Dell’s Visor VR118 is just what Soldier 76 ordered

If you looked carefully at the four headsets shown in the Windows Mixed Reality piece this morning, you might have noticed a tiny Dell logo on one of them. Along with XPS and Inspiron laptops with eighth-generation CPUs, Dell has announced the Visor VR118 headset at IFA 2017. This headset is Dell's first entry into the burgeoning head-mounted display market.

The Visor VR118 is designed to keep the weight of the device off of the user's face and nose—a primary user complaint about the HTC Vive. The front portion of the headset can flip upward to let users look at the real world without needing to remove the entire Visor. The display and power cables run along the ring that encircles the user's head and waterfall down the user's back, much like with other VR headsets we've seen.

Dell didn't offer a ton of technical details about the Visor, but we do know that the display has a total resolution of 2880×1440 and a 90 Hz refresh rate. That slots it firmly into the higher tier of Windows Mixed Reality devices. In fact, the Visor's display is a fair bit higher-resolution than the 2160×1200 array used in the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Like those headsets, the Visor VR118 has a pair of motion-tracking controller available. Dell's controllers come with a touchpad, an analog stick, and several buttons for each hand. That makes them a sort of hybrid between Oculus' Touch controllers and the HTC Vive's "wand" controllers. 

Windows Mixed Reality headsets—including the Dell Visor—rely on HoloLens-style "inside out" visual motion tracking that obviates the need for external sensors. The Visor VR118's motion controllers appear to have visual motion tracking points on them, though Dell didn't elaborate on exactly how they work.

Dell says the Visor VR118 will be available in October 17 for $350. The pair of controllers will run you another $100, or you can buy the headset and controllers bundled for $450. That's a pretty long lead time before the launch, but the company says we'll hear more details about the VR118 (and presumably other Windows Mixed Reality headsets) at Microsoft's IFA keynote on September 1.

Comments closed
    • psuedonymous
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]Dell didn't offer a ton of technical details about the Visor, but we do know that the display has a total resolution of 2880x1440 and a 90 Hz refresh rate. That slots it firmly into the higher tier of Windows Mixed Reality devices. In fact, the Visor's display is a fair bit higher-resolution than the 2160x1200 array used in the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.[/quote<] On the other hand, the display is an LCD. Run at full-persistance (i.e. no pulsed backlight). The lenses are also singlet lenses with no position adjustment. Basically, if you used the old Rift DK1, this is the same setup optically but with an increased angular resolution. All the issues with smearing when your head turns and blurring when viewing off-axis will be present.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 2 years ago

      Are you sure? MS says it’s an AMOLED (although it will still need a strobe; OLEDs are just as susceptible to persistence issues as LCDs are).

      You got a source on the no-strobe thing?

        • psuedonymous
        • 2 years ago

        I can find plenty of reports explicitly stating it uses LCD displays like the other Windows Holographic HMDs from HP, Acer and Lenovo, but I can’t find anywhere (Microsoft or otherwise) claiming it uses an OLED panel.

      • Hsldn
      • 2 years ago

      if its a LCD ,not OLED than no go. Oculus or Vive for me.
      with the latest oculus rift bundle , this doesn’t have a price advantage either.

    • bhtooefr
    • 2 years ago

    $350? That might get me to get a VR headset, I could use it for Assetto Corsa.

    (Especially because I get 17% off, because I work for Dell.)

    • Hsldn
    • 2 years ago

    It looks great. but before jumping into that i need to know the latency of the tracking. If it’s as good as the Rift, then i’ll be first to buy.

    • Pville_Piper
    • 2 years ago

    I’m interested in this. I like the flip up design.

    • RdVi
    • 2 years ago

    I can’t help but wonder if those windows buttons will interrupt your app and bring up the start menu in VR 😉

      • meerkt
      • 2 years ago

      Start Screen.

    • Krogoth
    • 2 years ago

    I GOT YOU IN MY SIGHTS!

      • morphine
      • 2 years ago

      … quite literally, if there ends up being Overwatch in VR at some point.

    • Laykun
    • 2 years ago

    The visual tracking points are tracked by the cameras in the headset itself.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 2 years ago

      Does that mean the controllers don’t work unless you can see them? That’s not super great.

        • Namarrgon
        • 2 years ago

        Reports say they work “just fine” when out of view, though I have a few doubts. Inertial tracking is still possible with the gyros and accelerometers, with more limited accuracy and some temporary drift, but it may be good enough for most things. I suspect you’d be hard pressed to notice any differences when you can’t see it anyway.

        • Laykun
        • 2 years ago

        It’ll use the IMUs to approximate the position when the cameras can’t see them. So there WILL be drift.

          • GrimDanfango
          • 2 years ago

          There will be drift, but presumably only when you can’t see your hands and wouldn’t notice anyway. There’ll likely be very few applications that require precise optical tracking when your hands are out of your line of sight.

            • SlappedSilly
            • 2 years ago

            I’m certain the reason there will be few such applications is the lack of adequate tracking. So too, nobody needs more than 640k either.

            • Laykun
            • 2 years ago

            It depends, you might not be able to see your have but that doesn’t mean you’re not pointing at something or trying to hold something in place. We’ll see how it pans out, it’ll surely be a limitation that’s pointed out in reviews but I’m sure it’ll be pretty minimal at best.

            • Voldenuit
            • 2 years ago

            Next up: Gun Kata VR game.

        • psuedonymous
        • 2 years ago

        When the controllers move out of view, there is a 1-2 second window where position is inferred from the IMU (IMU drift is fast, on the order of metres per second), but after that the position of the controller is locked in place relative to world-coordinates (though IIRC locking relative to the HMD is optional but probably a bad idea) and only the orientation is updated.

        This not only means actions like ‘drawing a bow’ are impossible, but also means relaxed pointing tasks (i.e. pointing at UI elements without having your arm held in front of your face) are not suitable for these HMDs.

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