Samsung is having a second crack at a Windows mixed-reality headset
Last October, Samsung joined the likes of Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo in developing a mixed reality headset for Windows: the HMD Odyssey.
Well now, not quite a year after release, it looks like Samsung is planning on refining the headset with an upcoming new version: the HMD Odyssey Plus. The name and some of the specifications have become public, following a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing by Samsung.
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Anyone hoping for a huge technological leap like that seen with the Vive Pro and HTC Vive are going to be left disappointed, it seems. The documentation mentions a 1440 x 1600 resolution per eye with a 110-degree field of vision: exactly the same as the non-Plus model.
Instead, it seems fans will enjoy more minor refinements aimed at making the experience more comfortable. To that end, the document mentions a “wider eye box,” “a wider part of nose” and “anti-fog” in the specifications.
The sketch below, also included, shows how the design will vary, according to the filing (the original is on the left).
There could, however, be an ace up the sleeve, although it’s far from guaranteed. The listing mentions the display technology is AMOLED+SFS. Now AMOLED+ is well known – it’s what Samsung uses in its flagship phones – but the SFS acronym is a bit of a mystery. Super Fun Stuff, maybe?
While it’s not clear how it fits the acronym, Road to VR has a theory as to what it could be: a way of ending the ‘screen door’ effect that has plagued VR since day one. That’s the grid-like lines that appear in VR experiences, which is a side effect of the way unlit gaps between pixels are more visible thanks to the magnification involved.
Back in July, Road to VR posted a story about a trademark filed by Samsung promising a way of ameliorating this effect.
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Could that be what SFS is related to? It’s far from certain, but if it is and it’s effective, this could be a huge leap in terms of immersion.
We shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out for sure. FCC filings tend to be held back until the last possible moment to prevent (exactly this kind of) speculation. That means a full release for the Samsung HMD Odyssey Plus may well be imminent.
What do you think the SFS stands for? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.