TikTok’s parent company isn’t done with those Pico VR headsets yet

Rumors about Metaphrases death Abroad may have been a bit premature, even as Pico headset manufacturer It seems like a rather anti-climactic year in VR. Rumors on the street were that ByteDance, the China-based company best known as the owner of TikTok, was looking to get out of the virtual reality game.

According to ByteDance, it planned to eventually abandon Pico VR EqualOcean Research Companyon Monday. The company claimed, citing unnamed sources, that Picopershaps CEO and founder Jarrod Yuster visited ByteDances headquarters where founder Zhang Yiming told him the company plans to eventually abandon its VR initiatives.

As first by ReutersAnother report from Chinese newspaper The Paper claimed that Pico has replaced roughly half of the unit’s staff, with executives moving away from ByteDance’s VR arm. Company now Fired somewhere around 200 employees From Pico in February.

ByteDance told Reuters that the OpenOceans report was not true. The TikTok owner still plans to invest in the augmented reality (XR) business in the long term. In addition, the company said it will maintain normal product functionality and continue to increase investment in product technology, apparently referring to Pico and VR.

Gizmodo reached out to ByteDance for comment, but we did not immediately hear back.

ByteDance bought Picothen the world’s largest maker of virtual reality headsets, in 2021. A year later, the company It introduced its Pico 4 headset which was supposed to compete directly with the Meta in the low-to-mid VR space. The company also introduced its Pico 4 Enterprise last year, an advanced version of the Pico 4 designed for all businesses that wonder what the world would be like if employees spent hours working with virtual reality headsets.

Pico has yet to reveal any new hardware since those announcements. The company shared some pricing and OpenXR interoperability for more developers to build VR apps for the Pico, but 2023 was a year with very few surprises from what was once one of Metas’ biggest rivals in the VR space. .

The meta showed itself The latest $500 Quest 3 headset Support for virtual reality and Augmented reality through full color passthrough Previous month. Apple also entered the fray with it Vision Pro headset It is scheduled to be released next year. This new space computer, as the Tim Cook-led company keeps trying to call it, is shaping up to be the company’s most complex product launch in its history. Buyers will be Need to set up an appointment to have oneand are Apple store employees It has been reported Get additional training on how to sell a $3,500 headset.

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