The Pico G2 4K AR Headset Shown at CES

Pico Interactive Inc. (Beijing, China) presented the latest addition to their Goblin VR headset product line at the CES exhibition recently held in Las Vegas. It called the model G2 4K.

Like its predecessors, the G2 4K is an all-in-one headset. This means that the headset is entirely self-contained, not needing a computer, smartphone or any other form of wired connection.

The headset is affixed to the user’s head with straps mounted to the sides and the top of the unit. The battery is attached to the straps and positioned at the back of the user’s head. Locating the battery in the back serves to distribute the weight of the headset more evenly about the user’s head. This is important in that less weight on the front results in less pressure on the bridge of the user’s nose and enables greater user comfort during long VR sessions.

Rather than now common 6 DoF tracking, the Pico G2 4K has 3DoF tracking. This is described by the company as making the Pico headset more suitable for applications that showcase immersive rather than fully interactive content. The thinking is that the capabilities of a headset desired for showcase applications (a particular market target of the G2 4K) needs to have high resolution and a convenient form factor – as does the G2 4K.

The G2 4K headset comes with a 3DoF controller that includes buttons and a touch pad. The headset also has a “handsfree control option that enables easy ‘look and choose’ selection.”

Additional features and specifications of the G2 4K include the following.

  • Supports a Micro-SD card up to 256GB.
  • One “fast” 4K LCD. The 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution is split between the two eyes.
  • 818 pixels per inch
  • Refresh rate is 75Hz
  • CPU is Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
  • Weight is 278g
  • Storage is 32G
  • 4GB of RAM
  • No external camera
  • Field of view is estimated to be about 110 degrees

It can be noted that these specifications and features position the capabilities of the Pico G2 4K VR headset product somewhere between those of the Oculus Go and the Oculus Quest or the HTC Vive Focus.

The Pico G2 4K VR headset was the subject of an interview conducted at the CES exhibition. A video containing this interview can be found at the end of this article. The G2 4K headset is also illustrated in the figure below.

Pico’s G2 4K VR headset.

Commenting on the demo shown at the exhibition, one on-line reviewer posted the comment that the “level of clarity and richness of color almost made it look as if you were staring at museum exhibits.” Specific mention was made of the absence of any screen door effect.

At this time, Pico is targeting the G2 4K VR headset for businesses applications. In fact, Pico already has confirmed use cases from businesses applications that deal with the visually impaired, plane passengers, managing the anxiety of dental patients and in-transit entertainment on public transportation.

In addition, the headset includes several features that are specific to business applications. One such feature is a so-called “Kiosk Mode.” In this mode, the headset is locked into a single application such as might be desirable for a headset used in an exhibition booth. Another feature supports enterprise use in which there are multiple users. The headset accommodates replaceable face pad inserts that are easy to clean and hygienic.

A company representative commented that the headset will be marketed to consumers when content becomes available. The G2 4K VR headset will eventually run applications available from both the Pico app store and HTC’s Viveport.

The G2 4K headset is currently available for pre order. Deliveries are anticipated to start sometime during the next few months. The price has not yet been set but a company representative indicated that it would be in line with the pricing of other Pico headset products. That would put the price of the G2 4K in the range of from $300 to $350. – Arthur Berman