ByteDance catches up in XR, beefing up the building of Metaverse

ByteDance, the parent company of the viral short video app TikTok has teamed up with Qualcomm for the development of “a global Extended Reality (XR)”. The partnership announced by the California-based mobile chipset manufacturer at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain on 28 February will see the two parties collaborate on spatial computing and Metaverse-ready technologies including Virtual and Augmented Reality (AR).

The collaboration comes just two weeks after Tencent, another Chinese tech giant who has been on top in the making of Metaverse, was reported to have launched a new business unit dedicated to XR development with relevant hardware devices, perceptual interaction technology and ecology, integrating content at the centre. The move by ByteDance shows fiercer competition amongst China’s tech firms to create a simulated digital environment that is believed to be the future of the Internet.

ByteDance has long been preparing for the foray into the buzz of Metaverse with the first step being acquiring the world’s third-largest Virtual Reality (VR) headset start-up, Pico, in 2021. The move is believed to be up against the Oculus VR division under Facebook, who first claimed “to bring the Metaverse to life” following their rebrand to Meta.

This recent collaboration between Pico Interactive and ByteDance will also incorporate Snapdragon Spaces, a platform developed by Qualcomm, that is created for application developers seeking to build apps for AR and VR headsets.

Commenting on the partnership, Liang Rubo, CEO of ByteDance said, “We are committed to building solutions that empower developers and creators. We are very much looking forward to our Pico devices being equipped with the Snapdragon Spaces XR developer platform in the future.”


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