Acer’s detachable mixed reality headset is a more hygienic way to demo VR

Public demonstrations of VR provide a convenient way to see what all the fuss is about before plunking down a wad of cash on a headset, but they're not necessarily hygienic. Do you really want to strap a VR headset to your noggin after someone else wore it and worked up a sweat? Probably not. Acer thought of a better way—its new (and oddly named) OJO 500 mixed reality headset sports a detachable design that makes it easier to clean in between uses.

"The Acer OJO 500’s unique design enables the lens and head strap to be individually removed, making the headset easy to store and clean. This is especially beneficial for businesses who want to provide customers with clean headwear for each use," Acer explains.

The new headset is available with either a hard or soft head strap. Both are said to provide a snug and comfortable fit, though we can't attest to this until we've tried it on ourselves. The hard strap has extra large padding, and the soft strap is machine washable.

Acer says you can flip the mask up on the OJO 500. This is intended to make it easier to answer the phone, or interact with people in the room without having to take the entire headset off.

The headset consists of a pair of front-hinged 2.98-inch LCD that provide a 2880x1440 resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate and 100 degrees field of view, same as its other mixed reality headset.

What's different this time around is the audio. The OJO 500 features an integrated audio system that uses a patented sound pipe design. This directs sound from the built-in speakers to the wearer's ears. As Acer explains it, this negates the need to wear earphones while allowing the wearer to be aware of surrounding noise.

"This is ideal for use in public spaces where users may not want to be totally cut off from their surroundings. The integrated audio system consists of embedded speakers, a patented sound pipe, and a built-in mic array. For customers that require more privacy and deeper immersion, they can use the built-in earphones that come with the hard head strap, or an earphone of their own choice with the soft head strap," Acer explains. 

As with other mixed reality headsets for Windows 10, the OJO 500 features inside-out tracking, with 6 degrees of freedom positional tracking.

The OJO 500 will be available in November for $399 (€499).

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).