According to Digi-Capital Augmented/Virtual Regional report 2016 Asia will lead AR and VR in the long term. There is a significant number of Chinese companies working on hardware, content and speciality 360-degree cameras to capture immersive videos, with some companies launching products in and joining forces with companies in North America.
The most well-known of these at this point are AntVR, Boafeng, DeePoon, Noitom and 3Glasses. In addition, virtual reality in China is seeing investments by large companies like Baidu Inc, LeEco Holdings Co Ltd and Tencent Holdings Co Ltd, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and investment companies like Shanda Group.
The recent $793.5 million in a series C round raised by Augmented Reality startup, Magic Leap, was led by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. At the same time Shanda Group has announced that it has invested $350 million in VR. Shanda Group, a private investment group based in Shanghai, is planning to build a Void VR theme park in China.
The Void is a company in Utah started by tech entrepreneur Ken Bretschneider. It is building an eight-acre gaming centre specifically for VR experiences in Pleasant Grove, Utah, which incorporates tech that creates the illusion that those inside a VR experience are in a vast terrain or facing incredibly tall buildings.
Chinese press reports that an index that tracks stocks in China-listed VR companies jumped by 5.8 % on the Tuesday following the Shanda and Alibaba investments. Led by hardware makers, 17 out of 24 companies involved in the VR business saw their prices jump.
In another development VR specialist 3Glasses is launching its line of VR devices in North America this year, starting with the D2 Vanguard Edition, a 2K VR headset. The new 3Glasses line also includes the Blubur S1 and Blubur W1, which will launch in North America later this year. The Blubur S1 includes an added depth camera which track hand gestures and the Blubur W1 is an all-in-one, standalone, computer-free VR device.
3Glasses has formed strategic partnerships with companies like Unity and Unreal, which helped them with building content for 3Glasses devices. This aggressive push into the VR space was further cemented when the company partnered with Intel Corporation to develop the Blubur W1.
Another Chinese VR company making the global rounds is Perception Neuron, a startup that specialises in advanced motion capture technology. Perception Neuron’s parent company is Noitom, which is based in Beijing.
Perception Neuron is currently on a European tour, touching base with gaming and VR professionals. The company is showcasing their latest gaming demos and 3D software integration to industry leaders as well as grassroots interest groups. The Perception Neuron team will be making its way through several countries including the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany and Spain.
Chinese VR companies are reaching out to the world with affordable VR innovations, playing an integral role in the development of virtual reality and how the world will eventually experience it.