Less than a year on from the release of Acer’s first Windows ‘Mixed Reality’ VR headset, the company is introducing its successor, the Acer OJO 500.
Last year’s MR headset was considered to be on the lower end of a range of devices Microsoft introduced with the help of several companies. The OJO 500, meanwhile, builds upon it with an integrated audio system and adjustable interpupillary distance (IPD) that’s measured via an Android app.
That said, don’t expect a big update in the optic department; the headset has the same 2880×1440 screen as its predecessor, still with a 90Hz refresh rate and 100-degree field of view. Microsoft’s inside-out tracking tech is still used and there are built-in microphones to boot.
The most curious addition to the device, though, is the ability to actually remove the VR optics, essentially leaving just the headband in place. Why would you want to do this? Acer says it’s mainly for hygiene in location-based VR instances. An arcade, for example, could simply swap out optics as new people jump into experiences and clean the just-used kit while another clean set is being used in its place. It definitely sounds like a more convenient, if more costly, method of keeping VR clean at events. Acer hasn’t yet revealed a scheme to purchase a bulk amount of units.
We also can’t help but wonder if this could mean Acer could launch future VR headsets with just the optics component in the box, quickly attaching to a user’s existing headband for an upgraded experience. It’d be a pretty smart way to keep the price down in future releases if so. Elsewhere, Acer also recently announced its next-generation StarVR headset, which is built in partnership with StarVR and aimed at location-based experiences.
Acer is launching the OJO 500 in November for $399, the same price the original headset launched at. Meanwhile, Samsung is also prepping to launch its own follow-up to its first Windows MR headset in the Samsung Odyssey+. Release details on that device are still to be revealed, though.
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