Pico Interactive announced last week that Neo 3, the Beijing-based company’s next standalone VR headset, is slated to arrive to consumers in Asia starting May 10th, 2021, and to enterprise in the West sometime this summer. We had only seen a single partial rendering of Pico Neo 3, however now the company has revealed more of the headset alongside revealing a few basic specs.

Update (April 13th, 2021): Pico today released more info on its upcoming Neo 3 standalone. There’s only a short spec sheet for now. Today’s news also came with a new image of the headset, which we’ve included above.

Pico Neo 3 will include:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset
  • WiFi 6 antenna 
  • optical controllers with embedded tracking sensors
  • three physical IPD adjustments
  • four wide-angle cameras providing “millimeter-level” positioning and tracking
  • curved screen clocked at 90Hz refresh

Notably, the Snapdragon XR2 is the same chipset inside Oculus Quest 2. The company says its enterprise version for outside of Asia is slated to release sometime in summer 2021. The original article follows below:

Original Article (April 7th, 2021):The company released the news via its official Weibo account early yesterday, stating that the headset will be launched at a special event taking place on May 10th at the Beijing National Aquatics Center, also known as ‘Water Cube’.

As reported by Chinese VR publication Yivian, the headset appears to have four optical sensors and a new Oculus Touch-like controller.

Image courtesy Pico Interactive

There’s essentially nothing else to go on besides the rendering above, however Pico is making definite strides to appeal to consumers in Asia with the launch of its next standalone headset.

In late March, the company announced its was opening its own publishing division, called Pico Studios. The company says it will be partnering with global developers to bring its 6DOF VR apps and games to consumers in Asia. The company has already stocked its Pico Store with around 400 apps, which include a number of fan favorites localized for Chinese consumption such as Superhot VR, Apex ConstructAngry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs, and Racket: Nx.

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As for the West, Pico is still focusing on serving enterprise clients and B2B with Neo 3, which makes sense since there are very few companies up to the task of undercutting the successful Oculus Quest platform vis-à-vis Facebook.

It’s important to note that China-based consumers can’t purchase Oculus devices as Facebook is banned in that country, which makes for an interesting state of affairs. Pico Interactive has been armed with a fresh B and B+ funding round though, amounting to around $67M, so there’s no telling what inroads Pico will make outside of Asia in the future.

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  • Adrian Meredith

    lol copy paste job, no surprises here. I wonder if they reverse engineered the software too

    • Bob

      Chinese companies copy exactly 1:1 because there are obviously no repercussions for doing so as they are all based in China. Western companies are powerless to do anything about it aside from stopping all of their product from being sold in China which would be an awful idea because there are 1.4 billion Chinese!

      The one thing about the Chinese is that they’re either too incompetent or too lazy to come up with their own solutions so they take someone else’s work and then sell it for cheap. The cheap is good but more often than not you end up paying the price in terms of poorer quality and reliability. And not to mention the Chinese are generally not very good at software.

      • Tailgun

        Best reply in this thread and saved me the trouble of saying all this myself.

      • Warscent

        Lack of creativity and free thinking is simply a product of communism.

      • Cl

        Or is it so they dont have to pay r&d costs? Which allows them to sell for cheaper? Thats what i always thought.

      • sfmike

        In the USA we all used to laugh about all that “cheap junk” made in Japan and now Asia is where most everything is made. Don’t be so smug as history has a way laughing at your current assessment of where quality tech develops.

    • Mikenseer

      I hope every hardware company copies the Quest, and just deletes facebook from it. That would be a great product.

    • Wild Dog
    • Andrew Jakobs

      what copy paste job? their first headset was released in 2018. And these days chinese companies seem to innovate more than US companies. Yes, there will always be copycats, but there are many chinese companies that actually innovate.

      • Zantetsu

        You lost me at “chinese companies seem to innovate more than US companies”. That’s some serious bias showing.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Not really, just look at smartphones, most new innovation comes from chinese companies these days.

          • Zantetsu

            You pick a very narrow definition of innovation then. Also, debatable even in that domain.

          • Peter K

            Space exploration – SpaceX
            Advanced robots – Boston Dynamics
            Semiconducting tech – TSMC, AMD, NVIDIA, INTEL
            VR – Oculus, valve
            Not to mention phone & computer hardware, software, GPS, internet, gaming… Nothing is innovated by China.

    • Yes reverse engineering is such a simple task a child can do it. Can’t give them any credit here, they clearly have no idea what they are doing so they just copy.
      /s

    • Jan Ciger

      Try to use one of these before you spread BS, please. Then you would know it is a completely home-grown system based on a more recent version of Android than what Quest uses.

      Also Pico Neo 2 uses a totally different (magnetic) controller tracking, the optics is different, it is their own design.

  • GOAT42

    A wise man once told me

    “I don’t care that they stole my idea . . I care that they don’t have any of their own”

    Nikola Tesla

  • TechPassion

    If it was Steam VR compatible, then there would be competition to Quest 2. It seems Steam VR does not work as they don’t mention this anywhere.

  • Foreign Devil

    Life is easy for Chinese tech companies. . all your overseas competition completely shut out of the Chinese market for you. And their patents un-enforceable in China.

    • Ad

      American companies literally control global tech. Are there any major European tech companies?

      • Foreign Devil

        They outcompete them. You have to be really innovative and really good to compete with the big guys. Shopify in my city in Canada is an example of a tech company holding their own against American companies. Before that it was Nortel.. but they got careless and Huawei and some other Chinese companies hacked their IP.

        • No they don’t. American companies prevail because after world war 2 the US who saw no damage the scale of what europe suffered they became the manufacturing center of a war recovering world. This and involvement in wars and conflicts all throughout the world made the US the wealthiest country in the world. This contributed to the capital that US corporations have at hand to buy out any competition product. Also In a global market US companies having the capital advantage built thanks to world war 2 they bought the most talented people from all the poor /struggling/warring nations in the world consolidating their corporate dominance.

          • Tailgun

            There are about 50 different outrageous falsehoods in your post – that must be some kind of Disqus record. Fortunately for me, sanity prevailed before I wasted 20 minutes of my time countering them all. The internet in 2021 is just not worth it.

          • Peter K

            Oh yeah? then open up and invite Google, Amazon into China and see how it plays out. Stop blaming foreign countries for things that happened in the 1800s when your government killed more of your own people in the last 70 years than the Japanese & 8 nations ever did.

          • Zantetsu

            I see. So the excuse is going to be WW2 forever. Can you explain Germany’s economic ascendency then? Kinda shoots a huge hole in your theory.

    • Let me remind you Huawei, WeChat were banned in the US. Don’t blame other countries for doing what the biggest players in the game do all the time.

      If patent laws weren’t different in every country. England and Spain would have a patent on absolutely everything as they held the largest empires that have existed in the period of time when the concept of patents became relevant.

  • Wild Dog

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I think this is an inside/out + EM tracking hybrid headset. It obviously uses inside/out tracking, but I think the metal grate on the upper face of it is part of an EM tracker.

    Last I heard, EM tracking has some limitations, so they’re probably using EM tracking just to supplement the inside/out tracking when the controller’s out of camera view. Not a terrible idea.

    • Blaexe

      The metal grid is an air vent. The same is on the Neo 2.

      • R3ST4RT

        Was just going to say, 100% cooling duct/venting.

      • Wild Dog

        Maybe I’m wrong, but I remember hearing otherwise.

        • Blaexe

          https://skarredghost.com/2020/07/19/pico-neo-2-eye-review-2/

          “On the top of the front plate, you can find the air vent, that emits warm air when you start using the headset too much.”

          • Wild Dog

            Did the writer cite that info from somewhere? I wouldn’t be surprised if he was guessing.

          • Blaexe

            He literally had one at home and used it…

          • Wild Dog

            Hmm.

        • Jan Ciger

          It is an air vent. Neo 2 has an actual fan built in.

          Metal grate makes both no sense as a part of a magnetic tracker (for that you need 3 perpendicular coils, not a flat grate) and it would interfere with the signal.

          • Wild Dog

            Fine, okay. I’ll take your word for it.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      The Neo 2 already has EM tracking for the controllers, which it tracks outside of the camera’s views, better than any of the WMR, Oculus or Cosmos headset.

      • Wild Dog

        As best as I remember it, while the positional tracking beats inside/out tracking, the latency isn’t as good or something.

    • Jan Ciger

      The article literally says they controllers are optically tracked, unlike on Neo 2. If they are using the XR2 platform which has been explicitly designed for this it would only make sense.

      The magnetic controller tracking on Neo 2 is serviceable but not great – it often loses track for inexplicable reasons (likely software problems because it happens in specific situations where there is nothing that could interfere) and the controller suddenly behaves as a 3DoF device until the system recovers.

      • Wild Dog

        Yeah, but I was thinking they might be an okay way to pick up the slack when the cameras lose track of the controllers.

  • Andrew Jakobs

    Hope they’ll release some extra info on the specifications soon.

    • Holdup

      Probably same as quest 2 but whiteout stuff like hand tracking and guardian

  • xyzs

    China : ctrl+c,ctrl+v;

    • xyzs

      Still disliking my comment ?
      Happens to be true AF now….

    • Elite-Force_Cinema

      And why do you care about China? Are you trying to say you want the entire country to die as a whole simply because you think they are a greedy and evil country? Cause it sounds like you are!!

  • Anonymous

    Lots of people talk about just copycats. I agree.
    But no the more important question should be – will you entrust your data and privacy to a Chinese company, who by law must help CCP spy on their customers?

    And even if we naively assume spying is a myth, the CCP is authoritarian and can freely screw up sny company they see fit on a whim. Do you want to risk having your HMD to stop getting support or even function due to say the company gets closed down for whatever reason the CCP gives – such as “not paying enough tax (/wink)” ?

    Corruption is a FACT in China and no business is possible without having some ties with CCP.

    • Ad

      Microsoft just signed a deal to make AR for war, selling headsets for like 30K each. Corruption is alive and well here as well.

      • silvaring

        This deal scares me…. I saw it a few days ago.

      • brandon9271

        yeah.. we don’t want something that could better serve our troops and keep them from getting killed.. Just hand them a rifle and say “good luck” like the “good ol days”

        • Ad

          Why do you people live in a fantasy world where the only people in the war zone are the troops, no other humans exist with lives that matter, and where literally every aspect of the lives of american military personal isn’t a disaster that you don’t care about? There are endless threads about VA failures, the huge problem of sexual assault in the army, suicide rates for veterans are high, we still don’t acknowledge gulf war syndrome, a huge proportion of recruits are there because they need the money and nothing else, soldiers have to deal with white supremacists joining the army to gain combat experience (the FBI confirmed this), and recruits of color deal with racist harassment or violence on a regular basis. You don’t care about the troops, you just want to waste money on things that won’t protect them.

          • brandon9271

            I want our troops to be better trained and equipped with cutting edge tech.. you don’t. That’s fine.

          • Ad

            You don’t care about them, just make that clear.

          • Kunakai

            You mean the same troops guilty of murdering innocent civilians?

            Strawman arguments deserve strawman responses.

    • I much rather give my data to the people elected goverment than to a private corporation who operate internationally and can simply move to a different country for a different jurisdiction on what to do with my data. People don’t realize that the CCP has majority support in China and responds to its base of support not just to a single guy’s feelings. I dislike the Republican party in the US yet I would rather entrust them with my data over facebook because they have to respond to a base of people while facebook can care less. They only respond to whoever owns them.

      Funny how we criticize goverments for being dictatorships when the biggest dictatorships are the companies that make the products we love.

      • Peter K

        You don’t know if CCP has a majority support in china. Every member down to national people’s representative is elected not by their provinces but by the higher ups in the party that do everything to cling onto their positions. At least I can choose NOT to buy an oculus, can you choose not to use baidu?

      • Um… buddy… just because it says “People’s Democratic Republic of China” doesn’t mean they have elections. It’s a totalitarian Communist government. There’s no elections.

        It’s nice that, at this moment in time, at least for the most part, we laugh at the idea of China directly effecting American lives. But.. the Chinese are investing in every industry world-wide they can. The Chinese government already keeps a “Social Credit Score” of people within their country, and likely plan on expanding it to everywhere else eventually, so…. it’s not unlikely that they would use their power to harass foreigners who oppose them. It’s more of a “given eventuality”.

        They already do in minor ways now. People in Australia and Africa have been fired for speaking out against Chinese influence. That power will only expand over the future if we continue to turn a blind eye to it. Facebook sells me junk on Amazon. The Chinese government’s plans are EXTREMELY little less benign.

        • Jan Ciger

          It’s a totalitarian Communist government. There’s no elections.

          That’s completely false:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_China

          Even the former Soviet Union had elections.

          Granted, none of that would be something akin to free and democratic elections we are used to but to say that there are NO elections is completely wrong.

          • don’t give the US so much credit it isn’t democratic either when is not 1 person 1 vote.

        • What a dummy where you get your info from? Your neighbor? China has tons of elections whether they are (fair or not) like I put in my freaking comment under parenthesis if you could read.

        • jim

          Yeah I don’t think a country that takes 10 days to count ballots and supports endless coups against other nations is in a position to make claims about the state of other nations’ democracy.

    • Sergio Bromberg

      Its very surprising that you use that argument without a single mention to Cambridge Analytica. The company that owns the Quest already sold your data for political purposes and you still think they are more trustworthy?

    • The Pico Neo is being distributed by Pico Europe and it even adheres on GDPR standards.

    • Cheryl Johnson

      Get $193 per h from Google!…~a1231~ Yes this can be best since I simply got my initial payroll check of $24413 and this was just of one week…I am aslo purchased my Mclaren P1 right after this payment…~a1231~ it is really best job I have even had and you will not for~give yourself if you not check it >>>> http://www.riverbridge.cf/check2020 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • sfmike

      Luckily we have no corruption in the USA.

    • Jan Ciger

      Sorry but that’s utter FUD and it is obvious you have never used one of these.

      E.g. anything Facebook is a complete no-go for businesses in Europe. Pico Neo you can easily put on an isolated network behind the corporate firewall. And unless you believe in alien mind control using some energy beams from space, no data can go to any CCP spies. You don’t have to take the vendor at their word that they won’t spy on you.

      You literally can’t do that with any of the Facebook or HTC devices which require you to maintain a connection to the “mothership” at all times due to the links to their business management portals.

      Don’t spread paranoid conspiracies and prejudice, please.

      (yes, I have developed and shipped apps on both Quest and Neo)

      • Juan

        Good to see you around again. Miss your vrgeek forum back in the day! Wonder if you are are now using Pico’s OpenXR mobile SDK or the Android Native SDK? Are you in some new forum now like reedit?

  • Ad

    A lot of these comments are cancer, people apparently are well versed in the evils of China through any random company that exists there, but not the MIC or corporate America. And didn’t know Pico has been in the game for years.

    Anyway, how small of a company is Pico? What’s different about this headset from the last Pico Neo? Are they aiming for a lower price point? What’s the Chinese consumer market sweet spot for price?

    • Jan Ciger

      Having used the Pico Neo 2, at the very least the CPU is newer – Snapdragon XR2 vs the Snapdragon 845 – (original Quest has Snapdragon 835, Quest 2 has XR2), the controller tracking is different (Neo 2 has magnetic tracking, Neo 3 seems optical). We will see about the other differences.

      Pico Interactive is not exactly small – about 300 people, they are around since 2015 and this is the third generation of the Neo headset (they made some other devices as well).

      And Pico Neo devices are not targeting consumer space, they are purely oriented for business use, even in China.

      They target this specifically by offering stuff like custom branding, platform SYSTEM signature (“root”), possibility to replace the UI with your own launcher, “developer mode” by default, there is no mandatory link to any store/portal (but the devices support enterprise management features), etc.

      And re prices – Neo 2 sells for about 800EUR-ish, if I remember right, with no strings attached (no mandatory per-device subscription, unlike HTC/Facebook pricing for businesses).

  • From now on during exams, Pico & Oculus can’t sit together. lol

  • You can Keep your communist VR headset China.

    • silvaring

      You’re such a bore bot boy.

    • Elite-Force_Cinema

      And why do you care about China? Are you trying to say you want the entire country to die as a whole simply because you think they are a greedy and evil country? Cause it sounds like you are!!!

  • I can’t wait to know more!

  • silvaring

    Ben, can you and the editorial team please start reigning in this nationalist zeal flooding comments on the site lately… it’s not a good thing to see plastered over every VR article dealing with chinese manufacturers.

    • So you want to restrict people’s speech just because it makes you uncomfortable? That’s pretty pathetic.

  • okExpression

    What do you mean “curved” screens? You can’t just glance over that. To date nobody has been able to create curved LCD and OLED can only be curved along one axis. Maybe it’s a curved (or trapezoidal) cutout display (like inside Lynx) but flat along the display axis?

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Well, Samsung had applied a patent for a VR headset with a curved display, but sadly we never heard anything anymore from Samsung, even though they said last year around this time they would show new hardware within a couple of months..

      • okExpression

        If I had a dime for every patent I’ve seen

    • Johhny O.

      I think they are actually using the Samsung patented one being use here

      • okExpression

        Nope, no evidence at all.

        • dk

          plus the samsung patent had a completely different form factor

    • dk

      most likely nothing noticeable or at most a few degrees of extra fov but if it was significant they would have mentioned it …not sure it has to be curved in both directions

  • dk

    it would be funny if the vive headset is the same

  • okExpression

    People here are talking about privacy issues and
    Cambridge Analytica,have none of you heard of PRISM??

  • So, really, nothing about is better than the Oculus Quest 2? I can’t see a stand out reason to pick this over the Quest 2, especially considering the Quest has a stellar library, the whole Oculus environment, is just about to get 120Hz support alongside proper wireless remote for playing PC VR desktop games/apps, and so on.

  • Johhny O.

    No one really ask about the “Curve screen” part? I think that is actually very exciting how a “curve screen” works inside a VR headset

  • Rupert Jung

    Why is it so hard to use a halo design and move the battery to the backside?

    • dk

      the previous model had the battery in the back …I guess it will be an option for this one ….not a halo tho
      p.s. hmmm not sure if the previous model had a removable strap this one can have a halo option I guess