Key Meta engineer is now building a new XR team for Pico

Key Meta engineer is now building a new XR team for Pico

One of Meta's best graphics engineers is now working for Pico and building a new team at the competitor.

Jian Zhang has a lot of experience in graphics development. Before his VR career, he worked in the games industry for ten years in a leading role developing graphics engines for titles such as Tom Clancy's Endwar, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and several Call of Duty spin-offs.

In 2016, he joined Facebook and worked in a leadership role on graphics and rendering technologies, the VR SDKs, game engine integrations, and OpenXR.

Zhang is the co-inventor of Application Spacewarp, a new rendering technique that squeezes up to 70 percent more CPU and GPU power out of Meta Quest 1 and 2 in virtual reality games.

Meta's former graphics pro builds Pico team

Zhang worked for Meta for six years. At the end of July, he moved to Bytedance, the parent company of TikTok, which acquired Chinese VR headset maker Pico a year ago. His new job in Mountain View, California, is just 30 minutes from Meta's XR headquarters in Burlingame.

"Vacation is over, I started my new position at ByteDance, we are building a new XR engine and Runtime team in Mountain View," Zhang wrote on Twitter.

The team is looking for a number of Unreal and Unity specialists to work on the interface of the graphics engine and the Pico SDK. Zhang's VR expertise will be invaluable to Pico, which has yet to catch up to Meta in many areas.


Competition for Meta Quest? Bytedance invests in VR

Bytedance is currently investing in developing Pico's app ecosystem, its US location, and skilled personnel, likely for the launch of two new standalone headsets: the Pico 4 and Pico 4 Pro. These devices will likely be Pico's first challenge to Meta in its US home market.

The specifications, price, and exact launch have not yet been officially confirmed. The devices are expected to hit the market later this summer and before the launch of the Quest Pro. US consumers would then have the first choice between Quest and another standalone VR device designed specifically for home use. Pico Neo 3 Link was only released in Europe, and Vive Focus 3 has an enterprise focus.

Sources: Twitter