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PICO Neo CV aims to Make VR More Accessible - Hands-on at E3 2017

I am not a big fan of attaching devices to my walls and running cables to control and power them. That is the situation with VR today. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive both require sensors placed in ideal for VR and not for decor locations. Owning a Rift and Vive means I have lots of them.

Imagine a day in the future when cables and sensors to track your position may not be needed? That would be a truly glorious day indeed!

That future is in sight, however. Inside out tracking as it is called aims to do away with the need for separate sensors. The headset itself will do all the work. The PICO Neo CV is one of the first companies to deliver on the inside out tracking providing the six degrees of freedom.

The PICO Neo CV achieves the inside out tracking with a combination of a camera using computer vision to view the outside world, a gyroscope, and accelerometer. The CPU powering the headset is the new Snapdragon 820 SoC (System on a chip) from Qualcomm which also drives the 1.5k per eye display refreshing at 90 Hz.

Does it work?

I tried the Neo CV in an area where I had plenty of room to walk around and try it out. I played a game with zombies coming at me which I could shoot at or stab with the hand controller. I found myself able to walk and look around in complete freedom. Even though it was a prototype unit, the tracking appeared flawless. The drawback was when I moved my head quickly to the side. There was some noticeable lag, not due to the 90 Hz screens, but rather the 20 Hz camera-based tracking system.

Pricing and release dates for the PICO Neo CV have not been released yet. The Neo is expected later this year. Also, later this year providing the same six degrees of freedom without sensors is the line of Windows VR headsets from the likes of HP, Dell, Acer, and Lenovo.

My office may be able to do away with sensors in the not too distant future...

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Author

Steven Paterson

Based in California. I am Scottish, I like Scotch and, oh yeah, a little VR too.

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