While Lenovo has gradually refocused its mixed reality ambitions on enterprise customers, it has remained interested in producing headsets that will be shared by average users in classrooms, museums, and doctors’ offices. To that end, the company today announced a new all-in-one enterprise headset called Mirage VR S3, featuring 4K displays and a more easily cleanable face plate deemed “suitable for mass use” in the COVID-19 era.
Interestingly, the Mirage VR S3 was codeveloped with Pico, which recently started shipping higher-end Neo 2 and Neo 2 Eye enterprise headsets under its own branding. While Lenovo’s model is similarly capable of standalone operation, it uses a less powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip and 3DoF tracking, compared with Neo 2’s Snapdragon 845 processor and 6DoF tracking. But it packs two 2160 x 1920 displays, a 101-degree field of view, and greater than three-hour battery life, all within a relatively light 1.04-pound housing that’s compatible with eyeglasses.
The carefully balanced specs are designed to appeal to health care providers, for use cases that include both practitioner training and patient therapy, as well as to educators seeking affordable, safer VR alternatives to field trips and lab experiments. Lenovo also expects the Mirage VR S3 to be used for enterprise safety instruction, law enforcement high-risk scenario training, and executive soft skills development — applications that might otherwise be handled by an Oculus Go but will benefit from the S3’s higher resolution and ergonomic improvements.
Apart from the older Snapdragon chip, S3 is also behind the hardware curve in supporting only last-generation wireless standards (Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2), as well as a single 3DoF controller. But Lenovo hopes to make up for that on the software side, with support for the company’s ThinkReality AR/VR app software platform, including enterprise integration and IT-level management of apps and devices. The S3 also supports the Lenovo VR Classroom 2 education platform and includes global end-to-end enterprise service through its lifecycle.
The Mirage VR S3 will be available in the third quarter of 2020 across North America, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, China, and Japan. Enterprise pricing starts at just under $450, and potentially interested customers can learn more on plans from Lenovo’s ThinkReality website.