Over the weekend, Bytedance, the parent company of Tik Tok and owners of Pico, vendors of virtual reality (VR) headsets, announced major expansions toward western VR hardware distribution.

Pico hired 40 new staff members to support its US expansion, working from offices in the Bay Area, Seattle, and San Diego. Additionally, Btyedance is investing significant capital into VR games and experiences running on Pico hardware.

Furthermore, Pico is specifically hiring for a Head of Pico Studios, Head of VR Game Strategy, Head of Overseas Content Ecosystem, and an Operations Manager.

The new positions enable Pico to secure key immersive content developers, programmers, and marketers to boost its VR product and establish ground in US markets. Last month, Pico successfully entered EU markets by debuting the Pico Neo 3 Link in the region for roughly €450.

Last year smart glasses vendor Nreal faced struggles entering a busy US augmented reality (AR) marketplace. Although, Nreal has since gained ground selling its devices in the US and UK.

Bytedance is Committing to VR

In August 2021, Bytedance bought Pico for approximately $775 million. Months earlier, a corporate refocus became imminent after the resignation of original CEO Zhang Yiming, with Co-Founder Liang Rubo taking up the former’s position.

The most recent hirings come after Btyedance closed its investment division to reduce indirect spending and strengthen emerging business ventures. The office closure led to the loss of roughly 100 jobs, although the reorganisation allowed the firm to focus on Pico-related hardware distribution.

As part of the readjustment, Bytedance split its corporate structure into six businesses to manage the firm’s technologies, software, and services umbrella.

Notably, Bytedance is putting core focuses on enterprise-grade remote communication, peer-to-peer video sharing opportunities, and – as seen by its US expansion – VR headset distribution.

At this year’s Mobile World Conference (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, Qualcomm’s President and CEO, Cristiano Amon, introduced an alliance between his firm and Bytedance to support global extended reality (XR) ecosystems.

The partnership looks to supply global immersive content developers with the tools and resources required to create high-quality VR experiences for Pico products.

Qualcomm is incorporating all future Pico VR experiences into its Snapdragon Spaces service, which helps immersive content developers accelerate production and distribute their applications. Pico also has stakes in immersive advertising, purchasing mobile webAR firms like Moonton to boost its existing Tik Tok AR content library.

Bytedance appears to be following in the footsteps of Meta, which transformed into a VR-first company, following its starting phase solely focusing on social media applications.

During last year’s Connect webinar, Meta rebranded from Facebook. Now, the firm is creating prototype XR hardware and developing advanced Metaverse services.


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