No surprise, the development in the XR space is running ultra-fast. My last Blog post covering the Oculus Quest 2 is just a few weeks old but was updated already twice. Couple of the latest updates:
* Support of Zero Touch enrollment for Oculus (new Conquest version)
* Support of QR Code enrollment for HTC Vive Focus 3
* Oculus firmware 40, 41 and 42 launched
* XR Hub Beta 0.75 launched
I will cover some of the above in this post, but first I was able to test the Pico Neo 3 Pro.
The Pico Neo 3 Pro comes in a range with the HTC Vive Focus 3 and Oculus Quest 2. It is a full standalone VR device. Pico as company has a strong focus on Enterprise enablement, was acquired by Bytedance in 2021 and is one of the leaders in providing Virtual Reality devices (“Pico was the third-largest virtual reality headset maker globally in the first quarter of 2021, with shipments growing 44.7% year-on-year, according to IDC.”). The Neo 3 Pro is featuring Eye-Tracking, a Qualcomm XR2 processor, 6GB memory, 128 GB storage, a resolution of 1832×1920 Pixel, 6DoF and of course running Android 10 in AOSP mode. Full specifications [HERE]. On top of the VR device itself there is a Display Port cable, with which you can stream the PC screen to the Pico Neo 3 Pro, e.g. for using SteamVR.
Enrolling the Pico Neo 3 Pro against Workspace ONE is explained very well in the VMware Techzone article “Enrolling Head-Mounted Wearables with VMware Workspace ONE UEM”, alongside the general preparations of Workspace ONE and the enrollment of the HTC Vive Focus 3 and the Oculus Quest 2. Luckily, enrolling the Pico Neo 3 is really straight forward and easy. All you need is an Android enrollment QR code on a USB stick – DONE. Bit more in detail:
- First you create the enrollment QR Code like for any other Android device via the wizard in Workspace ONE UEM, detailed documentation [HERE]. Remember to enable the AOSP enrollment option.
- Second, convert/save this QR code as .png and place it in the root of a USB-C USB-Stick.
When ordering higher numbers of devices, Pico is offering to place the QR code on the root of the device directly upfront. The steps to create the Enrollment QR Code:
A great blog post on creating (custom) enrollment QR codes can be found here, written by my colleague Patrick Zöller: Android Enterprise: Enrollment QR-Code Generation & Customisation – Digital Workspace
Now it’s time to start up your factory-reset Pico Neo 3. Run the setup process up to the Quick Setup step and Select Quick Setup with the USB-Stick plugged into the device.
Once clicking Quick Setup, the enrollment process will be kicked off automatically. Dependent to the enrollment settings configured in the QR code, the process can be completely Zero Touch.
From this moment on, the device is fully managed. It’s as simple like that – really Enterprise friendly. The remaining part – pushing the Pico VR version of Workspace ONE XR Hub application, sending down the Product to place the .json config file for the XR Hub – is completely the same as with the other two VR devices. Obviously, some settings within the XRHubClientConfig.json are different. Best practice is to create a separate OG per device type to avoid mixing up things.
Couple of minor points I recognized during testing and which certainly will be fixed with newer firmware versions:
- Navigating between Apps is not always intuitive. The Home Button is not always bringing you back home, in some cases I had to restart the device to get back to the main menu. From what I see, this may not be a Pico issue directly, as it is only for a few apps, which makes me believe it’s something within the App code.
- In some menus there are Chinese language signs, although the device language is set to English. [Fixed with latest firmware 4.6.3]
- The Pico keyboard in some cases has double signs, e.g. the ‘!’ is twice on the keyboard and only one ‘!’ is the right one – need to use the ‘!’-EN-version if your password contains an ‘!’
- I found it quite difficult to stream the Pico Neo 3 screen to another PC, also I was not able to easily copy files from the device to a PC. This may be related to my personal setup, but Windows was not allowing access to the file menu in Developer Mode / Transfer files mode. It would be very nice to simply select a file in the Pico File Manager and copy it over to the plugged-in USB-Stick.
All in all, really minor points. The key point is that Enterprise Enablement is ultra-easy on a Pico Neo 3, which should simplify usage in larger company deployments significantly.
Workspace ONE XR Hub Beta 0.75
Alongside the Pico Neo 3 Pro I was testing version 0.75 of the Workspace ONE XR Hub. V0.75 brings a number of new features, changes and fixes. All documented very well in the VMware EUC Early Access Program Portal. Most important updates are:
- 0.7.5 removes the requirement for Workspace ONE Access, XR Hub can be used with just Workspace ONE UEM and/or Workspace ONE Access
- Support for Meta Quest 2 Consumer
- XR Hub does not require user login when using UEM only (Shared Device check out still supported).
- Users can now type using the virtual keyboard inside a VMware Horizon session (Horizon 21.11)
- Branding and customization improvements
- Performance improvements
You can clearly see that we are getting closer to a GA release. I was keen to test the XR Hub mode without using Workspace ONE Access. Having the XR Hub in Kiosk Mode without the need of Workspace ONE Access is a common use case I heard from a few customers. To configure it in that way, you first have to set a couple of items in the XRHubClientConfig.json (make sure to use the .json from the latest Beta package to include all required attributes):
In addition, you’ll have to configure in the file the Apps and Weblinks (Entitlements) you’d like to add to the XR Hub. Usually, this is pulled from WS1 Access, but as we are going without Access, there’s a manual way required to set the desired (Web)apps:
The documentation provides examples on how to set the App identifier or Weblinks, it may look like this:
Pushing the config file and XR Hub works in the same way as when you are leveraging WS1 Access. Wait for the Product to come down, start the XR Hub and it should let you straight in with no prompt for a URL. In case there is still the URL prompt, leave it blank and click two times on ‘Submit’ to get in with no further authentication.
I recommend to first test the above without Kiosk Mode. The recommendation to enable Kiosk Mode is to follow the Pico native method, outlined in detail [HERE]. The Beta-Package of the XR Hub for Pico contains already the config.txt file, which is required to set XR Hub as the Launcher on the Pico Neo 3. In case the config file is no option, there is an alternative to set the Kiosk Mode manually with using the Developer Mode settings (details [HERE]). After the next restart, the device is coming up directly with XR Hub and no need for WS1 Access. Leaving the manual Kiosk mode is nicely explained [HERE].
[Update August 12th]
While writing this blog post, XR Hub Beta 0.76 was released, also Pico updated the Neo 3 to 4.6.3. Regarding the XR Hub, there are a couple of Bug fixes and improvements. Personally I welcome the option to skip the tutorial video when starting the XR Hub. Having such a video is great, but after a couple of times it’s handy to be able to skip it.
The Pico update introduced the Pico Browser, privacy improvements and optimizes system performance and stability.
When taking the Pico Neo 3 Pro out of the Box you can clearly see a label on the Box: ‘Best in Class. Built for Business’. Pico is keeping this promise with providing the easiest way to enroll the Neo 3 against Workspace ONE UEM plus providing a straight forward way to enable Kiosk Mode. In combination with the XR Hub the Enterprise package is complete. It will be great to see the further development of the Pico firmware version, a bigger update is coming in the next weeks and will provide a couple new options – the Blog post will be updated accordingly.