The HP Mixed Reality Headset arrived first and I setup my development workstation with the required Windows 10 Insider Version, Visual Studio 2017 and Unity 2017; it’s all set to go without having to do additional setup steps to use my recently delivered Acer Mixed Reality Headset.
The packaging is not as “shiny” as the HP (HP Mixed Reality Headset Unboxing) but does the job of keeping the package secure.
The internal packaging is also not as fancy as the HP model, we don’t get the cloth cover for the headset and there’s no cable attachment setup. Minimalists can argue it means less points of failure and I am a bit concerned how durable the HP cord attachment really is since it doesn’t have any latches in case the connectors gets loose over time.
The lenses have the same blue protective film like the HP headset, one extra item to note is the small protective film that covers the proximity sensor for the head/face — so the headset can determine if it’s actively worn by the user.
The head strap is simpler, a cushioned section up front for the user’s forehead with a latch and strap setup at the back.
I received an update yesterday for the next OS Build Version 16257.1 and later updated Unity 2017.2.0b5 (Beta 5) — a change from my HP Mixed Reality Workstation Setup.
The next step is to connect the HDMI video connector to the workstation video card and the USB plug to a free USB3 port. I’m less anxious with the setup since I already got it working with my other headset. Windows initiates the driver setup for the Acer Headset and then starts-up the Mixed Reality Portal. I didn’t have to go through the OOBE (Out of Box Experience) anymore, I’m immediately in the cliff house virtual model.
The HP and Acer Headsets are built from the same reference design and should be mostly identical for the inner workings — I suspect due to the difference in the head strap and visor design that I’m finding it harder to hit the lens visual “sweet spot” on the Acer unit — it takes some fiddling with the strap and visor to get a clear enough view of the display, instead of blurry sections; I would expect this would vary per person with head size, head shape and eyes. On the HP headset where the strap is very similar to the HoloLens headband and maybe a different eye distance with the visor; I find it less challenging to get to the sweet spot and stay on it.
I now appreciate more the extra lens configuration options on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive for the lens distance, lens separation, eye alignment and IPD values; the more complex head strap also ensured the headset stayed in place. The convenience of the Mixed Reality visor flip to quickly switch between the immersive experience to the real world is well appreciated although I find myself just removing the full headset since it’s quick and easy to remove and put back on especially during development due to the simpler head strap setup.
I’ll be using the Acer headset as my portable unit, it’s a little bit easier to pack because of the simpler head strap design compared to the more solid ring of the HP model that will stay on my home workstation. The extra effort for me now is to setup secondary boot partitions on my other workstations to get the Fast Insider Windows 10 Builds and other pre-release tools — at least I don’t have to carry an extra bag for tracking sensors.