Virtual Reality

Samsung's updated VR headset kicks out the "Screen Door Effect"

Samsung's updated VR headset k...
Samsung has updated its VR headset with the HMD Odyssey+
Samsung has updated its VR headset with the HMD Odyssey+
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Samsung has also made a few ergonomic tweaks to the HMD Odyssey+
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Samsung has also made a few ergonomic tweaks to the HMD Odyssey+
Samsung has improved the visuals on the HMD Odyssey+ with an Anti-Screen Door Effect technology
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Samsung has improved the visuals on the HMD Odyssey+ with an Anti-Screen Door Effect technology
The HMD Odyssey+ sports a pair of 3.5-in AMOLED displays with a total resolution of 2,800 x 1,600
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The HMD Odyssey+ sports a pair of 3.5-in AMOLED displays with a total resolution of 2,800 x 1,600
The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ is available now for US$499.99
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The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ is available now for US$499.99
Samsung has updated its VR headset with the HMD Odyssey+
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Samsung has updated its VR headset with the HMD Odyssey+

Virtual reality doesn't seem to have set the world on fire as much as manufacturers would have liked, but that isn't stopping them refining their tech with new versions. Samsung is the latest to update its VR headset, announcing the HMD Odyssey+, which targets the dreaded "Screen Door Effect" with a clever new tactic and adds a few ergonomic improvements to the outer shell.

The Odyssey+ sports a pair of 3.5-in AMOLED displays, with a total resolution of 2,800 x 1,600. Movements are tracked through a 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DOF) system that works from the "inside out," meaning you won't need to set up external sensors like you do for the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

Input still comes through HDMI from a desktop or laptop, and it's capped off with AKG Premium Audio and 360-degree Spatial Sound that lets you pinpoint where sounds are coming from.

The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ is available now for US$499.99
The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ is available now for US$499.99

So far it's basically the same as last year's model, but where the Odyssey+ sets itself apart is in how it squeezes better visuals out of that same display. Anyone who's played VR before knows that sometimes you can see dark lines running through the images, giving the impression that you're looking at the virtual world through a screen door. This Screen Door Effect can be ugly at best, and nauseating at worst.

Samsung has developed a pretty novel technique to combat that problem. The Anti-Screen Door Effect (SDE) display uses a grid to diffuse the light from each pixel, and duplicates individual pixels to fill the spaces around them. The idea is that it hides the gaps in a way your eyes don't notice, creating a "perceived" pixel density of 1,233 pixels per inch. That's double the true resolution of the headset and its predecessor.

On top of that, the company has learned a few things about how to make the physical headset more comfortable. The eye box is now wider – up to 146 mm (5.7 in) – and the whole thing is a little lighter, down to 590 g (1.3 lb) from 645 g (1.4 lb). Also, the Interpupillary Distance (IPD) wheel now allows the headset to be adjusted to suit the distance between different user's pupils.

The motion controllers look much the same, but there's one intriguing new feature. Samsung says the controller can act as a "flashlight" to let you peer into the real world to make sure you're not going to bump into anything. We're not entirely sure how that will work, but we'd wager it makes use of the two cameras on the faceplate that help the Odyssey+ navigate.

The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ is available now, for US$499.99.

Source: Samsung, Windows

3 comments
Chris45674
Samsung is not providing the 'flashlight' feature, it is part of the latest Windows 10 update.
NeilosBarross
Any improvement to the tracking of the hand controllers as was implemented with the mobile Oculus Quest or will they still lose tracking when doing a throwing or arrow shooting motion?
KungfuSteve
VR isnt taking off so quickly... largely due to cost. The headsets are either over-prices, or crippled with poor tracking / poor comfort / no IPD adjustments. Add to that... that current software and hardware is so ineffecient... that you need a custom build $2000 gaming computer to play games at decent framerates... and with limited software selection... and you have your answers. Its bad enough... that the field of view is so poor... and that cripples the whole reason for VR... especially in 3D Gaming. One needs to be able to see enemies from peripheral view... (and have good 3d audio + high quality audiophile headphone drivers... to be able to hear from behind you). Once costs come down... VR will be the only way that most people will play games... as well as watch movies and interact with each other. Also... they need game designers that produce games that drive the desire for people to purchase. A game like Mario Bros. for the NES, pretty much cemented the systems success. Without that game included... NES may not have taken off. The Sega Master System actually had superior hardware capability... but... its games were limited, and the quality / replayability of many of them... were far inferior to NES games. Nothing Sega produced for that system, was as addictive as Mario... for example. Though... that said... they did have a few gems... such as Shooting Gallery, Missile Defense 3D, Maze Hunter 3D, and a few others. Good software Sells hardware. That said... if the Artists that make games are not happy with / not inspired by said hardware... then they are not going to create games / good games for it.