Fresh Details Emerge About the Pico 4/Phoenix VR Headset
Pico’s upcoming Phoenix headset will have mixed reality features just like Meta’s upcoming high-end Project Cambria headset.
ByteDance, the TikTok parent company appears to be keen on taking on Meta in the VR hardware market. The company’s upcoming Pico 4 (or Pico Phoenix) virtual reality headset will have an RGB camera for color-passthrough video functionality. This new detail has emerged from a recent Bluetooth certification document.
The Pico Phoenix passthrough is similar to the color passthrough in Meta’s upcoming Project Cambria/Meta Quest Pro headset which will be launched in October. Both Meta and ByteDance will unveil their respective mixed reality headsets in the coming weeks.
The listing is with the Bluetooth SIG. In the listing, Pico, which is a ByteDance subsidiary, is describing its new headset as a “premium VR all-in-one headset” and that it will be smaller than Pico’s current Neo 3 headset. The upcoming Pico headset is codenamed Phoenix and will have a higher resolution display than the previous generation, along with clearer optics, according to the information in the listing.
The listing doesn’t provide any comprehensive specs. However, it says the headset will feature a “high-quality RGB camera to unlock new level Mix-Reality experience.”
The listing also says integrated face and eye tracking will render “a more real avatar.” In July 2022, Protocol reported that Pico was planning to release a Pro model of its upcoming virtual reality headset and that it would have both face and eye tracking functionality.
The Bluetooth SIG listing states that the device will feature four cameras along with “many other sensors.” The device will also include support for dual 6DoF controllers and hand tracking. The controllers will have “wide band” linear resonant actuators that will “make the haptic experience more immersive.”
The Pico Phoenix headset will also feature automatic hardware IPD adjustment for adapting the pupillary distance of a person to achieve a “more accurate and comfortable vision experience.”
Following its acquisition of Pico in 2021, ByteDance has been repositioning the mixed reality startup with a bigger consumer base in mind. Pico started selling its current-gen headset, the Neo 3 Link, to buyers in Europe this spring. The company also started developing a new content unit known as Pico Studios in the U.S. this year. The company’s latest moves suggest it is angling itself to take on Meta in the virtual reality hardware market.
Meta’s Project Cambria headset, a high-end virtual reality headset targeting the prosumer market will be unveiled in October 2022. Like the Pico Phoenix headset, Project Cambria provides color passthrough video functionality. In the run to the launch of the headset, Meta has also been urging developers to create mixed reality experiences that use virtual elements and the passthrough videos.