Pico Interactive, the VR hardware subsidiary to Chinese tech giant ByteDance, is apparently getting ready to release a new series of standalone VR headsets.

As first reported by ProtocolPico filed the devices with the FCC late last week, saying in the filing that it intends to launch both a Pico 4 Pro and Pico 4 standalone headsets.

Both headsets are identical in specs “except additional eye tracking & face tracking function for Pico 4 Pro,” the company says in the filing.

Image courtesy FCC, Pico Interactive

As noted by Protocol, Pico appears to have called the new hardware ‘Phoenix’ in the FCC filing, and it’s reported to run on Android Q via a Qualcomm processor. FCC filings are typically vague as to not give away too much information pre-launch, so we’ll just have to wait to see how much of an upgrade it is over its latest.

It’s uncertain whether ‘Pico 4’ is the final naming scheme, or whether it’s a shorthand for Pico Neo 4, although it’s clear the company is looking to bring competition to basically the only real name in consumer VR standalones: Meta. Since its founding in 2015, Pico pretty much only targeted consumers in China and enterprise users in the West. That was before it released it Neo 3 Link in Europe back in May, a device that features near spec parity with Quest 2.

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At the time, we surmised Pico was quickly eyeballing North America with its Neo 3 Link in an attempt to earnestly compete with Meta there, although now it’s possible the company is looking to one-up the competition with the new hardware before it makes landfall on Meta’s home turf.

The filing doesn’t reveal to what extent Pico 4 will be able to match Meta’s upcoming Project Cambria, which is a VR headset capable of doing augmented reality tasks thanks to its mixed reality passthrough camera sensors. The price of Cambria is set to be “significantly higher than $800” though, so there may be some wiggle room from a name that’s so far unknown to consumers in the US.

Cambria is said to include both eye and face-tracking, so it will be interesting to see how Pico intends on competing (likely with Pico 4 Pro), whether it be by pushing specs slightly beyond Quest 2 or going for full spec parity with Cambria.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • xyzs

    Some hardware news, that’s so rare!

    The lenses look quite big, does it mean finally wide FoV headset (from not Pimax)?

    • Sofian

      There are 2 lenses stacked, the smallest one is more indicative of the FOV, so don’t expect any improvement.

    • mappo

      I’d expect that it’s a direct clone/IP theft of Cambria, so no not wide FOV.

      • Sofian

        You know for a fact that the lenses were designed by Meta and not provided by 3M for instance (to both Meta and Pico)?

    • Muckylittleme

      Meta have stated they are not interested in improving the FOV and so Pico will likely not either since they are owned by Bytedance who have similar ambitions to Facebook/Meta

  • Andrew Jakobs

    With the release of the Pico Neo 3 link it was already suggested a new headset would be right around the corner and it would likely be a cambria like version, so with pancake lenses.

  • pablito

    Sounds like a decent headset. What a shame it’s communist run!

    • Anonymous

      Excatly. This is a national security hazard and must be banned. All Chinese made IT hardware.

      • Muckylittleme

        I’d worry more about Zuckerberg and the US deep state steeling your data and spying on you since you are a citizen of the West.

        • Anonymous

          I’d rather get spied by companies in democratic companies than a anti-humanity evil country who actively uses information for criminal activities.

          If you cannot see which is the lesser of two evils then one of them. Period.

          • Muckylittleme

            Yeah China is an evil totalitarian dictatorship but it is responsible so far for less war and death around the world.
            If you can’t see how a tyranny you are not ruled by is less dangerous than a tyranny you are ruled by and how evil and murderous the US deep state and military industrial complex is then you are a mindless drone who doesn’t have an opinion outside of what you have been programmed with.
            Oh and I didn’t have to have a Bytedance account to use a Pico 3 and even Bytedance have committed less egregious acts of information gathering and censorship on their own citizens than Facebook!
            Now get your 4th shot and make sure you superglue that mask to your face and obey the curfews this Winter along with your power and food rationing which are on their way curtesy of the UN, WEF, Mr Schwab, Mr Gates, Mr Fauci and that corrupt senile old imposter they laughingly call the President.

          • cataflic

            Data, data, data….go back to paper, handicrafts, hoe and potatoes and you have completely closed the topic!

          • Pedro Santos

            OK feel better now?

  • I’m intrigued

  • Muckylittleme

    The Pico Neo 3 has specs slightly beyond Quest 2 since the link cable is provided and much better image quality than Quest 2 when hooked up to a PC, otherwise they are very comparable spec wise.

    My issue is that Meta have stated they are not interested in improving the FOV and so Pico will likely not either since they are owned by Bytedance who have similar ambitions to Facebook/Meta which saddens me as I want better FOV and I already have 35% off the next gen Pico HMD.