Samsung's HMD Odyssey sets sail for the mixed reality party


— 5:00 PM on October 3, 2017

Despite the term "virtual reality" losing some of its buzz lately, the related field of mixed reality (MR) seems to be picking up steam. Apple's latest phones and iOS release have been built with MR in mind, and Microsoft is making a big push for the technology in its upcoming Windows Creators Fall Update coming later this month. Samsung has thus far been content to poke at VR with its smartphone-centered Gear VR platform, but the Korean manufacturer is set to join the PC MR party with the HMD Odyssey, which is the highest-spec Windows headset we have seen thus far.

The HMD Odyssey has a pair of 3.5" AMOLED displays with a resolution of 1440x1600 per eye. The Odyssey also sets itself apart from competitors with its 110° field of view. HTC's Vive and Oculus' Rift both share a 95° FOV and per-eye resolution of 1080x1200. Getting the Odyssey up and running should be considerably easier than the other two market-leading headsets thanks to its inside-out tracking and lack of external sensor boxes. Acer, Asus, and a few other companies have released headsets that use Microsoft's inside-out tracking technology, but the HMD Odyssey is the first to combine it with OLED displays.

Samsung addressed the audio side of the MR experience with integrated headphones developed in partnership with AKG. The headphones are said to offer 360° spatial sound. An array of microphones is built into the headset for voice commands, and a set of two handheld motion controllers is included in the package.

According to The Verge, Samsung's HMD Odyssey will be available on November 6 for $499. That price matches that of the Oculus Rift and comes in $100 under the HTC Vive's. Pre-orders start in the US today.

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