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Samsung's Odyssey VR headset with OLED displays looks impressive on paper

04 October 2017, 12:27 | Shelley Chandler

Samsung's Mixed Reality Headset Has AMOLED Displays, Spatial Audio

Samsung to Build Odyssey VR Headset for Windows

The list of Windows 10-powered virtual reality headsets has officially grown, with today's reveal of the Samsung Odyssey headset. According to Microsoft's listing, the Samsung Odyssey headset will begin shipping on the 6th of November, with a $499 price tag.

The displays on the Odyssey use the same technology found in Samsung's crisp AMOLED smartphones. Part of this update includes full support for Windows Mixed Reality, the company's name for the continuum between augmented reality and full virtual reality.

To tell you the truth, it doesn't look all that special, because it's just one in a barrage of Windows VR headsets coming this fall: Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo all have them too.

Microsoft announced today during a press conference held in San Fransisco that it has acquired the social VR startup AltspaceVR, which suddenly shut down its platform of the same name back in July due to lack of funding. Also known as merged reality, mixed reality taps into elements of both AR and VR, overlaying digital elements on top of the physical world. Alex Kipman, Microsoft's Mixed Reality head, said that it's created to offer a first glimpse into what mixed reality and Halo can feel like.

Now, Samsung is spreading its virtual wings once again, releasing a Microsoft-backed virtual reality headset that requires a PC to run. That updated version of the Windows 10 operating system arrives october 17, bringing with it support for mixed reality.

Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow at Microsoft said, "We're excited to welcome the Samsung HMD Odyssey to the Windows Mixed Reality family of devices". It also comes with Microsoft's motion controllers, which should work with the other Windows Mixed Reality headsets as well. Holiday shoppers might find these devices a better option that the more expensive Oculus Rift and VIVE.

PCMag is at the event in San Francisco today, so stay tuned for more details as we go hands on with the Samsung HMD Odyssey and see what it can do. The two controllers and two cameras on the headset will be able to track movement with six degrees of freedom (XYZ linear, yaw, pitch and roll).

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