Acer OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality headset lets you straddle real, virtual worlds

Acer has announced its newest Windows Mixed Reality headset at the IFA 2018 conference in Berlin. Dubbed the Acer OJO 500, the headset boasts a number of innovative features, such as sound pipe technology, a detachable design, and a new app-based calibration design that Acer claims will lead to sharper, clearer images. Users new to Windows Mixed Reality will be able to pick up a package that includes the two optional Bluetooth motion controllers that sync with the headset. The headset will be available in November, with prices starting at $399 in North America.

“The Acer OJO 500 brings several significant new features to this class of Windows Mixed Reality headsets,” said Andrew Chuang, Acer’s general manager of presence computing. “We’ve improved the user experience with innovative visual and audio technologies and made the headset more comfortable and easier than ever to use.”

“We’ve improved the user experience with innovative visual and audio technologies and made the headset more comfortable and easier than ever to use.”

The headset’s detachable design allows the lens and head straps to be removed, making it easier to store and clean the device. Acer claims that the removable strap design will allow businesses, like car showrooms, for example, to adopt the OJO 500 and keep the experience clean and sanitary for their customers. The OJO can be configured with either a hard or soft strap, and the soft strap is machine washable.

If you need to temporarily pause your journey into the virtual or mixed reality world, you don’t even need to take the OJO 500 off. The headset comes with a design that allows the mask to be flipped up, which temporarily and quickly pauses your mixed reality experience.

When you’re in the mixed reality experience, the OJO 500 doesn’t require headphones for immersive audio. A unique sound pipe helps direct sound from the headset’s built-in speakers to the user’s ears. This open audio design means that you’re not isolated from the real world, making the OJO 500 suitable for use in public spaces where you may not want to be cut off from your surroundings. The audio system comes with a built-in microphone array, embedded speakers, and the sound pipe. If you want a more private audio experience, you can also use the earphones that are built into the hard head strap or use your own headphones with the soft head strap.

For clearer and sharper images, the OJO 500 comes with a built-in interpupillary distance (IPD) wheel. You can also use a software-assisted app to calculate the distance between your pupils and the display to calibrate the screen. The OJO 500 comes with two front-hinged 2.89-inch displays providing a 100-degree field of view at 2,880 x 1,440 resolution. The OJO’s screen comes with a 90Hz refresh rate.

An external camera helps the headset maintain tracking, so you don’t need any extra hardware when the headset is plugged into a PC that supports Windows Mixed Reality. The headset can track backward and forward, up and down, and left and right directions along with pitch, yaw, and roll. The headset connects to your Windows 10 system’s HDMI and USB 3.0 ports via a 13-foot long cable.

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