ByteDance, the Chinese technology giant known for its popular social media app TikTok, recently denied rumors about its plans to spin down XR hardware subsidiary Pico Interactive. The speculation emerged after a report from China-based publication EqualOcean claimed that ByteDance was considering abandoning the Pico business.
However, ByteDance quickly disavowed the report, asserting that Pico Interactive is operating normally and will continue to invest in the XR (Extended Reality) business in the long term. The company emphasized its commitment to the virtual reality (VR) space and dismissed any notions of an imminent exit.
ByteDance acquired Pico Interactive in 2021, a move that aligned with its efforts to expand its presence in the XR industry. Pico Interactive has been developing standalone VR headsets since 2015 and has gained recognition for its innovative products.
The latest offering from Pico Interactive is the Pico 4, a VR headset that was released in 2022. It positioned itself as a competitor to Meta’s Quest 2, a popular VR headset. While Pico 4 is available in Europe and several Asian countries, it has yet to launch in the lucrative United States market.
To establish a strong foothold, Pico Interactive has been striving to bring popular apps from Meta’s Quest platform to its own Pico 4. By providing users with access to sought-after content, the company hopes to attract a wider consumer base and compete effectively in the VR market.
However, Pico Interactive faced some challenges earlier this year when it underwent layoffs in February. Although the company assured the public that only a small number of employees were affected, the news raised concerns about the overall stability of the business.
The rumors surrounding ByteDance’s plans for Pico Interactive gained attention when Cix Liv, a prominent industry analyst, highlighted the EqualOcean report. However, ByteDance’s swift response and denial of the claims have put these rumors to rest.
As of now, Pico Interactive remains a key subsidiary of ByteDance and is actively pursuing its goals in the XR sector. With its focus on developing innovative VR headsets and expanding its market presence, Pico Interactive aims to establish itself as a significant player in the competitive virtual reality landscape.
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