At a press conference at IFA in Cologne, Germany, Acer revealed its second Windows Mixed Reality headset, the Acer OJO 500. It will start at $399 and should be available in November.
The headset is designed to be easy to clean thanks to a new detachable design. The lens casing and the strap can be removed from the rest of the headset for a quick and easy wipe down. The OJO 500 will come with either a soft or a hard head strap, the former of which can be thrown in the washing machine. Otherwise, the design appears to be a more modernized, professional version of Acer’s original Windows Mixed Reality Headset. It also includes the ability to flip up the visor to talk to others or see the real world, which was included on the company's original headset.
The OJO 500 also adds new features for better visuals and audio. It has an interpupillary distance (IPD) wheel, to adjust the lenses to match the distance between the center of your eyes. Acer is also introducing a smartphone app to measure your IPD distance for an optimal experience and sharper images. (Samsung has an IPD dial on its pricier Windows Mixed Reality headset). The 2.9-inch lenses on the OJO offer a 100-degree field of view, a 90 Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2880 x 1440. Those specs don't differ much from Acer’s first headset.
There’s also built-in audio, similar to Samsung’s headset. Acer says its system is unique in that it uses a “patented sound pipe” to move sound from the headset’s speakers directly to users’ ears.
Acer’s headset will have a configuration with two motion controllers in the box, though it's not clear if it will also be sold without controllers. The headset, like other Windows Mixed Reality HMDs, has inside-out tracking.
The OJO 500 is entering a competitive market, though. While it undercuts Samsung’s Mixed Reality Headset—widely considered the best of the bunch —by a $100, you can get an Oculus Rift with touch controllers for the same $399 price. Windows Mixed Reality is slowly growing with Steam VR compatibility, while Oculus has a bigger presence in VR gaming both through Steam and on Oculus’ platform.
But for businesses looking to showcase their wares in VR who want their headset to be hygienic between uses, having something that comes apart for easy cleaning may be worth the expense. We hope to go heads-on with the device soon.