Pico Neo 3 Pro: VR headset gets world-class hand tracking
The VR headset Pico Neo 3 Pro and Pico Neo 3 Pro Eye will soon be available in a bundle with Ultraleap hand tracking.
The standalone VR devices from Chinese manufacturer Pico hit the Western market in the fall of 2021 and are aimed at businesses. Only in China, a related product, the Pico Neo 3, is also sold to consumers.
My MIXED colleague Ben tested the Pico Neo 3 Pro and found it to be technically on par with Quest 2 to some extent. Unfortunately, bugs here and there affected the user experience.
The difference between the Pico Neo 3 Pro and Pico Neo 3 Pro Eye is that the latter offers eye tracking. Hand tracking, on the other hand, is not handled by either device. But that will change soon.
Ultraleap leads the way in hand tracking
Pico announced at the Laval Virtual virtual reality conference a hand-tracking module from manufacturer Ultraleap for its VR headset, which will be sold in a bundle with Pico Neo 3 Pro (Eye).
Ultraleap's hand tracking has been in development for many years and has a reputation for being very robust. In terms of precision and latency, it is said to significantly outperform the Meta Quest 2's hand tracking.
The technology is built into a number of VR headsets, including devices from manufacturers Varjo and Lynx. The company was able to secure an investment of 81 million US dollars at the end of 2021.
The hand tracking accessory for Pico Neo 3 Pro (Eye) includes a hand tracking module and a mount that goes with the VR headset. The accessory is connected via a USB cable. The latest generation of tracking algorithms called Gemini is pre-installed.
New Pico bundle to launch soon
The stereo cameras cover a wide 160-degree by 160-degree field of view, and thanks to infrared LEDs and advanced algorithms, hands are accurately captured even when they partially overlap. Pico hopes to see promising new use cases and more natural interactions, for example in the context of training and arcade onboarding.
The bundle will launch in the summer and will cost 999 euros in Europe. A non-scalable Early Access version of the accessory can already be ordered. More information on ordering options is available in the press release.
Pico was acquired by TikTok developer and Meta competitor Bytedance in the summer of 2021. The company has teased a "special announcement" for today, so we'll update you later.