TikTok’s ByteDance Is Buying VR Headset Maker Pico

Pico VR Headset

Short-form video app TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is acquiring Chinese virtual reality headset maker Pico.

Founded in 2015, Pico claims to have more than 300 employees around the world. The company has raised some $66 million in venture capital to date.

Currently, the financial details of the deal had not been disclosed, reports CNBC.

In a statement issued to the publication, 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”.

The company released Neo 3, its first VR headset to rival Quest, in May. According to a report by IDC, Pico owned the largest market share in China’s VR market in 2020.

TikTok recently launched a new creative tool-set called TikTok Effect Studio, currently in private beta testing, that will allow its own developer community to build augmented reality (AR) effects for the platform.

On a new website titled “Effect House”, TikTok is asking interested developers to sign up for early access to Effect Studio.

On the form provided, developers fill out their name, email, TikTok account info, company and level of experience with building for AR, as well as examples of their work, reports Engadget.

The website also asked if they are using a Mac or PC (presumably to gauge which desktop platform to prioritise), and whether they would test Effect House for work or for personal use.