Which VR headset to choose for training - October 2022 edition
A lot is happening in the VR industry. Several headsets are being released such as the Meta Quest Pro and the Pico 4. In addition, older headsets are no longer supported. There is a lot of rotation and we often get the question from our customers: which headset should we buy now? In this blog, we offer our advice.
After publishing this blog post, we were informed that the Pico 4 Enterprise is launched. Differences with the consumer version focus mainly on software features like kiosk mode, developer mode, and sign-in options. We'll update this post again after we learn more about this model.
VR headsets can be divided into 3 categories. The first category is 3 DoF (degrees of freedom), where the motion of your head is recorded on three axes.
The second category is 6 DoF. That means often using cameras (inside-out tracking) in the headset to scan the room to record walking, bending and jumping movements as well. These headsets usually use two controllers.
The final category is mixed reality, where headsets can be used for both VR and AR. These models are more expensive and geared more toward professionals.
In this blog, we look at the two biggest players in the standalone VR headsets market, namely Meta (90% market share) and Pico (4.5% market share). Other relevant players in the market are HTC and iQIYI with a combined market share of less than 4%. Visit our buyer’s guide for VR headsets & 360˚ video cameras for a complete and up-to-date overview.
3 DoF headsets
Both Meta and Pico currently have their focus on 6 DoF headsets. Meta does not sell 3 DoF headsets, but Pico still has the G2 4K in the market. We suspect that this headset will be taken off the shelves in early 2023. The question is how long Pico will continue to support this headset with updates. When the Meta Quest was introduced, support for the Oculus Go stopped rather abruptly. We hope to continue supporting the Pico G2 4K through 2023, but we are dependent on Pico's policy in this regard.
For now, we recommend to wait with purchasing a 3 DoF headset until new models are released. In the meantime you can always rent headsets via for example VR Expert or Unbound XR.
6 DoF headsets
We do not recommend buying the Pico Neo 3 Link because the Pico 4 better competes with the Meta Quest 2 and is cheaper than the Neo 3 Link.
The Meta Quest 2 and the Pico 4 are both 6 DoF standalone headsets and use LCD panels for their displays. The Meta Quest 2 has 1 display with a resolution of 1832x1920 px per eye. The Pico 4 has two displays with 2160x2160 px per eye. In addition, the Pico uses pancake lenses, which makes it much flatter than the Quest 2, which uses fresnel lenses.
The Pico 4's battery is incorporated on the back for improved balance and an adjustable hard strap. The Quest 2 comes with a soft strap. Both headsets work with 2 controllers, have built-in speakers, headphones and USB-C connectivity. The Pico 4 uses a 5300 mAh battery and comes with a 20W fast charger, whereas the Meta Quest 2 uses a 3640 mAh battery and comes with a 10W charger.
Carrying comfort is very personal. The Pico 4 is lighter and thinner but has a different fit than the Quest 2. The Pico 4 offers the ability to put the headset in kiosk mode, which locks an application so that a trainee cannot leave the Warp VR app. With the Quest 2, this requires a separate MDM, which are sold on a subscription basis.
Accounts & GDPR
The Quest is made by Meta and Pico is made by ByteDance (owner of TikTok). Many of our customers have chosen Pico headsets because until recently a Facebook account was required to use the Quest 2. Recently you can also create a Meta account on the Quest 2 and a Pico account is also required on the Pico 4. This is required in order to link purchased products to the appropriate accounts.
The big difference for us is in data storage. Meta does that in the USA and Pico in the EU (without passing data to China).
Both models provide good value for money and are perfectly suitable for VR training purposes. Based on the factors of price, kiosk mode and data storage, we recommend the Pico 4. We advise to wait with purchasing the Pico 4 until after its release when we are able to test this model and confirm that we can fully support it.
Mixed reality headsets
The Meta Quest Pro will be released end of October. The release date for the Pico 4 Pro is still unknown. The Quest Pro is aimed at professionals who can do much of their work in the headset. It can be used for VR and AR, allowing you to attend virtual meetings as well as work at your desk using virtual screens.
In our view, a high-level headset is overkill when used only for VR training. It costs too much and offers little extra compared to mid-level headsets. Should you still want to buy it because you will also use it for other VR or AR tools, it seems like a very suitable pair of glasses to play our app on.
Contact us if you still have questions or can't make a choice. We are here to help!
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