VR Hardware Battle Gets Snazzy with Pico’s Funding and New-Gen Headset Launch
Leading VR Brand Pico Completes $24.7 Million Round A Financing, Breaking VR Capital Freeze; Announces a New Generation Lightweight VR Hardware Headset, Pico Goblin 2
VR hardware industry is beating faster than ever before. VR technology is well and truly here as all-in-one VR provider, Pico announced the completion of the crucial Series A funding round. Since its inception in 2015, the VR hardware company has steadily grown its VR stable to compete against established brands, including Google VR and Snap. The company raised $24.7 million led by GF Qianhe and GF Xinde Investment and completed jointly by Jufeng S&T Venture Investment and others to let in a fresh gush of air into VR hardware for the B2B industry.
At the time of the funding round, Pico CEO Henry Zhou said, “Pico will keep focusing on all-in-one VR and will also increase its investment in 3D sensing (TOF) and AR technologies in the near future. In the future, Pico hopes to become a portal-level AI vision company through the layout of VR+AR+TOF technology and products.”
Pico currently deploys active VR devices for customers in real estate, education, automotive, IT and medical sectors. Recently, Pico unveiled its 3D-Sensing business unit—Pico Zense, built on the proprietary TOF (time of flight) technology. Earlier this week, Pico released the Pico G2 all-in-one VR headset in the presence of 500 VR industry members and media personnel. The new product is newly upgraded with a stronger processing performance, lighter wear, and enhanced capabilities. This makes Pico’s product high-quality VR hardware – better than what most makers currently promise to deliver.
With a 3K display and the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 chip, the G2 ushers in a new frontier of lightweight, crystal clear all-in-one VR.
Pico G2 uses the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 XR platform with 4+64GB of memory with up to 256GB of micro-SD card expansion, and the Snapdragon™ 835 ensures a smooth experience by optimizing processing core and workload. At the same time, The Pico G2 on the Snapdragon 835™ supports strong connectivity, the most advanced flash memory technologies, and shortens loading time of experiences, allowing you to enjoy more realistic scenes without dropping frames or lagging.
At the time of this funding news, Pico has 435 domestic authorized patents, 192 authorized and 49 accepted global patents.
The Pico G2 is equipped with two fast response LCD screens with 3K binocular resolution, a 75Hz refresh rate, and a 101° frame of view (FOV) to improve overall lens clarity while maintaining a large field of view. The front of the headset also features a monocular RGB camera which allows for “pass-through” views into space in front of you and hand gesture inputs for menu selections.
Compared with the Goblin 1, Pico G2 provides a clearer picture display (25% better than the previous generation), an improved rear-mounted battery design, and a reduced headset weight of an ultralight 268g (40% less than the previous generation).
The G2 is equipped with a 3DoF controller, which compared with the first-generation controller, adds a trigger button to optimize key arrangement and improve grip handle while facilitating cross-platform porting of content applications.
Sales results of the 1st generation Goblin reflect the strong market demand market for All-In-One VR with an excellent experience and an affordable price. Pico CEO Henry Zhou said that “Pico has always been committed to providing an ultimate mobile VR experience, and we’ve put a lot of research and R&D investment into G2. Our hope is that with the first-class hardware and software design, and the affordable price range, people can really get excited with the easy and immersive G2 experience.”
Qualcomm’s XR Business lead, Gabriel Guo, said, “The Qualcomm 835 mobile platform brings an excellent interactive experience to users with extremely fast speed, long battery life, and less heat. It also supports advanced game functions, improves graphics rendering speed by 25%, color display by 64 times, achieving higher rendering level with lower power consumption. We are delighted to keep working with Pico as we continue to elevate the mobile VR experience.”
The Pico G2 utilizes the VIVE WAVE™ VR Open Platform, which brings a consistent user experience across a variety of mobile VR headsets and allows developers to create content for a common platform. To bring a better experience and more VR content to Pico G2 users, Pico’s partnership with HTC Vive also provides Pico G2 users access to the VIVEPORT™ content platform.
The G2 will leverage Pico’s B2B support program and tailored solutions and be available to ship in September direct via Pico to businesses and enterprises around the world.
Pico is a leading VR manufacturer in China, focused on the field of all-in-one VR. In 2016, the Pico Neo DK, the world’s first all-in-one VR headset based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 platform, was released followed by the Goblin series, which became the most widely sold all-in-one in 2017. Pico Neo, the world’s first 6 DoF all-in-one, was launched at the end of 2017.
In terms of AR/VR hardware, Pico reiterated their commitment to adhere to the strategic focus of all-in-one machines, with Pico Neo as its flagship technology and the Goblin series aimed at the mass market. Moreover, its AR products are also expected to be available in 2019.
As for TOF, Pico will continue to improve the 3D depth camera module, core algorithm and the overall solution of AI IOT. In addition to providing interactive support for its own AR/VR hardware products, Pico will also focus on new retail, fatigue monitoring, and other usage scenarios and provide more efficient industrial application solutions.