Gaming (VR)
Acer

Acer’s new modular, easy-clean VR headset has its eye on enterprise

Modular VR headset is easy to take apart and clean, making it ideal for commercial use

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Acer's latest virtual reality headset features a modular design which can be taken apart and cleaned more easily than its rivals — potentially making it the perfect choice for museums and VR arcades.

Announced at the IFA technology show in Berlin, the Acer OJO 500 is the company's latest VR headset built for the Windows Mixed Reality platform. It has a 100-degree field of view with two 2.89-inch LCD displays producing a resolution of 2880 x 1440.

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But what sets this headset out from alternatives by the likes of Samsung, HP and Lenovo, is how the Acer OJO 500 can easily be taken apart, giving easy access to clean the lenses, nose bridge and machine-washable head strap.

While this might seem unnecessary for a VR headset used only by its owner, Acer clearly has its eye on the enterprise market, where businesses like museums, property developers and video game arcades are starting to use VR headsets with customers.

With potentially dozens of users per headset per day, these businesses will likely welcome a device which can be quickly and regularly cleaned, removing hygiene concerns.

No doubt with new VR users in mind, Acer has designed the OJO 500 so it can be flipped open easily, giving the wearer a view of their surroundings without removing the device and struggling with its straps and cables.

Windows Mixed Reality is the all-encompassing platform which is being developed for both VR headsets like this Acer and augmented reality devices like the Microsoft HoloLens.

Inside, the headset has an embedded interpupillary distance (IPD) wheel, which adjusts the distance between the wearer's eyes and the display. The headset's view of your pupils is fed to a smartphone app to accurately measure each wearer's IPD, so they can adjust the wheel, sharpening image quality.

There is an integrated audio system which pumps sound through two headphones sat against the wearer's ears, rather than probing into them like earbuds. This should help with hygiene when the headset is passed from one person to another, and means wearers can still hear the outside world while potentially experiencing immersive VR for the first time.

"This is ideal for use in public spaces where users may not want to be totally cut off from their surroundings," Acer said.

As with other Mixed Reality headsets, this model uses 'inside-out' tracking to do away with external sensors placed across the room (as is the case with the HTC Vive), and offers movement tracking for forward/back, up/down and left/right, plus pitch, yaw and roll. The headset attaches to a PC via a 13 feet cable, giving wearers a good amount of freedom to walk around.

The company added that the OJO 500's design "enables the lens and head strap to be individually removed, making the headset easy to store and clean. This is equally beneficial for businesses who want to provide customers with clean headwear for each use."

The Acer OJO 500 is prices at $399 and will be available in the US in November.

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