In the game world, we can become captain of a warship or the world’s fastest racer. Gamers enter their own unique virtual space via a screen. Samsung Odyssey Ark, a 55-inch 1000R curved gaming screen, has introduced a new world for gamers.
How was this innovative gaming screen invented? To learn more about the entire development process from concept design to development and commercialization, Samsung Newsroom sat down with three experts who strived to create the masterpiece, Odyssey Ark: Hyun Mook Choi, who successfully turned his Odyssey Ark concept into the final product, Jisoo Kim, who worked on product design intended to give gamers the best gaming experience possible, and Kyuseong Lee, who designed various features to enhance game experience.
The Start of Odyssey Ark: Offer “A Unique Gaming Space Where Gamers Can Stand Out”
Along with vertical Cockpit Mode, Odyssey Ark, a 55-inch 1000R curved gaming screen, boasts an overwhelming presence. The completely new form factor came from the desire for space.
“I drafted the concept of Odyssey Ark thinking that everyone might have had a dream of creating their own arcade with their favourite game device.” Hyun Mook Choi, who first designed Odyssey Ark’s concept, recalled the time when he came up with the idea.
Jisoo Kim said the product design was inspired by his six-year-old boy making a fortress for his own space. He thought a flexible screen could satisfy gamers’ unique desire for their own space. They found common ground in space and refined the concept.
“In the early stages of design, we found through interviews that most game lovers wanted to have ‘a large screen that can wrap tightly around them,’” said Choi. “Gamers crave a special screen providing a great presence in their room and from that we set a goal of creating a product that gamers would want to show off.”
The difference of home gaming from home theater and home office is that it should offer “a fun escape from daily life” rather than blending in with it. “That is why we thought a rotating 55-inch 1000R curved gaming screen could mesmerize gamers with a completely different form factor,” said Kim. “Odyssey Ark was developed with a sophisticated and overwhelming design to make users feel that they can win with this gaming screen. Visual excitement was also added by allowing users to dynamically rotate the screen in any direction.”
“When devising the product plan, we paid attention to the fact that the gaming market is no longer about simply playing, but it has grown across the platform by absorbing every entertainment element, including visual aspects and increased interaction.” He proudly explained, “From the very beginning, Odyssey Ark was positioned as a ‘game changer’ to pioneer a new market.”
Built for Gaming! Back Story Behind Designing Convenient Features To Meet Individual Needs
Gamers have warmly welcomed Odyssey Ark because it seemed to read their mind. Kyuseong Lee, a gaming enthusiast and part of the Future Planning Group, joined the project and came up with ideas. “I first thought about what makes me feel uncomfortable during gameplay and made efforts to reflect the game pattern of players and their lifestyle types,” he said.
In combination with its incredible picture quality, the Odyssey Ark has become “a true gaming screen for gamers” with its analysis of gamers’ usage patterns and new gaming features, such as Flex Move Screen, Multi View and Ark Dial.
The most essential part in product development was the picture quality technology. “We adopted the same processor used in the best-quality Samsung TVs for gamers who spare no expense to play a game smoothly with incredible picture quality,” Lee said. Combined with 4K resolution, the huge display features amazing gaming specifications with a 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time (GtG).
Hyun Mook Choi, who designed Flex Move Screen, highlighted the purpose of product development saying, “Most gamers like multitasking, so they keep changing where to place the main monitor on their desk and adjust the screen size and ratio based on what to play.” Flex Move Screen allows users to choose a screen size between 55- and 27-inches, as well as the screen ratio between 16:9, 21:9 and 32:9. In addition, it also helps users find the most comfortable posture by adjusting its screen position within a large, 55-inch screen.
Ark Dial, the exclusive controller for the Odyssey Ark, was designed for gamers who continuously adjust settings to save time and find shortcuts. Users can easily change the screen layout and setting with Ark Dial as well as quickly and simply control Multi View. “The internal test shows that Ark Dial drastically reduces the setting time from about one minute to five seconds,” said Kim. “For the Ark Dial test, we even rented acquaintances’ luxury vehicles and tested how smoothly it rotates and response time of the jog dial.”
In addition, the Odyssey Ark introduces immersive sound with Dolby Atmos based on a 60W 2.2.2 channel and Sound Dome Tech. Choi got insight from reviews involving professional gamers, T1. “Contrary to our thoughts that all gamers would like to play a game wearing a headset, they prefer to use speakers. This clearly shows that a perfect sound direction and lifelike gaming sound effects are particularly important.” said Choi. “That is why the Odyssey Ark offers multi-channel speakers and additional woofer.”
Continuous Studies and Testing To Create Totally New Product Concept
Inventing a new product means continuous testing, experiments and studies. Moreover, strengthening the large screen’s usability on the desk was a daunting task. They adopted 1000R curvature to optimize the near-field viewing angle of the 55-inch display. A thin plate for the bottom part helps gamers efficiently use space even with the large screen.
Kim explored more than 500 videos on gaming room decorating and game-related documentaries to learn how gamers decorate and organize their space. “To develop a 55-inch 1000R curved gaming screen, I watched videos that carry gamers’ daily life and analyzed their lifestyle,” he said.
Then, they created product mockups by using a form board and viewed the screens with projectors to find the ideal screen size and curvature as well as to realize the ambition of vertical Cockpit Mode.
Lee conducted a two-week review involving heavy gamers in the U.S. and studied every detail of gamers’ needs regarding features and interfaces. “During the four-day business trip I had to deal with real-time issues and responses day and night. But it was such a meaningful time that I even forgot how tired I was!” Lee said.
Any new feature requires significant time and effort as many people from different departments work together to verify UX, GUI, compatibility with conventional features and quality control. “I think it is the first project in which so many people from different departments joined together for a single product,” said Choi. “It is incredible that every single person actively participated in the project.”
Odyssey Ark Is Finally Here. So, What’s Next?
The Odyssey Ark surprised the world with its amazing gaming screen. But when asked about the next plan, every expert uniformly said, “This is only the beginning.” Lee said, “The ark is in the early stages. We will continue to update the product by reflecting gamers’ preferences.” Kim added, “I would like to overcome physical limits and create a better screen.” Choi shared his ambition saying, “We will do everything possible to allow users to seamlessly immerse themselves in any game with the Ark.” Going forward, the Odyssey Ark will continue to open new possibilities for gamers.