VR tech ex­pected to be a big hit in the fu­ture

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHANG KUN in Shang­hai

zhangkun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Vir­tual Re­al­ity (VR) hogged the lime­light at the 12th China In­ter­na­tional Car­toon and Game (CCG) Expo and in­dus­try in­sid­ers be­lieve this new tech­nol­ogy will bring ma­jor changes to the fu­ture of entertainment and life­style.

VR refers to a highly im­mer­sive vir­tual en­vi­ron­ment that blurs the line be­tween re­al­ity and fan­tasy. It is ex­pe­ri­enced by don­ning a VR hel­met or gog­gles such as the Ocu­lus Rift.

Speak­ing to the me­dia at the VR fo­rum held as part of the July 7-to-11 CCG Expo, Wu Xiaofeng, head of the strate­gic in­vest­ment de­part­ment of Shang­hai Me­dia Group (SMG), be­lieves that this tech­nol­ogy holds much prom­ise.

“Be­fore it was launched, peo­ple didn’t be­lieve in it and thought tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies were merely try­ing to trick in­vestors with fancy sto­ries,” said Wu.

“Even now, VR only has a mar­ginal share in the elec­tronic entertainment mar­ket be­cause the head­set is heavy and you might feel dizzy af­ter us­ing it for some time. How­ever, I fore­see that this tech will only ex­pe­ri­ence erup­tive growth in the com­ing years as the in­dus­try ma­tures.”

While VR tech­nol­ogy has been touted as the per­fect way for the otaku — a term usu­ally used to de­scribe young peo­ple who are ob­sessed with gam­ing as well as Ja­panese anime and manga — to ex­pe­ri­ence in­ti­macy with some­one in cy­berspace, Wu be­lieves that the tech has po­ten­tial to be used in many more ways.

He shared that SMG is ded­i­cated to the cre­ation of “moviequal­ity con­tent” in the form of a film or tele­vi­sion se­ries to com­ple­ment the VR ex­pe­ri­ence. He also ex­pects the tech­nol­ogy to have an im­pact on the­ater art, al­low­ing au­di­ence mem­bers to feel as if they are among the per­form­ers.

Zhang Li, chief se­cu­rity of­fi­cer of Dapeng VR, a com­pany that pro­duces hun­dreds of games to­gether with in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies, said that VR tech­nol­ogy will only take off when a suf­fi­cient num­ber of qual­ity con­tent be­comes avail­able to users.

He added that the suc­cess of this tech­nol­ogy in the fu­ture lies in its com­bi­na­tion with Aug­mented Re­al­ity (AR) and Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence (AI).

Aug­mented Re­al­ity refers to the blend­ing of re­al­ity with vir­tual ob­jects. An ex­am­ple of AR can be seen in the new Poke­mon Go game by Nintendo where play­ers are made to search for and catch vir­tual mon­sters in the real world.

“VR and AR are two dif­fer­ent things, as they in­volve dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies, but we see a ten­dency for these two to come to­gether as one,” said Zhang Hong, pres­i­dent of uSens Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Com­pany.

“Be­fore these tech­nolo­gies can achieve suc­cess, tech com­pa­nies need to be able to achieve ac­cu­rate real-time track­ing of peo­ple’s move­ments in or­der to de­liver a truly im­mer­sive vir­tual ex­pe­ri­ence. Right now, de­vel­op­ers are on the right track.”

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