PICO, a smart wearables brand acquired by ByteDance, has announced that its new product launch event will be held at 14:00 GMT+2 on September 22. During this time, it will unveil the much-anticipated PICO 4 all-in-one VR headset. Although the configurations, price and other specific information on the new product have not been made public yet, the product has been widely discussed. It could represent an important step for PICO to focus on overseas market expansion and enter into more direct competition with Meta’s Quest.
In terms of product configuration, the PICO 4 has started accepting pre-orders on Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com, available in 128G and 256G versions. According to promotional posters, PICO seems to launch “sports bracelet” accessories that can monitor the current sports status of users, so as to further fit in the VR fitness market. At the same time, the resolution and field of view of the display have been improved. PICO also emphasizes that the new product can achieve sub-millimeter tracking and positioning accuracy. Besides, the brand has been expanding its partner list, and the poster says that PICO 4 will provide “massive VR masterpieces and high-definition blockbusters. Livestreaming and concerts are all available.”
The addition of other new functions gives the product an advantage in competition with Quest. According to Protocol, the device will feature an RGB camera to offer color pass-through video of one’s surroundings for the first time in the industry, and the picture is also upgraded from black and white to color. Meanwhile, PICO 4 Pro will be equipped with facial recognition and eye tracking functions, which can effectively reduce vertigo and improve game experiences. The device offers a pancake lens, which can greatly reduce the weight of the headset.
It is worth mentioning that PICO is emphasizing the global market in its overall team layout, and the preparation of an overseas teams is the current focus. On July 31, Jian Zhang, a former software engineer at Meta, tweeted that he had officially joined PICO’s US team and was actively recruiting team members. Zhang previously made a breakthrough in VR hardware performance and is one of the inventors of Application Spacewarp, which has helped Quest improve CPU and GPU performance by 70%.
According to PICO’s official website, the firm has more than 300 employees in total, and many positions are still open, which is not common among VR companies. In addition to Jian Zhang, it has opened more than 40 posts in San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, San Diego and other places to form a US team, showing its determination to occupy the US market.
In addition to the team, PICO’s technical ability in the VR field is also constantly improving. According to commercial inquiry platform Qichacha, it has 503 patents in the VR field, and nearly half of them are utility model patents. There are many patents related to virtual reality technology, display, vision and head-mounted displays.
More and more people are becoming PICO users. According to data from Wellsenn XR, PICO’s shipments in the second quarter of 2022 were 260,000 units, an increase of nearly eight times year-on-year. Earlier, PICO was reported to have raised its original VR sales target in 2022 from 1 million units to about 1.8 million units.