The Pico G2 4K Enterprise is the go-to 3DoF headset for business because it’s built to meet their needs and serve them with the utmost ease and efficiency
A sub-group of standalone and mobile virtual reality headsets are perceived as the corporate equivalent of an entry-level role; lower spec and so poorly remunerated, but attractive to fresh-faced graduates eager for somewhere to start. They are fine for beginners, but anyone with a degree of experience should cast their eyes higher up the ladder, where the perks and benefits of immersive technology linger. This perception, however, falls rather flat when the headset in question is the Pico G2 4K Enterprise.
Specs and cost
- Display 4K
- CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- Weight 298g (w/o band), 490g (total)
- Refresh rate 75Hz
- Storage 128G (plus SD card slot)
- Content Pico Store and Viveport
- Tracking 3DoF
- External camera 1RGB camera
- Cost $449
China-headquartered Pico Interactive’s G2 4K Enterprise, one of two new additions to the G2 4K line this year, isn’t technically even a brand new release. It’s an upgrade on the original G2 4K headset, updated with a 16MP single RGB camera and 128GB of storage. What’s crucial to understanding this headset and why businesses should look beyond a perception they may have about a technology, particularly the immersive kind, is that it’s built to meet their needs, and serve them with the utmost ease and efficiency.
Unassuming and without the inconvenience of rival, better endowed headsets
Let’s begin with the headset itself. It’s light to hold but solid to touch, all soft, curved edges. The black and grey colour scheme won’t win any artistic accolades but it’s form and function that Pico prizes here. The face cushion and head straps are replaceable, making the headset ideal for group activities and multiple users, at a time when the hygiene question around virtual reality headsets has yielded best practice guides for operating during a pandemic. When your new recruits arrive at your training centre ready to be introduced to your company in virtual reality, they need to know that their health and safety is paramount. The Pico G2 4K Enterprise has that covered.
A common concern about virtual reality headsets, particularly after long-term use, is their weight. Oculus Quest is one such device. As its battery is situated in the front, users often report neck ache after prolonged use. The Pico G2 4K Enterprise rather cleverly sidesteps this problem by housing the battery separately and situating it so it sits at the back of your head when you’re wearing the headset, where it can act as a kind of counterweight. This also allows for a 20% bigger, more easily serviceable battery.
On battery life, the review unit that VRWorldTech tried managed 3.5 hours before it needed to be charged, which sits within Pico’s advertised range. This was noted after several, 30 to 45 minute sessions, designed to replicate the quick in-and-out use a trainee or a recipient of physiotherapy may experience, for whom the Pico G2 4K Enterprise caters.
The headset’s straps are adjustable while the face cushion fits comfortably and almost completely, meaning very little light gets in to distract the user. The single controller hosts a touchpad for interaction and navigation, as well as a trigger and back and home keys, which are quick and easy to become accustomed to. The headset also houses an alternative control setup with home, confirm and back keys, so it can be used if and when the controller’s batteries die.
All in all, the headset is unassuming and without the inconvenience of rival, better endowed headsets. It’s made for multiple wearers, proved suitable for the kind of short, controlled bursts that target users may deploy it for, and interaction is simple.
There are plenty of reasons to opt for 3DoF over 6DoF
The Pico G2 4K Enterprise is a 3DoF headset. To the uninitiated, that’s three degrees of freedom, meaning this headset can track the orientation of your head and simulate your point of view in virtual reality. Oculus Quest, a 6DoF headset, can track movement and orientation, so experiences can involve traversing a space. Pico’s own 6DoF solutions provide the same freedom. Wearing the Pico G2 4K Enterprise, you’re rooted to the spot.
This difference is important, because 6DoF very much represents the future of virtual reality. Going back to Oculus Quest, it’s one reason why that device is preferred to Oculus Go and the former is getting a next-generation device and the latter is being shelved.
But, and Pico often points this out when marketing its 3DoF solutions, Oculus and Facebook may be missing a trick, because there are several use cases that suit a device that requires a user to be stationary, ideally sat down.
A teacher delivering a lesson to dozens of students, a patient being treated for a painful injury, a movie fan enjoying the latest release—there are plenty of reasons to opt for 3DoF over 6DoF, and Pico addresses them well with this headset.
There were several demos available on the Pico Store (and you can also access HTC Vive’s Viveport app store) and they all demonstrated how useful a 3DoF head can be. Send new recruits on a 360° tour of a factory in VRtuoso to familiarise them before they visit the real thing. Treat a patient who is in pain in their own home with hypnosis rather than pharmaceuticals through HypnoVR. The impressive Engage, the learning and collaboration platform of Ireland-based Immersive VR Education, is also available, meaning students can gather in a variety of locations and be taught remotely.
These apps all run smoothly and are delivered in excellent 4K clarity. Logging on and diving into an app is smooth and simple, making the Pico G2 4K Enterprise as easy to use as most web-based platforms. Although not tested for this review, a kiosk mode is also available, so you can restrict the headset to a single application and keep users focused.
Of course, the question is, why should you opt for a 3DoF headset when you can have all of this as well as 6DoF?
The Pico G2 4K Enterprise proves that there is a headset out there for every need. Before you commit, ask yourself how you intend to use virtual reality, what level of immersion you require, and what you want to achieve. These are the questions you need to ask as a business, because you may not require users to be up and mobile in virtual reality, so a 3DoF solution like this may be exactly what you need.
This headset delivers far more immersive experiences than web-based alternatives, at a cost and user level that are incredibly attractive. For too long virtual reality has been unobtainable, shrouded in complexity and specifications. With headsets such as the Pico G2 4K Enterprise (a space Oculus Go will soon no longer occupy), virtual reality is democratised, for the better.
This headset certainly isn’t the beginning of this trend, but it’s an important anchor point—one that can meet many of your needs right now. Pico’s commitment to 3DoF should be applauded, particularly at a time when its competitors are jumping ship.
How do you buy the Pico 4K G2 Enterprise?
Pico Interactive adopts a direct, hands-on relationship with its clients. When a prospect reaches out, the company has a discussion about the project itself, to gain a better understanding of their needs and what a perfect solution would look like. It’s often the case that some prospects will know exactly what they want, but others approach Pico with a more general idea, so the discussion-first approach means the company can better understand their overall requirements and recommend a headset from its portfolio of 3DoF and 6DoF solutions that best suits their needs.
Once a prospect’s business application is qualified, Pico determines if this is a situation where they buy the headsets right away or offer a loan device for their development team. This allows them to get their hands on the hardware and SDK (software development kit) for their own internal evaluation before purchase. This process also involves introductions to Pico’s core technical team that helps with support and documentation to aid in porting their app over to a Pico headset.
One of Pico’s goals is to foster a developer ecosystem where the company works and collaborates with a group of partners around the globe that offer a variety of services and bring value to new clients that may need additional help in getting their project off the ground. This ranges from full app development to other services, such as mobile device management.
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Main image: Pico G2 4K Enterprise