September 26, 2023

Whereas everybody is targeted on each minimal replace on the Quest working system, Pico has simply added to its runtime a characteristic known as Highlight that makes it grow to be the to-go system for VR demos in exhibitions and B2B settings. Let me let you know all the things about it!

Pico 4 Highlight – Video

I’ve come again to creating movies, and I made a improbable new Youtube video the place I clarify what’s the Highlight characteristic and why it is vitally useful when you must poker online demo a VR utility to different folks. You possibly can watch it right here beneath:

If you’re a textual content individual, as a substitute, preserve studying for the same old wall of textual content!

Extra options in Meta Casting

Casting what the consumer is seeing in a standalone headset to the cellphone is a characteristic that Meta launched a couple of years in the past. We’re very grateful for this, as a result of due to Casting, we will information everybody we’re demoing VR to by seeing what he’s seeing mirrored on our smartphone. The Meta Quest app exhibits you the video stream of the headset, so you may assist folks which are in VR by giving them solutions relying on what they’ve in entrance of their eyes. For example, you discover that they’re wanting in one other route with regard to the one they need to have a look at to see the content material in an optimum means and you may recommend them to rotate the top.

This has been a life savior, as a result of at first, when demoing Quest, we needed to ask folks “what are you seeing?” and relying on that, give solutions within the blind. Generally it was even essential to take the headset, take away it from the consumer, and put it on our head to know higher what was occurring.

Casting is nice, however many individuals have no idea that it’s even far more than this. When you attempt to run Casting in the present day, you’d discover that there are many options which were added to it. For example, you may launch from the cellphone the tutorial of Meta Quest, known as First Contact, in order that the consumer can get used to the VR controllers whether it is his first time with a headset on his head. Or you may launch a particular utility from the headset catalog: due to this, you may make your pals strive your Quest and open for them your favourite video games to strive with out them having to fiddle with the headset foremost menu. You possibly can even file a video of the expertise for them, all out of your cellphone.

Casting has wonderful instruments, which for my part are perfect for at-home demos: your pals come, they wish to strive the headset, so that you make them strive the tutorial, you then open Beat Saber, then your favourite video games, and so forth. You possibly can management all of the expertise from the cellphone, and even shoot a brief video for them to share on social media.

However all of this turns into much less related for exhibitions, when you need lots of people all to strive the identical app, and within the shortest time potential to keep away from lengthy traces. And it’s right here that Pico involves the rescue.

Pico Screencast

Pico has launched a characteristic that’s similar to Casting in its companion app: it’s known as Casting, and it allows you to mirror the content material proven within the headset in your cellphone.

The way to activate Screencast on the Pico VR companion app

Setting it up may be very simple: you open the Pico VR app in your cellphone, you pair your Pico 4 headset, after which clicking on the Pico 4 listed within the Gadget tab of the appliance, you may choose the “Screencast” button to begin the mirroring.

Screencast, like Casting on Meta, has extra options that make it much more fascinating. Let’s see all of them:

  • Show Measurement: allows you to change the mirroring kind issue from 16:9 (rectangular) to 1:1 (sq.). Rectangular is extra lovely to see and file, however it’s cropped. The sq. kind issue, as a substitute, exhibits you the actual imaginative and prescient from a single eye on the headset.
  • VR Supply: lets you choose if you wish to hear the audio from the headset or not. This characteristic can also be current on Meta gadgets and will be useful in some contexts the place audio is an integral a part of the appliance and so listening to it you may information higher the consumer
  • Microphone: allows you to communicate to the individual carrying the headset. The audio will get transmitted from the cellphone to the headset and will likely be performed by the headset audio system
  • Highlight: allows you to spotlight some particular parts of the VR expertise by exhibiting some flashing pointers in entrance of the consumer
pico 4 screencast
Screencast utility opened on my cellphone whereas enjoying a VRROOM live performance on the headset. Discover on the correct the 4 instructions that you would be able to activate throughout Screencast

The final two are what for my part make demoing in exhibitions ultimate with the Pico 4.


The Microphone allows you to communicate on the cellphone to let the individual with the headset hear you. Discover that this isn’t bidirectional: there isn’t a means you may hear the individual carrying the headset talking within the HMD microphone by way of the cellphone app.

The microphone characteristic may be very useful for demos the place the surroundings round you is noisy (e.g. exhibitions), or once you placed on the consumer some over-the-ear headphones that isolate him from the environment. In these instances, once you communicate usually, it’s troublesome for the consumer to listen to you due to the noise of the surroundings and the audio of the expertise. With this characteristic, your voice is distributed to the headset audio system, so the consumer hears you thru the audio system very clearly. This is essential to provide directions and instructions and pairs very gracefully with the brand new characteristic that’s Highlight.


Highlight is a brand new characteristic that allows you to level at objects in your cellphone to level at gadgets in VR. So in your cellphone, whilst you see the casting, you may faucet on the display on one thing you need the consumer to have a look at (e.g. the button of a UI) and the consumer will see at that second in VR some flashing circles precisely on that very same object (the button of the UI inside VR).

Virtual Reality GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Highlight on the cellphone. I’m tapping the display to activate flashing inexperienced circles on the menu (sorry for the potato high quality of Giphy)
Virtual Reality GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Highlight within the VR headset: you see inexperienced flashing circles the place the cellphone app is tapping the display

There’s not a lot to elucidate, it simply works: you faucet, and the consumer sees some inexperienced flashing circles at that time. The circles are vivid inexperienced and flash in a visual means, so it’s not possible for the consumer to not be attracted to have a look at them. On the identical time, they aren’t huge and keep on the display for just some instants, so they aren’t obtrusive and they don’t destroy the expertise.

It’s a tremendous characteristic as a result of probably the most troublesome issues to do throughout a demo is as an example to elucidate what button on the UI to press to make one thing occur. With Highlight, this turns into very useful. By way of the microphone, you may say “Press the Foremost Menu button” after which you may make some inexperienced flashes seem on the principle menu button in VR in order that the consumer instantly understands what to do. That is a lot better than now when you might want to clarify to the consumer precisely what to activate by describing it.

Ultimate opinion

I attempted to make use of this method at dwelling, and I verified that it is vitally efficient to information folks in VR: the flashing lights are simple sufficient to know that they can be utilized additionally with folks that aren’t consultants in digital actuality. I believe this method is nice for exhibitions and B2B demos as a result of it makes the reason of the appliance simple: the highlight can’t solely be used to information the consumer but additionally to redirect his eyes to make him/her have a look at a particular factor. That is nice for gross sales pitches, as an example, as a result of the salesperson could make a full tour of the appliance, pointing at issues by way of the cellphone and explaining them on the identical time.

In all probability the very last thing lacking to go full circle can be some suggestions, e.g. haptics, on the buttons of the controllers. So once you say “press A”, or “press the set off” and the consumer doesn’t know what you might be speaking about, he can really feel some vibration on the button to press. This could make guiding folks in VR simply good.

I really like these new options, and I believe that due to them, I’ll use extra my Pico 4 to do demos for exterior folks. In case you have a Pico 4, I’d advise you to provide a have a look at them, as a result of perhaps they might be helpful for you, too.

(Header picture by Pico)

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