TikTok's new VR headset rivals Meta

TikTok’s new VR headset rivals Meta

Image for article titled TikTok's new VR headset competes with Meta on price and privacy

Screenshot: Peak/ByteDance

Meta is terrified of the presence dominant of TikTok in the social media market, and now it looks like the company behind the app, ByteDance, is coming for Meta’s involvement in the Metaverse with a headset that’s the closest thing we’ve seen in price to the Quest 2.

Bytedance’s virtual reality subsidiary, Pico, present Peak 4 in an English live stream on Thursday which was both terrifying and surprising, mainly because of how much it seems to chase Meta. The device will cost $425 (€429) for the 128GB version and $492 (€499) for the 256GB version.

What’s important here, however, is that the device will only launch outside of its home country in Japan, Korea, and 13 countries in Europe, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The Chinese market will get its own announcement on September 27, with full pre-orders starting October 18. The edge noted that the headphones could appear in the United States, according to the FCC files.

The Pico 4 runs on a 2.84GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, according to the website. Product specifications. Given that the Meta already has a contract with Qualcomm for custom chipsets, it will be interesting to see how powerful this device will be against future Quests. Otherwise, Pico 4 boasts a fairly robust 4320 x 2160 resolution (of course, that’s 2160 pixels per eye). The two 2.56-inch LCD screens have a refresh rate between 72Hz and 90Hz.

La banda para la cabeza es solo una correa, pero Pico promueve que el peso del dispositivo esté equilibrado debido a la batería de 5300 mAh que se encuentra detrás de la cabeza. Los controladores del dispositivo también son bastante interesantes. Los bucles, utilizados por los auriculares para rastrear el posicionamiento, están en ángulo frente a las palmas de las manos en lugar de alrededor o frente a las manos. Los cuatro botones que se usan en la mayoría de los juegos modernos se comparten entre ambos controladores.

Pero Pico también anuncia que no tendrá que usar controladores para todo, ya que el dispositivo tiene capacidades de seguimiento manual. Por supuesto, la compañía no mostró esta característica en acción. El Quest 2 también tiene seguimiento manual.

El año pasado, ByteDance bought Pic for an undisclosed amount. Pico has been ranked among the top VR headset manufacturers. It was a deal that mirrored Facebook when it bought Oculus back in 2014. Even back then, we suspect the TikTok owner might have been bracing for a showdown against its rival in the social media space, and it seems that with its advertised specs and price, the company is ready to make a statement. .

Objective recently raised the price of its $100 128GB and 256GB Quest 2 models, so the Pico 4 now fits comfortably in the $399 Quest headset.

But what can make the difference here is the software available for the device. Pico makes little mention of the games its system will support, instead announcing exclusive sports broadcasts and video content. Pico showed off a few upcoming games, including The Walking Dead: Punishment of Saints and Sinners Yes Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom as well as other virtual reality classics like hornand the company promised more VR games would come to the Pico store over time.

Pico seems to be directly attacking Meta and its metaverse with its “Avatar System”. Leland Hedges, Pico’s chief executive, showed off his own rather gaunt, plastic-looking avatar, but apparently that avatar will be used in several apps, including “Pico Worlds,” the company’s own answer to Meta’s Horizon Worlds. The company also boasts of its device’s ability to track facial muscles to play on player avatars.

“He really looks like me, doesn’t he?” Hedges said during the live stream in a very stiff and awkward manner. Horizon Worlds has recently become the butt of many jokes. because of the bad appearanceto the point that CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to come out and tell everyone that his own avatar won’t look like a dead doll forever after enough graphic updates.

Pico also criticizes Meta before the company can announce its next Meta Quest Prothan Zuckerberg said recently unveiled in October at the annual Connect conference. We still don’t know what kind of pricing model for the device, once dubbed Project Cambria, though some leaks have hinted it could cost upwards of $800, likely putting it among other mid-to-high headphones. of range. Supposedly the Pico will also work on a Pro model that includes eye tracking, although we don’t know much about that at the moment.

But what should also not be forgotten is that ByteDance is not the best company when it comes to private data. He has been surrounded by scandals in recent months, after an internal audio leak, it was mentioned that user data could be accessed by Chinese government officials. All this exclusive focus on their in-house store makes it somewhat concerning.

At a time, patents Featured by Meta and revealed by the Financial Times, it has already shown the US company’s potential plans to sell facial expressions and more to advertisers. It’s a shame that two big companies with a long history of pawn user data They also try to be the main players in devices that can track everything else in our lives, including our movements.

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