New Samsung Headset Tries to Overcome Mixed Reality’s Biggest Problem

Posted on October 22, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 9 Comments

The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ will set you back a whopping $500, but it comes with a higher-resolution display that the firm says eliminates the dreaded “Screen Door Effect” that dogs the first generation of Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

“The Samsung HMD Odyssey+ delivers an improved life-like and immersive experience,” Microsoft’s Athima Chansanchai explains. “You’ll experience true, distraction-free immersive viewing with the Samsung HMD Odyssey+’s exclusive Anti-Screen Door Effect (Anti-SDE) Display innovation.”

I suppose that the Screen Door Effect is Mixed Reality’s version of the “mail slot” field of view issue with HoloLens in that it’s the one major problem cited by customers. I wasn’t actually familiar with this effect, but Chansanchai explains it.

“When fine lines separating pixels become visible in some displays, the ‘screen door effect’ can hinder immersion and even lead to dizziness or nausea over time,” the Microsoftie writes. “This headset deploys its cutting-edge display technology to fight irritating fixed-pattern noise for an enhanced MR experience.”

If you compare the HMD Odyssey+ to its predecessor, you’ll see that it has a higher-resolution combined resolution of 2880 x 1600 (meaning 1440 x 1600 per eye) where most first-generation MR headsets utilized a 2,880 x 1,440 resolution (or 1440 x 1440 per eye). That doesn’t sound like a huge change to me. But combined with that Anti-SDE technology, it apparently makes a meaningful difference.

Not that anyone should buy this headset of course: Windows Mixed Reality has been a major failure for Microsoft. And $500 is an insanely high price for such a product. I’m sure we’ll see this thing in the bargain bin soon enough.


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