After rumours began to appear last week that ByteDance – the owner of social video platform TikTok – was going to acquire Pico Interactive, this week they’ve been proved correct. Outlet’s including CNBC have confirmed that ByteDance has decided to delve into the world of virtual reality (VR) by purchasing the Chinese hardware manufacturer.
Pico Interactive is one of the worlds largest makers of VR headsets, with its current lineup of products including the Neo 3 Pro and the Neo 3 Eye, both sold as consumer products in China but as enterprise-only devices across the rest of the world. Thus avoiding direct competition with Facebook’s Oculus Quest platform.
Details regarding how much ByteDance paid haven’t been officially revealed but rumours suggest it’s in the region of ¥5 billion (~$775 million). That makes it quite a sizable investment in the VR market although ByteDance has yet to confirm how it might leverage this investment in relation to its other products.
In a statement provided to CNBC ByteDance said that Pico’s: “comprehensive suite of software and hardware technologies, as well as the talent and deep expertise of the team, will support both our entry to the VR space and long-term investment in this emerging field.”
While Pico has avoided competing with Oculus, under ByteDance that might change as the company looks to diversify its current business model. Earlier this year the company acquired mobile developer Moonton for a reported $4 billion, best known for its multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) Mobile Legends.
Pico Interactive’s latest Neo 3 headsets are its flagship standalone devices, featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 processor, inside-out tracking, and 6DoF controllers, with the Neo 3 Eye also featuring built-in eye tracking. Both are currently available for pre-order with a launch expected in Q3 2021.
As further details regarding ByteDance’s future plans for Pico arise, VRFocus will let you know.