With the intensive release of a number of new products, VR/AR is ushering in a new round of development boom, and China’s local VR/AR industry chain is accelerating its maturity. VR and AR started to develop as early as around 2016, but subject to the maturity of technology development, the primary immersion stage has limited appeal and has been lukewarm in the past few years. And since the epidemic, home office and entertainment to promote the digitization of offline scenes, demand to drive the VR/AR track began to take off. And the popularity of the metaverse has boosted its promotion. VR has now begun to face consumers, and related products have begun to be offered frequently.
What is VR/AR?
Virtual reality technology also known as spiritual realm technology is a new practical technology developed in the 20th century. Virtual reality technology includes a computer, electronic information, and simulation technology, its basic implementation is based on computer technology, the use, and synthesis of three-dimensional graphics technology, multimedia technology, simulation technology, display technology, servo technology, and other high-tech latest developments, with computers and other equipment to produce a realistic three-dimensional visual, tactile, olfactory and other sensory experience of the virtual world, so that people in the virtual world to create a sense of physical and mental health. The virtual world produces a sense of immersion in the virtual world. With the continuous development of social productivity and science and technology, the demand for VR technology is growing in all walks of life, and VR technology has made great progress and has gradually become a new field of science and technology.
Augmented Reality technology is a kind of technology that cleverly integrates virtual information with the real world, widely using multimedia, three-dimensional modeling, real-time tracking and registration, intelligent interaction, sensing, and other technical means to simulate computer-generated text, images, three-dimensional models, music, video and other virtual information and then apply it to the real world. The two types of information complement each other, thus realizing the “enhancement” of the real world.
VR/AR market conditions in the Chinese market
Investment and financing in VR/AR-related industries will continue to grow at a high rate over the next few years. Data firm IDC predicts that total global AR/VR investment will increase to $74.73 billion in 2026, with a CAGR of 38.5% from 2022-2026. Among them, the Chinese market will grow at a CAGR of 43.8%, ranking first in the world.
The VR/AR market in China is also heating up. The latest statistics from market research and consulting firm JFK show that in the first half of 2022, China’s VR market retail sales exceeded 800 million yuan (RMB, same below), up 81% year-on-year, and the average sales price of head-mounted displays pulled up to around 1,740 yuan from below 1,000 yuan in the early days.
VR/AR is ushering in a new round of boom. According to IDC data, global shipments of VR head-mounted displays reached 10.95 million units in 2021, breaking the industry inflection point of 10 million units shipped annually, and global shipments of VR headsets grew 241.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year.
The White Paper on Metaverse Industry Chain Ecology released by China Electronics Information Industry Development Institute shows that as of April 2022, global VR/AR enterprises have received over 43 investment and financing events so far this year, including a total of 18 investment and financing events of over 100 million yuan, with a single highest financing amount of 2.2 billion yuan and a total financing amount of 8.2 billion yuan.
The investment and financing fever of VR/AR related industries will maintain a high growth rate in the next few years. Data firm IDC predicts that the total global AR/VR investment will increase to $74.73 billion in 2026, with a CAGR of 38.5% from 2022-2026. Among them, the Chinese market will grow at a CAGR of 43.8%, ranking first in the world.
China’s VR/AR market is also heating up. According to the latest statistics, in the first half of 2022, China’s VR market retail sales exceeded 800 million yuan (RMB, same below), up 81% year-on-year, and the average sales price of head-mounted displays pulled up to about 1,740 yuan from below 1,000 yuan in the early days.
Major tech companies on AR/VR
As time advances, news that Apple will launch a new AR / VR device is appearing in large numbers. Although no exact official response has emerged yet, but combined with the existing information, the possibility of the corresponding products listed for sale is still not small. Previously, Cook mentioned in an interview that Apple’s current work in the field focuses on AR applications on the iPhone and iPad. Cook believes that for the development of this technology, Apple is still in the very early stages. In other words, Apple is conducting research and development in AR, but it is still in the early stages. This also seems to show from the side that Apple does have some concern about AR technology. The latest news also reaffirms that Apple is pushing forward with the research and development of the technology and is getting closer to the actual product.
The latest revelation allegedly comes from Apple supply chain sources, which mentions that Apple’s first headset device has completed Pre-EVT at the end of June, and is expected to start mass production at the end of this year, and officially meet with everyone in 2023.
Microsoft is also in VR/AR research and development, in the past few years, VR headset devices have been a very big progress. However, its paired with the controller, there are times when it still breaks the overall immersion. To improve this situation, Microsoft’s R&D department has developed a wrist-worn haptic feedback solution called Haptic PIVOT. Haptic PIVOT essentially consists of a mechanical pivot and a grip with integrated capacitive touch sensors, the latter of which is used to detect the movement of your picking up or releasing virtual objects. For example, when picking up or putting down an apple, the grip will automatically move closer or further away from your hand. If you combine a pair of Haptic PIVOT on the left and right hand at the same time, you can even simulate a relatively complex experience such as lifting something and squeezing it toward the middle.
WiMi Hologram Cloud (NASDAQ:WIMI), the first holographic AR listed stock to build a holographic ecosystem, is a global leader in the holographic VR/AR industry, which uses AR technology to superimpose enhanced digital images on the real world. Based on this, users can wear its products to access AR applications such as advertisements or movies. It is worth mentioning that after years of deep plowing, WiMi has a number of patented technologies in the fields of motion capture/expression capture, real-time animation generation, environment simulation and rendering, AR/VR, etc. The number of related technology patents reached 195 and 325 software copyrights.
Currently, the industry believes that AR is the future of entertainment, retail, advertising and the broader built environment. WiMi AR experience will also expand its audience, with AR emerging entertainment developments such as art, education, leisure, food, fashion, matching, and comics, becoming a bridge to strengthen its AR technology to engage with the public. Of course, WiMi AR technology can also be applied beyond the entertainment field, such as improving navigation, travel, and helping health and wellness. Deeply engaged in the field of AR technology development and application for many years, WiMi insists on AR future development drive through AR technology and persistently creates the future experience of transitioning physical life to digital life for people.
Looking at the progress of AR in the past nearly 10 years, the future is heartily expected. From the release of Google’s first generation of smart glasses, Microsoft’s Hololens, to Apple, WiMi and startups’ continuous release of amazing products, AR has gone from an unknown “black technology” to everyone’s life and work. Of course, on the other hand, AR has a longer way to go, and social elements will be added in the future. And at the moment, the big manufacturers obviously can’t stop grabbing market awareness.