When the Chinese tech company, Pico, announced that pre-orders had opened up for the Pico Neo, I was a little shocked at the high price: $749.00.
“Who would pay that much for a VR headset now that the Vive and Rift are below $499 if you shop around?” I thought to myself. However, Pico offers something the other two don’t: wireless connectivity right out of the box.
For $749.00 you gain instant access to untethered, wireless, six-degrees of freedom usability with built-in gyrosensors and accelerometers, along with matching wireless controllers using ultra-sonic sensors to detect 6DOF movement.
In other words, the Pico Neo is the first ever multi-purpose, high-end, VR headset that comes right out of the box with zero cords, and no additional requirements for wireless connectivity. It’s also designed to make use of easy-to-use UI and calibration controls, as outlined in the press release.
- The E – PUI (Product User Interface) VR education broadcast control system
- VR theatre broadcast control system
- Spatial orientation and motion capture
- Depth perception systems
- An upgraded scheme of family VR entertainment systems.
It’s a real breakthrough given that the current wireless solution, also available from a Chinese tech firm, is the TPCast wireless adapter. The TPCast is available for both the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. However, despite the device working quite well, it costs $299 for the Vive version and $349 for the Rift version. So no matter what you paid for either HMD, it would still put you either on par with or over what the Pico Neo cost if you decided to purchase a wireless adapter for the Vive or Rift.
Getting into the specs… the Pico Neo offers 3K resolution output at 90hz refresh, supporting up to 90 frames per second buffering. Each visual LCD is 3.5 inches with resolution outputs at 1440 x 1600 per screen. That’s a huge upgrade over the Vive’s 1080 x 1200 per eye, and far better than the 960 x 1080 resolution per eye for the PlayStation VR. However, both the Vive and PSVR have larger screen sizes per eye.
The best part about it is that you won’t need any additional, external lighthouses or sensors to make use of the Pico Neo. Everything is built in.
Pico managed to deliver a headset with 4GB of HS RAM, running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. It also supports built-in AM3D spatial surround sound support for hi-fidelity audio output and omni-directional 3D depth sound mapping.
I have no idea how well this device will be supported, how well it will perform in real-time, or whether or not it will be compatible with all of the existing software on the market. Right now it seems to be targeting the mobile app sector, but if there was anyway to get it to work with standard desktops, it could be a real breakthrough.
If you’re a gadget geek and you love new gizmos, you can pre-order the Pico Neo right now by visiting the official website.
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