Today, virtual reality (VR) hardware developer Pico Interactive teased fans with a new product announcement on September 22 on a Tik Tok and Youtube live stream.
The moment you’ve been waiting for is here! We can’t wait to show you what we have in store for you. Stay tuned on 22nd September 2022, 14:00 GMT+2 #PICO pic.twitter.com/KYD03VTeTE
— PICO XR (@PICOXR) September 15, 2022
The Chinese firm did not reveal much in its mysterious social media post, but it most likely shows the upcoming Pico 4 VR headset built for consumers and enterprises.
Leaks and Teasers
The news comes after Pico and Tik Tok parent firm Bytedance first leaked the Pico 4 and Pico 4 Pro headsets. Codenamed Project Pheonix, Bytedance revealed the device’s potential specifications in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) patent filing.
According to reports, the Pico 4 headset is an “all-in-one” device that does not require tethering to an external computer. Additionally, the device appears to run on an Android Q operating system (OS) and Qualcomm chipsets.
Pico’s 4th VR headset uses its onboard computing power to support six degrees of freedom (6DoF), eye tracking, face tracking, and high-quality immersive environments.
In July, leaked images also showed the Pico 4 controllers that look similar to the Meta Quest controllers with an inside tracking ring, a thumbstick, and a screenshot shortcut button.
Despite Bytedance’s efforts to expand its VR portfolio into new markets, the Chinese firm faced roadblocks in distributing its technology across the western marketplace.
In July, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr accused Pico’s parent company of being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” in an open letter. In the appeal, Carr explained how Tik Tok software negated Android privacy safeguards, procured iOS sensitive information like cryptocurrency wallets, and transmitted physical and digital locations to Chinese servers.
Carr also explains how India and US government bodies like the Department of Defense banned Bytedance’s social media service following significant safety concerns.
Despite public pushback, Bytedance, and Pico are not slowing the global expansion of its’ VR portfolio. Before revealing its September 22 product announcement, Pico also debuted its Neo 3 headset in May.
The Neo 3 device contains Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chips to power immersive VR experiences and supports Pico’s new OS. The device differs from the upcoming Pico 4 headset because it requires a computer connection while running system-intensive applications.