TikTok owner ByteDance delves into virtual reality with Pico acquisition

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,627   +139
Staff member
What just happened? ByteDance, the Chinese multinational tech company best known as the face behind TikTok, is officially jumping into the metaverse. CNBC has confirmed that ByteDance has agreed to purchase virtual reality start-up Pico. Financial terms of the deal, which was first rumored by Chinese publication Nweon days ago, were not revealed.

In a statement shared with CNBC, ByteDance said Pico’s suite of software and hardware technologies, as well as its deeply talented team, will help support their long-term investment in the emerging field of VR.

Pico might not be a name you’re heard before, but folks in the VR industry are certainly familiar with the start-up. According to IDC, Pico was the third largest VR headset maker worldwide in the second quarter of 2021, and managed to grow shipments by 44.7 percent year over year.

ByteDance has been looking to diversify a bit as of late. Last year, the company launched its first hardware product in the form of a smart lamp packing a touchscreen display and two cameras. A few months later, it scooped up mobile gaming studio Moonton in a deal that Reuters cites as being valued at $4 billion.

With a VR start-up in its portfolio, ByteDance could be preparing to square off with Facebook’s Oculus VR division in the burgeoning space. And with Apple recently getting involved alongside a host of other established players, we could finally start to see some serious progress in the next few years.

Image credit Zhang Canlong, Visual China Group

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VitalyT

Posts: 6,035   +6,409
TikTok owner ByteDance delves into virtual reality with Pico
From my perspective, of an IT veteran, yet having no clue what TikTok, ByteDance or Pico are, I'd say that person has been inside virtual reality for a while now.

Dude, the matrix has you! :)
 
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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,472   +6,269
VR headsets bring tremendous amount of immersion into games but the technology STILL isn't there yet.

Blurry visuals... dim visuals...User interface issues...

#1 We need a 1:1 user hands to in-game manipulation. When I point to switches in the cockpit I need to be able to poke, pinch and turn them. That ain't happening no time soon.

#2 We need higher resolutions, brighter visuals and higher contrast.

#3 We need a wireless HD video standard across computers, consoles and other devices.

VR doesn't work because it isn't social.

My 80" TV is social - everyone in the room can share that experience.

VR is isolating.

And before anyone says anything: I've had three headsets: HTC VIVE, VALVE INDEX and Quest 2
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,075   +3,929
TechSpot Elite
VR headsets bring tremendous amount of immersion into games but the technology STILL isn't there yet.

Blurry visuals... dim visuals...User interface issues...

#1 We need a 1:1 user hands to in-game manipulation. When I point to switches in the cockpit I need to be able to poke, pinch and turn them. That ain't happening no time soon.

#2 We need higher resolutions, brighter visuals and higher contrast.

#3 We need a wireless HD video standard across computers, consoles and other devices.

VR doesn't work because it isn't social.

My 80" TV is social - everyone in the room can share that experience.

VR is isolating.

And before anyone says anything: I've had three headsets: HTC VIVE, VALVE INDEX and Quest 2
The Quest 2 resolution for me is the starting point of when it gets good enough to be an usable piece of technology. Anything beyond that with higher pixel density per degree should look fairly crisp.

As for "VR doesn't work because it isn't social" - I disagree, the best experiences in VR are the social ones. Like when I just sit back and play a few poker hands with random people in Pokerstars VR.

What you want is couch play which is more in the line with party games.