Enter OJO 500. This year’s IFA in Berlin brings us the newest Windows Mixed Reality Headset from Acer. Build from detachable parts, it targets a very specific chunk of market.
2018 IFA sounds promising on paper, particularly for the reality technology enthusiasts. Having many ups and downs in VR, Windows is gaining ground in the MR space. The IFA story of the day is Acer’s newest Windows MR Headset OJO 500. Spanish for ‘an eye’, OJO brings a few new features on the table that, fingers crossed, will become the industry standard in years to come.
The design choice is where praises heap with OJO 500. It is unique in that the head strap is detachable from lens, making the device fairly easy to clean. The removable strap also comes in hard and soft variant, the latter being machine washable. Adding to usage comfort, the mask can be flipped up and easily put back on with MR experience resumed. The overall design makes this Mixed Reality Headset a perfect choice for use in public spaces. Particularly true with businesses which depend on having clean hardware to offer to their customers, it is easy to project that OJO 500 is primarily aimed at spaces like museums or hotels.
There’s more uniqueness here that meets the eye. Or ear. Unlike much of the competition, Acer opted out for an integrated audio system which nullifies the need for earphones. Making use of specially designed sound pipes, OJO 500 Mixed Reality Headset directs the sound generated by speakers via the pipes and into ears. Experience is described as immersive enough, while retaining the auditory awareness of one’s surroundings. Again, just perfect for public spaces.
Visual innovation stretch further than audio. Acer introduces their take on MR viewing distance customization and clarity. With IPD wheel, users can adjust their ‘ojos’ to modify IPD distance. This results in sharper, clearer image, fully controllable via the intuitive wheel. View field is improved over the last year’s model, sporting two 2.89-inch LCD displays with the resolution of 2880×1440. Refresh rate goes as far as 90Hz. Visual-wise, it does the job well.
The MR market is on the rise. BIS Research forecasts the CAGR of 72%, from $46.8 in 2017 to as much as $3.68 billion in 2025. One of the major problems that the industry faces, the research goes, are the hardware limitations of the bulky MR Headsets, something that the industry will have to take care of prior to any major proliferation of these units on the market. Similar to the recent Magic Leap, OJO 500 is a step up in terms of hardware. Acer’s unique detachable design, seen from this angle, presents a major step towards an overall hardware improvement of Mixed Reality headsets.
Microsoft may have disappointed their users by publicly announcing the lack of VR support for Xbox One X. But whereas Virtual Reality market is dwindling, MR is running wild. Acer’s new OJO 500 Mixed Reality Headset has a narrow aim, but hits the mark perfectly. Acer’s Windows wearable strikes the right balance between being immersive and serving its functional purpose for public spaces. No small feat that.