Virtual Reality a hit at Shanghai tech fair
The newly released Oculus Rift virtual reality headset stole the show at the April 21-23 China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair this year, and visitors had to queue for at least half an hour before they could get just five minutes with the device.
Oculus VR, the company that developed and manufactured the device, started out as a Kickstarter campaign by Palmer Luckey in 2012. The company was bought over by Facebook in March 2014 for $2 billion.
Facebook revealed earlier this year ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Spain that it had already set up a “Social VR” team that will work to integrate virtual reality into its social media offerings.
While the device is not yet available in China, a staff member at the Oculus Rift booth said the enthusiasm for the product indicates that there is a huge potential for it to be a success in the world’s most populous country.
This year’s tech fair saw about 1,000 exhibitors taking up more than 35,000 square meters of exhibition space. than 150 products including smart home devices, intelligent transportation solutions as well as wearable tech. The caravan also served as a mobile training center that dispensed advice on security issues in IoT adoption.
A private aircraft touted to be one of the world’s most technologically advanced also made its global debut at the fair this year , attracting many visitors. According to Krisztina Agnes Klesitz, marketing manager of ByeGravity cPlc, the plane by the Morgan Star Group has a starting price of $90,000 and can fly a maximum of 60 minutes per trip.
The Hungarian company also exhibited their cuttingedge rotorcraft and glasses-free 3D technology at the show.
Some of the notable exhibits by Chinese companies included a deep-diving submersible capable of going to depths of 11,000 meters, and its 220 million yuan ($33.8 million) carrier called “Zhang Qian”. Jointly developed by Chinese private enterprises including Shanghai Rainbowfish Ocean Technology Co Ltd, the two machines will be used in a deep-ocean scientific expedition between the South Pole and the North Pole in 2017.
According to Zheng Wenfa, operation manager from Shanghai Rainbowfish Ocean Technology Co Ltd, the carrier is the world’s only expedition vessel that is equipped with a deep-ocean, human-occupied vehicle, an autonomous and remotely operated vehicle, as well as a lander vehicle.
Zheng added that the carrier can be used for a variety of purposes, including scientific investigation of the ocean, deep-sea search and rescue, maintenance of offshore engineering equipment and underwater archeology and film-making.