Pico 4 Highlight hands-on: vital for VR demos in exhibitions

Whereas everybody is targeted on each minimal replace on the Quest working system, Pico has simply added to its runtime a function referred to as Highlight that makes it develop into the to-go machine for VR demos in exhibitions and B2B settings. Let me inform you 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 function and why it is vitally helpful when you need to demo a VR software to different individuals. You’ll be able to watch it right here under:

In case you are a textual content individual, as a substitute, maintain studying for the standard wall of textual content!

Further options in Meta Casting

Casting what the person is seeing in a standalone headset to the telephone is a function that Meta launched a couple of years in the past. We’re very grateful for this, as a result of due to Casting, we are able to 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 possibly can assist individuals which might be in VR by giving them options relying on what they’ve in entrance of their eyes. As an example, you discover that they’re wanting in one other path with regard to the one they need to take a look at to see the content material in an optimum method and you may counsel them to rotate the pinnacle.

This has been a life savior, as a result of to start with, when demoing Quest, we needed to ask individuals “what are you seeing?” and relying on that, give options within the blind. Generally it was even essential to take the headset, take away it from the person, 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 rather more than this. When you attempt to run Casting at this time, you’d discover that there are many options which were added to it. As an example, you possibly can launch from the telephone the tutorial of Meta Quest, referred to as First Contact, in order that the person can get used to the VR controllers whether it is his first time with a headset on his head. Or you possibly can launch a selected software from the headset catalog: due to this, you can also make your folks attempt your Quest and open for them your favourite video games to attempt with out them having to fiddle with the headset predominant menu. You’ll be able to even report a video of the expertise for them, all out of your telephone.

Casting has superb instruments, which for my part are perfect for at-home demos: your folks come, they wish to attempt the headset, so that you make them attempt the tutorial, then you definitely open Beat Saber, then your favourite video games, and so forth. You’ll be able to management all of the expertise from the telephone, 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 attempt the identical app, and within the shortest time potential to keep away from lengthy strains. And it’s right here that Pico involves the rescue.

Pico Screencast

Pico has launched a function that’s equivalent to Casting in its companion app: it’s referred to as Casting, and it allows you to mirror the content material proven within the headset in your telephone.

Tips on how to activate Screencast on the Pico VR companion app

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

Screencast, like Casting on Meta, has further options that make it much more attention-grabbing. Let’s see all of them:

  • Show Dimension: allows you to change the mirroring type issue from 16:9 (rectangular) to 1:1 (sq.). Rectangular is extra stunning to see and report, however it’s cropped. The sq. type issue, as a substitute, exhibits you the true 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 function can also be current on Meta units and might be helpful in some contexts the place audio is an integral a part of the applying and so listening to it you possibly can information higher the person
  • Microphone: allows you to converse to the individual sporting the headset. The audio will get transmitted from the telephone to the headset and shall be performed by the headset audio system
  • Highlight: allows you to spotlight some particular parts of the VR expertise by displaying some flashing pointers in entrance of the person
pico 4 screencast
Screencast software opened on my telephone whereas enjoying a VRROOM live performance on the headset. Discover on the correct the 4 instructions you can activate throughout Screencast

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


The Microphone allows you to converse on the telephone to let the individual with the headset hear you. Discover that this isn’t bidirectional: there is no such thing as a method you possibly can hear the individual sporting the headset talking within the HMD microphone by the telephone app.

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


Highlight is a brand new function that allows you to level at objects in your telephone to level at objects in VR. So in your telephone, when you see the casting, you possibly can faucet on the display screen on one thing you need the person to have a look at (e.g. the button of a UI) and the person 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 telephone. I’m tapping the display screen 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 telephone app is tapping the display screen

There’s not a lot to clarify, it simply works: you faucet, and the person sees some inexperienced flashing circles at that time. The circles are vivid inexperienced and flash in a visual method, so it’s not possible for the person to not be attracted to have a look at them. On the similar time, they don’t seem to be large and keep on the display screen for only a few instants, so they don’t seem to be obtrusive and they don’t damage the expertise.

It’s an incredible function as a result of one of the crucial troublesome issues to do throughout a demo is as an illustration to clarify what button on the UI to press to make one thing occur. With Highlight, this turns into very helpful. By way of the microphone, you possibly can say “Press the Essential Menu button” after which you can also make some inexperienced flashes seem on the principle menu button in VR in order that the person instantly understands what to do. That is significantly better than now when that you must clarify to the person precisely what to activate by describing it.

Remaining opinion

I attempted to make use of this method at house, and I verified that it is vitally efficient to information individuals in VR: the flashing lights are simple sufficient to know that they can be utilized additionally with individuals that aren’t specialists in digital actuality. I feel this method is nice for exhibitions and B2B demos as a result of it makes the reason of the applying simple: the highlight can’t solely be used to information the person but in addition to redirect his eyes to make him/her take a look at a selected factor. That is nice for gross sales pitches, as an illustration, as a result of the salesperson could make a full tour of the applying, pointing at issues by the telephone and explaining them on the similar time.

In all probability the very last thing lacking to go full circle could 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 person doesn’t know what you’re speaking about, he can really feel some vibration on the button to press. This may make guiding individuals in VR simply good.

I like these new options, and I feel that due to them, I’ll use extra my Pico 4 to do demos for exterior individuals. If in case you have a Pico 4, I’d advise you to offer a take a look at them, as a result of perhaps they could possibly be helpful for you, too.

(Header picture by Pico)

Disclaimer: this weblog incorporates commercial and affiliate hyperlinks to maintain itself. When you click on on an affiliate hyperlink, I will be very comfortable as a result of I will earn a small fee in your buy. You’ll find my boring full disclosure right here.


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