Pico Neo Is A $749 Standalone Headset With 6DOF Tracking

by Jamie Feltham • January 2nd, 2018

Pico was one of the first companies to release a standalone VR headset last year with the perfectly adequate Goblin, an all-in-one device with three degrees of freedom (3DOF) tracking. Pico’s next headset, though, will address the growing demand for 6DOF tracking in standalone VR.

Announced last week, the Pico Neo is a $749 device with 6DOF tracking on both the main unit and the accompanying motion controller. Both feature built-in sensors that allow you to move your head and hand around virtual environments without the need for external trackers as seen with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. We haven’t gone hands-on with the kit just yet, so we can’t speak to the quality of tracking or its limits right now.

Elsewhere, the Neo features two 3.5 inch 1440×1600 LCD displays with a 90Hz refresh rate. It also utilizes the Snapdragon 835 Mobile VR Platform, which is a step up from the Snapdragon 820 CPU used in the Goblin, and packs 4GB RAM, 64GB UFS2.0 ROM and support for up to 256 GB expanded storage.

We still have a lot of questions about the Neo, though. Content, for example, is a big query given that the Goblin doesn’t enjoy the large portfolio of games seen in competitors like the Gear VR and Google Daydream. Just as the Goblin is set to compete with the soon-to-release Oculus Go, the Neo will one day find itself up against Oculus’ Santa Cruz standalone and Google’s 6DOF headset made with Lenovo. There’s also the Vive Focus, which itself launched in China last year.

For now, though, Pico might have a window of opportunity if it’s first to market. We don’t know when the Neo will launch and Pico is only accepting applications for pre-orders from businesses, not consumers, at the moment. The device will be on show at next week’s CES in Las Vegas, though, so hopefully we’ll get some time with it there.

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  • gothicvillas

    hmm I’m sceptical to these as a gaming device. I guess there are specific apps to cater for low power headsets (youtube, facebook etc). Whats the FOV?

    • FOV is overrated. Believe me, what you see in an HMD is just fine.
      No immersion is lost whatsoever.
      You see a bit more at a time, sure.
      But “less FOV” absolutely does not mean “less immersive”.

  • N P

    What’s 3dof and 6dof in practical terms?

    • Ted Joseph

      3DOF basically means your head is on a fixed axis point (x 0, y 0, z 0), and you can look up down, left right, and tilt side to side. 6DOF means you can now move into the X, Y, and Z axis both positive and minus (basically room scale).

    • drd7of14

      3 Degrees of Freedom vs. 6 Degrees of Freedom.

      Pretty much means more angles/points of tracking.

    • Braycen Jackwitz

      3dof is rotation tracking only.
      6dof is both rotation and position tracking.

  • RFC_VR

    Content is a real issue, and the article has done well to highlight this. The reference to Daydream is interesting, because it’s really lacking content once you’ve played the few standout applications like Eclipse and Virtual Virtual Reality.

    But, and it’s a big but, it’s £100 for new View running on a suitable smartphone – a very useful multi purpose device. (Like using a PC for PC VR, the PC is very useful outside VR).

    Standalone device costing $749 is limited to it’s only function (VR). Unless a substantial amount of quality content is provided, it’s DOA?

    • Developers are right in being wortied about Daydream, as it is SHIT.
      Nebulous promises, cancelled hardware & missed ship dates is all you get from Daydream.
      Devs should start porting their Daydream stuff to Go now, and to “Santa Cruz” several months later.
      The Daydream “platform” is a stillborn mess.

      • RFC_VR

        I use PC VR, PSVR as well as mobile VR systems, because I want access to as many different VR applications as possible, the HMD is merely a tool to access content.

        Daydream is not “sh*t” by any means – there are several excellent applications on the platform. Especially when Google produce their own software – “Daydream Audio Factory” is a stunning application to experience.

        The sad thing is the failure to reach its potential (agree with your other comments, especially for Dev’s who have seen application sales limited to only 100’s or 1000’s of downloads), and there is prior history with Google dropping a number of projects.

        An associate who worked in London in senior role in VR/AR team, is moving to Mountain View, Ca to work on blue sky projects, as they shift focus to AI, IOT, ARcore, Machine Learning, etc.

        • You’re right, I forgot to mention one of the BIGGEST points:
          Google’s history is RIFE with fleeting dalliances with hardware,
          promising consumers the Moon, and then suddenly
          and without so much as a hint of a warning,
          dropping said hardware like the proverbial hot rock.
          Google is toxic.

  • Kenny Thompson

    Looks neat. Love the 6dof controller support. Of course… worthless unless there is meaningful software / dev support. Lets see.