Bigscreen user goes hands on with Samsung’s new ‘Odyssey’ VR headset

Bigscreen user goes hands on with Samsung’s new ‘Odyssey’ VR headsetMicrosoft’s new Windows Mixed Reality platform launched earlier this month with the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update — and the new “Mixed Reality” headsets from device makers including Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo and Samsung that have begun to ship alongside it. Bigscreen will be available for Windows Mixed Reality soon.Samsung’s much anticipated VR headset, ‘Odyssey’ began shipping on November 6 and Bigscreen community member Aboba was lucky enough to receive one already. Here’s his hands-on with the device and how it stacks up against the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and other headsets.Why I got the Samsung Odyssey My interest in VR is specifically focused on productivity applications, working in VR and remote training for desktop workers. I’ve used Bigscreen for hundreds of hours and own an Oculus Rift already.I work in technology, and planned to use this for traveling with a laptop so traveling with lighthouses or external cameras was out of the question.I ordered it in the hope the higher resolution per degree on the Odyssey would make text more readable and that the single cord setup will allow it to be more portable for me when I visit client sites.It felt like Samsung had gotten the formula right: it’s easier to set it up, requires less fidgeting with configuration and promised to be a big bump up in day-to-day usability — at least until Oculus and HTC ship newer versions of their headsets in 2018, which is still a long way away.Look and feel Controllers resting naturally on their tracking rings. Photo credit: Aboba.At $499, Samsung’s Odyssey VR headset is now one of the more expensive devices as Oculus dropped its pricing down to $399 — but the Odyssey has higher resolution displays and uses OLED technology, unlike other Mixed Reality devices, so it was an obvious choice for an early peek at the next generation of VR.When I got the box it was rather lackluster, like getting a new kitchen appliance. Oculus’ well-designed packaging makes it seem luxurious, whereas this was just a box with a gadget in it.Box aside, the design of the headset itself is attractive and imposing — to the point that I’m planning to add stickers to make it less scary in case someone sees me wearing it in an office.Just like the Vive and Rift, Odyssey is made out of plastic but doesn’t feel flimsy. The only oversight here is you can’t lie it down on the front — it has to be sitting flat, or it’ll tip over because the headphones make it top heavy.Samsung did a good job making the fit comfortable: it isn’t too tight and the sound is great through the built-in AKG headphones, a nice touch where most headsets have ignored entirely or thrown in rubbish headphones.The only bad point design-wise is that the nose flaps are quite annoying, and I’m planning to see if it’s possible to pull it out.The controllers are very comfortable but clearly made for people with larger hands. My wife didn’t like them as they were harder to grip.The other thing to consider is that the controllers are very bright and distracting because they’re covered in bright white LEDs to assist with tracking. They look futuristic, but not subtle at all if you’re working from an office.In action I’ve got the Oculus already, but ordered the Samsung Odyssey VR headset in the hope that it would be easier to use for reading text for longer periods of time — the primary reason for getting the device.In Bigscreen, it was possible to read normal text on a screen about 35-inches big 2–3 feet away from my face— doable for coding, writing or other tasks for the first time. In Rift, I found it impossible to do for long periods of time because you’d need to strain to see text.The “screen door effect” — where you see a bunch of lines separating the pixels — is present, but it’s much finer effect than the Rift and Vive which is a great improvement, allowing you become immersed much easier.The downside is that setup wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. It was smooth at first: I plugged it in and had the Mixed Reality portal running in about 30 seconds, but the controllers didn’t work.I had to go back and put the batteries in the controllers, and then add them to my bluetooth devices which wasn’t explained in the setup for the MR on the screen. I had to actually refer to the manual — Oculus did a better job of guiding users through the process and the average customer might find it frustrating when they can’t just jump right in.“Odyessy is a game changer in many ways and means less cabling all over the place to trip over.”What’s amazing about the Odyssey isn’t just the technical specs, however, but that it doesn’t need external trackers like the Vive or Rift. It uses a pair of cameras on the front to track the space and controllers, as well as a single cable to the headset — a massive improvement.That means you can go from zero to gaming in a few seconds, rather than tinkering with sensor position and room setup. It’s a game changer in many ways and means less cabling all over the place to trip over.I didn’t notice any tracking issues, either, despite the switch to cameras.The controllers never failed to track correctly — even when I stuck them behind my back they seemed to be tracking fine before I brought them back into view — which is fantastic performance for having no external sensors.The verdict“For $500, it’s a good product but there are some deal breakers.”More than anything else I’m excited about the potential to put these into offices for remote training of users — all they’ll need to do is put on a headset like the Odyssey and they can be right there with me.It isn’t quite there yet: text clarity may still require another jump before the average user is willing to put up with it for more than half an hour at a time, but Samsung has certainly pushed it closer to where it needs to be. For $500, it’s a good product but there are some deal breakers right now.Here’s the thing: it’s not going to be my headset of choice for standing games.The Oculus CV1 feels superior for gaming after even just a day of testing, combined with better access to content right now (Steam hasn’t launched for Windows Mixed Reality yet), so that’s not a question.The productivity space, however, it can absolutely thrive in. The Odyssey is a lot simpler to setup and doesn’t require sensors all over an office and requires just a single cable — lowering the barrier to entry significantly.If Microsoft can up its game with content over the next year and Steam provides full access soon it’ll be a killer headset, but for a ‘day one’ launch product there’s a lot missing right now.At Bigscreen, we’re excited about Windows Mixed Reality and what Samsung has brought to VR. Lighter, affordable, higher resolution hardware with fewer cables and a simple setup process makes VR easier and more accessible for a wider audience.This post was contributed by Bigscreen community member Aboba. Bigscreen has partnered with Microsoft to be a launch title for Windows Mixed Reality and will be available in the Windows Store in November.
Ir a la fuente / Author: Owen Williams

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