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HiFlyer

Samsung Odyssey and Windows Mixed Reality Review

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So, there are growing number of choices and potential choices for the eager would-be virtual reality flyer out there right now.

The perennial favorite is of course the Oculus Rift, but close behind (at least for flight sims) is the HTC vive. Then, we have promising outliers like the Pimax, which has turned a lot of heads, and racing up from the rear, Windows mixed reality, henceforth known as WMR.

I think the pluses and minuses of the Oculus and Rift are well known at this point, and the Pimax is still a bit of a work in progress, I'll be primarily discussing WMR here, and specifically the Samsung Odyssey, which is certainly more expensive than offerings from the other WMR partners, but is widely considered to be the best in class of these devices.

So, what exactly is WMR, and how does it differ from Virtual reality?

In large part, the difference will be in those front facing cameras that grace WMR devices. Virtual Reality takes the user completely into the experience, with essentially no interaction with the outside world, but mixed (also augmented) reality provide the potential to bring the outside world and the VR world together interactively. Through the various WMR devices front facing cameras, you are able to see your surroundings while the HMD overlays graphics that can simply float in the air, or even appear to be grounded in the real world, running the gamut from a pokemon bouncing through your living room, to holes to other universes appearing on your walls. Essentially anything you can imagine, both on the gaming and the serious front.

The possibilities are still a matter of exploration, but they promise to be very, very broad, and perhaps world-changing.

These new devices also eliminate the "base stations" that keep track of your movements currently on the Vive and Oculus, and instead use "Inside-out-tracking" that eliminate wall or table mounted "base stations" while still providing comparable positional tracking.

An added enticement for virtual fliers and others is enhanced resolution that promises to finally make reading text (and instruments) a much more natural experience, and greatly reduce the dreaded "Screen door effect"

A downside currently however is that as a new platform, WMR suffers a dearth of native titles, but compatibility with Steam VR has already appeared, and with some small effort, access to Oculus Rift titles is also possible. Flyinside has at least one of these headsets, and is currently hard at work to offer the capability to use WMR devices with FSX/P3D.

Hmmmm....

I seem to have gotten carried away, as I hadn't intended to write a book, but having done so, I will now leave you a video reviewing the Samsung Odyssey. Cheers, and I hope I was informative.

 

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Thanks for keeping us abreast HiFlyer, really look forward to your reviews. Don't worry about a book, the more the better. LOL

 

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