In the game world we can become the captain of a warship or the fastest racer in the world. Players enter their own unique virtual space via a screen. Samsung Odyssey Ark, the world’s first 55-inch 1000R curved gaming monitor, introduced a new world for gamers.
How was this innovative gaming monitor invented? To learn more about the entire development process, from conception to development and release, Samsung Newsroom spoke with three experts who strove to create the masterpiece, Odyssey Ark: Hyun Mook Choi, who managed to turn his Odyssey Ark concept into the final product, Jisoo Kim, who worked on product design to provide players with the best gaming experience possible, and Kyuseong Lee, who designed various features to improve the gaming experience.
The start of Odyssey Ark: providing “a unique play space where players can stand out”
In addition to the vertical cockpit mode, Odyssey Ark, the world’s first 55-inch 1000R curved gaming display, offers an unparalleled and overwhelming presence. The all-new form factor was born out of the desire for space.
“I wrote the concept for Odyssey Ark thinking that everyone could have dreamed of creating their own arcade with their favorite gaming device.” Hyun Mook Choi, who conceived the concept for Odyssey Ark, recalled when he came up with the idea.
Jisoo Kim said the product design was inspired by his six-year-old boy building a fortress for his own space. He believed that a flexible screen could satisfy gamers’ unique desire to have their own space. They found common ground in the space and refined the concept.
“Early in design, we found out in interviews that most gamers wanted to have ‘a big screen that could wrap them tightly,'” Choi said. “Gamers are looking for a special display that provides a great presence in their room and from there we set out to create a product that gamers would want to show off.”
The difference between home gaming, home theater, and home office is that it should provide “a fun escape from everyday life” rather than blending into it. “That’s why we thought a 55-inch 1000R rotating curved gaming monitor could mesmerize gamers with a completely different form factor,” Kim said. “Odyssey Ark has been developed with a sophisticated and overwhelming design to give users the feeling that they can win with this game screen. Visual excitement has also been added by allowing users to dynamically rotate the screen in n any direction.
“When designing the product plan, we paid attention to the fact that the game market is no longer just about playing, but has grown across the entire platform by absorbing all entertainment elements, including including visual aspects and increased interaction.” He proudly explained, “From the start, Odyssey Ark positioned itself as a ‘game changer’ to open up a new market.”
Designed for gaming! Story behind designing practical features to meet individual needs
Players warmly welcomed Odyssey Ark as it seemed to read their minds. Kyuseong Lee, a gaming enthusiast and member of the Future Planning Group, joined the project and offered ideas. “I first thought about what makes me feel uncomfortable during the game and made efforts to reflect the game model of the players and their lifestyle,” he said.
Combined with its incredible image 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 of product development was image quality technology. “We’ve adopted the same processor used in the highest quality TVs for gamers who spare no expense to play a game smoothly with incredible picture quality,” Lee said. Combined with 4K resolution, the large display has the best gaming specs with a 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms (GtG) response time. In fact, this is the first 55-inch gaming monitor that supports 165Hz refresh rate.
Hyun Mook Choi, who designed Flex Move Screen, emphasized the product development goal saying, “Most gamers love multitasking, so they constantly change the location of the main monitor on their desktop and adjust the size and the ratio of the screen depending on what they want to play. “Flex Move Screen allows users to choose a perfect screen size between 55 and 27 inches, as well as a screen ratio between 16:9, 21:9 and 32:9. Moreover, it also helps users find the most comfortable posture by adjusting the screen position in a 55-inch large screen.
Ark Dial, the Odyssey Ark’s exclusive controller, was designed for gamers who are constantly adjusting settings to save time and find shortcuts. Users can easily change screen layout and settings with Ark Dial as well as quickly and simply control Multi View. “Internal testing shows that Ark Dial significantly reduces setup time from about one minute to five seconds,” Kim said. “For the Ark Dial test, we even rented the knowledge deluxe vehicles and tested the smoothness of rotation and the response time of the dial.”
Additionally, the Odyssey Ark introduces extremely immersive sound with Dolby Atmos based on 60W 2.2.2 channel and Sound Dome Tech. Choi gained insight into reviews involving professional gamers, T1. “Contrary to our ideas that all gamers would like to play a game with headphones, they prefer to use speakers. This clearly shows that perfect sound direction and realistic game sound effects are particularly important,” says Choï. “That’s why the Odyssey Ark offers multi-channel speakers and an additional woofer.”
Continuous studies and tests to create a totally new product concept
Inventing a new product means continuous testing, experimenting and studying. Also, enhancing the usability of the big screen on the desktop was a daunting task. They adopted a 1000R curvature to optimize the near-field viewing angle of the 55-inch screen. A slim plate for the bottom helps gamers use space efficiently even with the large screen.
Kim explored over 500 game room decorating videos and gaming-related documentaries to learn how gamers decorate and organize their space. “To develop an unprecedented 55-inch 1000R curved gaming display, I watched videos that tell about the daily lives of gamers and analyzed their lifestyle,” he said.
Next, they created product mockups using a dashboard and visualized the screens with projectors to find the perfect screen size and curvature as well as achieve the ambition of the Vertical Cockpit mode.
Lee conducted a two-week review involving big gamers in the US and researched every detail of gamer needs for features and interfaces. “During the four-day business trip, I had to deal with real-time problems and responses day and night. But it was such a meaningful moment that I even forgot how tired I was! said Lee.
Any new feature requires a lot of time and effort, as many people from different departments work together to check UX, GUI, compatibility with conventional features, and quality control. “I think this is the first project where so many people from different departments have come together for one product,” Choi said. “It’s amazing that every person was actively involved in the project.”
Odyssey Ark is finally here. So what’s the next step?
The Odyssey Ark surprised the world with its best-in-class gaming display. But when asked about the next plan, all the experts answered unanimously: “This is just the beginning”. Lee said, “The ark is in its early stages. We will continue to update the product to reflect player preferences. Kim added, “I would like to overcome the physical limitations and create a better display.” Choi shared his ambition, saying, “We will do everything we can to allow users to seamlessly immerse themselves in any game with the Ark.” Going forward, the Odyssey Ark will continue to open up new possibilities for players.