ByteDance Invests in AR Technology Fashion Brand and Virtual IP Li Weike
Hangzhou Liweike Technology Co., Ltd. (Li Weike) announced that it has obtained investment from ByteDance affiliate Beijing Quantum Jump Technology Co., Ltd. This is the first round of financing for Li Weike, which features investment exclusively from ByteDance.
Li Weike was established on October 15, 2021 by Ru Yi. “We want to make Li Weike the first AI virtual digital character with real emotional connection in China so that our AR glasses will provide not only beautiful images but also an interesting soul,” the development team said.
In order to make Li Weike more interesting, the development team made Li Weike share humorous words frequently in videos on platforms such as Douyin and Xiaohongshu. They even opened Li Weike’s video drama “Weike WAKE” in Bilibili.
A more important implementation scenario of Li Weike is to appear in AR glasses as an AI character and interact with users. In Ru Yi’s view, “We cannot achieve everything, but we can maximize the emotional link between virtual IP and human beings in limited scenarios.”
Now Li Weike is implementing its XR strategy and plans to initiate the mass production of XR glasses this year. XR stands for “Extended Reality,” referring to the combination of reality and virtual through computers to create a virtual environment for human-computer interaction. It is the general name of AR, VR, MR and other technologies.
Ru Yi, the creator of “Li Weike,” used to be the head of the intelligent terminal of A.I.Labs, the product general manager of Tmall Elf, and the partner of Xiaomi TV. He built Xiaomi TV and Alibaba Group’s first AI voice assistant Tmall Elf from scratch and has rich experience in the field of AI hardware products. At present, the partner team of Li Weike also comes from leading technology companies in China and all have served as the heads of the core business.
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ByteDance has already begun to develop the AI virtual industry. Previously, it had wholly invested in the company with the copyright of the virtual idol group A-SOUL, acquired VR startup Pico, and touched the upstream and downstream of the AI virtual interaction industry.
As early as the Lunar New Year’s Day in 2021, the virtual character “Kano Orange” created by ByteDance’s subordinate platform Volcengine has appeared in Beijing TV’s Spring Festival Gala. It is reported that this technology has opened to the public and Volcengine’s “Digital People and Virtual Images” products and services can customize various virtual characters in different innovative interactive scenarios, such as virtual hosts, virtual idol spokespersons, and virtual teachers.