HTC Vive Focus 3 vs. Pico 4 Enterprise – Which is the Better Choice for Enterprise?

HTC Vive Focus 3 vs. Pico 4 Enterprise – Which is the Better Choice for Enterprise?

Published: 28-05-2024
Updated: 28-05-2024

Introduction

In this article we will explore the features of Pico 4 Enterprise and the HTC Vive Focus 3 – which are both designed for the enterprise market. What possibilities do they offer and how do they fit into different business environments?

Hardware Design and Ergonomics

Dimensions and Weight

The Pico 4 Enterprise is designed with portability and extended use in mind, which reflects in a relatively low weight of 586 grams, the headband included. The HTC Vive Focus 3 is notably heavier, and weighs 785 grams with battery. The lighter the headset, the less fatiguing it is to wear for long periods of time, but HTC’s additional weight brings more sturdiness and durability compared to Pico. The fatigue from HTC’s heaviness may cause users to tire faster, so it is more suitable for sessions that are shorter.

Material and Build Quality

Pico 4 Enterprise utilizes lightweight plastics in its construction, but it doesn’t sacrifice too much on the durability front. Its design has the battery positioned at the back, which balances the weight across the headset to prevent discomfort, and maintain stability during dynamic movements. The HTC Vive Focus 3 is made of lightweight magnesium alloy for its chassis, which is robust, but also manages heat dissipation – an essential feature for maintaining performance for intensive applications. The HTC also includes an active cooling system equipped with a fan for maintaining optimal temperatures.

Strap Design and Cushioning

Pico has a common slim top head strap, which can be attached or removed. This design minimizes disruption to the wearer’s hair and reduces pressure on the top of the head, which can be desirable during long wears. It incorporates a fit-wheel at the back for quick and easy adjustments to fit different head sizes comfortably. The face cushion can also be removed, and exchanged with double PU padding to wear the headset with glasses. HTC is built with a baseball cap-like strap design that angles up from the visor and over the ears to a rigid structure at the back of the head. The design includes a mechanical dial for precise adjustments for the headset to fit snugly without being too tight. It distributes the weight effectively and comfortably.

Adjustability

Pico offers an automatic interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment powered by built-in eye tracking. It auto-aligns the display with the user’s eyes, so there’s minimal effort required from the user. The HTC doesn’t have an automatic IPD adjustment, only a manual adjustment mechanism with a range of 57 to 72 mm.

Verdict

The headsets bring distinct features to the table in terms of design and ergonomics. The Pico 4 Enterprise is lightweight and has automatic features that make it ideal for users needing quick adjustments and extended use without fatigue. The HTC Vive Focus 3 is more robust and has manual customizability as a reliable solution for cases that require durability and precise personal adjustments.

Display Technology and Visual Performance

Resolution

The Pico 4 Enterprise is equipped with a resolution of 2160 x 2160 pixels per eye. It delivers sharp and clear images, and enough clarity for detailed visual content, even those requiring precision. HTC Vive Focus 3 steps up the visual acuity with a higher resolution of 2448 x 2448 pixels per eye. This is for finer details and improved visual fidelity, which is fantastic for applications requiring even higher-resolution imaging like design work, data science or technical visualization.

Field of View (FOV)

Pico provides a 105° field of view, which is wide enough to support a broad visual area. It’s sufficiently immersive for most business applications and virtual meetings that need a wider viewing angle to present a larger visual context without the need for frequent head movements. HTC expands on this with a broader visual range of 120° field of view. It delivers more immersion and a more natural and comfortable viewing experience in virtual reality, well suitable for dynamic environments that require a wider peripheral vision.

Panel Type and Visual Quality

Pico utilizes pancake optics technology, which reduces the overall size and weight of the headset but also maintains high-quality image clarity. Pancake optics are known for their ability to bring the display closer to the eye, reducing bulk but without sacrificing visual quality. HTC employs dual-element lenses. Since the HTC has a wide FOV, these are perfect for optimizing visual clarity across wider FOVs while also minimizing distortions. This type of lens delivers much more consistency across the visual field and maintains integrity of professional applications in the engineering or design industry.

Refresh Rates

Both headsets maintain a refresh rate of 90 Hz, which is a standard in modern VR headsets. This rate delivers smooth motion rendering, is sufficient in preventing most motion sickness issues and ensures smooth transitions and animations.

Impact on Visual Experience and Application Performance

The Pico 4 Enterprise combines high resolution and a moderate refresh rate, suited for environments with detailed static or moderately dynamic scenes, for example training simulations, educational content, and any application with required static detail and clarity. The HTC Vive Focus 3 comes with the same refresh rate, but has higher resolution and a wider FOV. It delivers excellent performance in both static and dynamic visual content, good for high fidelity and expansive visual interaction, such as virtual tours, complex technical simulations, and interactive learning environments.

Tracking and Input

Tracking Technology

The Pico 4 Enterprise uses an advanced inside-out tracking system with five integrated cameras. It has comprehensive coverage, and significantly reduces blind spots in complex environments. The Pico 4 Enterprise headset is equipped with five cameras that support inside-out tracking, which provides a more comprehensive coverage compared to many other VR headsets that typically use fewer cameras for this function​. The additional camera allows Pico to adjust more effectively to varied lighting conditions and physical settings. It’s an advantageous adaptability that enhances the tracking stability, and also helps the headset maintain accurate positional and rotational tracking even in less controlled environments.

The HTC Vive Focus 3 has four cameras for its inside-out tracking. This is slightly less coverage than the Pico 4 Enterprise provides, but it still delivers sufficient environmental awareness. The headset performs competently across a range of lighting conditions, and has reliable tracking most of the time. However, in less ideal environments, for example where a lot of interactive movement occurs, the system may occasionally struggle to keep up and has less precision compared to the Pico 4 Enterprise.

Controllers and Ergonomics

Both VR systems come with their uniquely designed controllers, optimized for prolonged use and ergonomic comfort, but with varying feedback from users. The Pico 4 Enterprise controllers seem to be designed with user comfort in mind. They feature ergonomic grips that fit naturally in the hand and reduce fatigue during extended use. The controllers are well-balanced and comfortable enough, even for longer use. The HTC controllers have received some criticism regarding their grip and comfort during long sessions. People have noted that while the controllers are functional, the design is not as refined in terms of ergonomics and lead to earlier than expected onset hand fatigue.

Tracking Accuracy and Input Latency

In this category, the Pico 4 Enterprise shines with a high tracking accuracy and minimal input latency. The tracking system is precise, and movements are captured with high fidelity, which translates into smooth and responsive VR interactions. The HTC Vive Focus 3 also provides reliable tracking, but it can sometimes experience slight delays in input response, particularly during fast movements. These delays are generally minimal, but can affect the fluidity of the experience.

Since the Pico  4 Enterprise has an additional camera and ergonomically superior controllers, the tracking stability and user comfort is superior to the HTC Vive Focus 3. But even though HTC is slightly less optimal in tracking coverage and controller comfort, it still provides a solid and reliable performance for most standard VR needs.

Software and Ecosystem

Operating System and Compatibility

The HTC Vive Focus 3 and the Pico 4 enterprise both run on an Android-based system that supports a decent selection of applications useful to enterprises and that integrate into business operations as a utility. They range from training modules to remote assistance applications.

Enterprise-Focused Software

Pico 4 Enterprise has is right in the name – it is made specifically for enterprise use. It comes as no surprise that it features an enterprise app store loaded with a selection of applications designed to meet specific business requirements. The platform allows for side-loading of custom apps, so businesses can install proprietary software directly onto the devices, which is ideal for those specialized applications that are not available publicly. On top of that, Pico offers the Pico Business Suite for free, which comes with enhanced management capabilities and tools for enterprise users. An important note: since this is an enterprise headset, the access to the consumer Pico store is restricted. The HTC Vive Focus 3 comes equipped with a suite of tools for professional use, supports various business functionalities and also features an enterprise app store with professional-grade applications. Like Pico, it supports applications side-loading to deploy bespoke software solutions.

Verdict

These headsets are both obviously built and suited for the enterprise environment. They both have robust ecosystems, with Pico perhaps slightly more focused on a tailored experience with its free Business Suite and a focus on enterprise-only applications. HTC concentrates on offering a competitive range of professional tools and applications. Choosing either of them will be dependent on the type and specificity of operations of a particular enterprise. Pico would be more suitable for manufacturing and assembly, healthcare or field services, while HTC would serve well in retail, hospitality, logistics and supply chain, or property management.

Connectivity and Extras

Audio and Communication Tools

Both headsets feature integrated directional audio systems, which is sufficient to achieve clear audio feedback. Enterprise settings usually require very good conditions for communications, and directional audio systems help with recreating realistic auditory settings. When companies need to run virtual meetings, or use headsets to train their staff, they will be relying on headsets to deliver accurate and responsive audio.

Connectivity Options

Again, connectivity is a crucial feature for enterprises, and here we also see robust options. The Pico 4 Enterprise offers connectivity through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB-C port, but does not feature a microSD slot, which means expandable storage is not an option. Even though increased storage capacity is not available directly on the device, cloud-based solutions are possible. The HTC Vive Focus 3 provides similar basic connectivity as Pico with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but goes a bit further with its utility with additional support for high-speed data transfer. For enterprises that need big data transfer or high-quality streaming, HTC Vive Focus 3 is a good choice, also due to its connectivity to external devices and streaming support.

Verdict

Pico 4 Enterprise has a solid, no-frills connectivity that meets standard requirements, and its audio system also suits enterprise environments. HTC Vive Focus 3 edges ahead with the data transfer capability and external device support, a good choice for enterprises needing high-speed communications.

Pricing and Value Proposition

Initial Purchase Cost

Pico 4 Enterprise is priced at €899, which is a relatively cost-effective solution for businesses. It is definitely accessible for enterprises, from small to larger corporations. It is the right choice for businesses making their first venture into XR, or those who just require multiple headset units without wanting to make a large initial investment.

The price of HTC Vive Focus 3 is at €1,300, which is a higher price point than Pico. It does offer more compared to the Pico 4 Enterprise, especially on the visual and tracking capabilities front, which makes it better suited for high-end enterprise applications that require high performance. It provides a better long-term value given its robust features.

Additional Costs

The initial cost of the Pico 4 Enterprise is lower, but buyers should consider potential additional costs. These could include expenses for accessories like extended battery packs, cases, or mounting solutions, costs for software customization, or fees for premium app subscriptions to maximize the utility of the headset. Similarly, the HTC Vive Focus 3 may have additional costs post-purchase like investments in advanced peripherals to enhance the VR experience, specialized software solutions, and subscription fees for accessing exclusive content and enterprise-specific applications.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Pico 4 Enterprise is recommended for:

  • Small to medium-sized enterprises that need a cost-effective VR solution for training, remote work, or design applications without big initial investment
  • Academic settings, especially teaching and learning VR experiences
  • Businesses requiring portability such as on-site training and inspections

Key advantages:

  • Competitive price of €899, accessible for a wider range of businesses
  • The Pico Business Suite and a strong enterprise app for business workflow and productivity
  • The absence of a consumer app store focuses the device usage on professional applications

HTC Vive Focus 3 is recommended for:

  • High-end enterprises that require the best visual and tracking performance for complex simulations and VR experiences (architecture, engineering, high-level corporate training)
  • Tech-heavy industries like automotive design and aerospace, where the higher investment can be justified by the return on device’s capabilities
  • Large corporations that can invest in top-tier VR technology

Key advantages:

  • Higher resolution and wider field of view, immersion and detail, precise and detailed VR
  • Strong support for high-speed data transfer and advanced peripherals for complex simulations and extensive VR applications
  • The €1,300 pricepoint offers substantial long-term value for companies needing high-end VR

The choice shouldn’t be too difficult here. Preference for cost-effectiveness and business apps will lean buyers towards the Pico 4 Enterprise, and those that need high-end performance in terms of high-level visual fidelity will probably choose the HTC Vive Focus 3. Even though the headsets both aim at the enterprise market, they are different, and target different segments. It will largely depend on the size of the business and the industry.

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Petra Palusova

Written by Petra Palusova

Petra Palusova is writer for the VRX blog with an affinity for all-things-XR. Architect, systems scientist specialized in XR and synthetic environments, Petra is currently active as a product design lead, advisor and researcher delivering best practices, communications and business strategies to technology companies building XR products and platforms. A true jack of all trades!

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