.
Commenting on the development, YG Choi, Senior Vice President of PC Business Team, Samsung disclosed that the newly launched Samsung HMD Odyssey is a premium headset exclusively designed to provide the real Mixed Reality experience. The headset offers the widest field of view with integrated spatial sound technology.
Samsung HMD Odyssey Mixed Reality Headset features dual OLED displays with a massive resolution of 2880×1770 pixels when compared to standard displays. Moreover, the headset is equipped with a 110-degree FOV, which is also higher than the standard 105-degree FOV in competing headsets.
Samsung has integrated AKG headphones with support for the spatial audio technology. It also ships with a dual microphone array. The main reason for the sharp increase in the price is due to the addition of several features. If you compare other competing headsets, you will be able to buy Dell and HR headsets for $449. However, you can buy Acer and Lenovo Explorer at only $399.
Responding to media, Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow at Microsoft revealed that they are excited to welcome the Samsung HMD Odyssey to the Windows Mixed Reality family of devices. Kipman said that the launch is an important milestone in the quest to experience a premium Mixed Reality experience.
The interesting point to note is that all the Mixed Reality headsets ships with motion controllers. Even though the company has started the pre-order of Samsung HMD Odyssey Mixed Reality Headset, the product will not be available until November 6. This means the item will ship after November 6 to enable you to enjoy holidays with the headset.
On the specifications front, the Samsung HMD Odyssey Mixed Reality headset features a dual 3.5-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1600×1440 pixels. The headset accomodates HDME 2.0 and USB 3 connectivity coupled with single fresnel lens. With 110-degree FOV, the headset is integrated with dual 6 DOF camera.
In addition to Accelerometer, Samsung HMD Odyssey Mixed Reality headset provides support for gyrometer, compass, proximity sensor and IPD sensor. The headset measures 645 grams in weight with integrated AKG stereo headphone.
In a significant development, the Redmond-based software giant disclosed that they have acquired AltspaceVR, which is well-known for conducting social VR events such as meetups, comedy shows, and other concerts. They are known for their capability to conduct immersive communication events.
The Windows-company also revealed that they are working with Valve to port their exclusive SteamVR content to its MR headsets. If you are a developer, you will have exclusive access to the Windows MR SteamVR preview. However, the general public will have to wait a bit longer until Black Friday to experience the preview bits.