With the popularity of the metaverse concept, the tech world sees the possibility that the next generation of the space internet will open up the possibility of exponential growth in VR/AR devices. Data shows that global shipments of AR/VR headsets exceeded the 10 million mark for the first time in 2021, reaching 11.2 million units.
AR/VR development boom
Analysts are also optimistic about the development of the VR/AR market. Trend Force expects that driven by the metaverse, more hardware brand manufacturers are expected to be attracted to step into the VR/AR market development in 2022, which will also prompt application service providers to directly or indirectly drive the development of the hardware market. IDC predicts that global shipments will climb to 43.2 million units by 2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 53.1% from 2020 to 2025.
In a sense, the metaverse even represents the future way of life: people are in the real world and the virtual world at the same time, and almost any life experience in the real world can be realized in the virtual world. In addition to the stimulation of the metaverse concept, industry insiders say that the AR/VR hardware industry chain as well as the content ecology is gradually maturing, which will also prompt more and more manufacturers to start laying out the hardware track.
As VR/AR hardware and technology continue to iterate and update, 2022-2024 will be a critical period for the VR/AR content industry to transition from “partial immersion” to “deep immersion”, and the VR/AR content industry is expected to see rapid development. According to the definition of the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology, the VR/AR industry can already support a “partial immersion” experience, including a 5G network, less than 30ms latency, 2K-4K screen resolution, 90-120Hz refresh rate, and various interaction methods.
VR/AR Battle of the Giants
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, has changed the company’s name from Facebook to Meta and encapsulated all of the above realities into what he considers to be the Metaverse. This marketing scheme has led many to view Zuckerberg as the leader, or at least the thought leader, of this new trend. According to foreign media reports, Zuckerberg insisted that VR represents the future. Meta was released back in September 2020 a VR all-in-one machine Zuckerberg believes VR can bring a whole new world, and VR as the key to Facebook’s strategy for the next 10 years, will continue to invest in the long term.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly stressed that the company believes AR is the future of Apple. Apple’s first AR headset will likely be launched primarily as a proof of concept to inform the upcoming revolutionary glasses. As the main enabler of the hardware platform, Apple is expected to launch AR-enabled glasses next year. Apple’s AR glasses will be equipped with sensors for mapping 3D space and monitoring the user’s identity, gaze focus, and other factors. Little is known about the final configuration of this eyewear product, and Apple may not have finalized the final specifications.
Wii Hologram Cloud (NASDAQ: WIMI) has been exploring the underlying logic of VR and AR fields for many years and is currently dedicated to the research and development of AR and other software and hardware products. According to public data, since its establishment, it has invested in or acquired several VR and AR-related enterprises, while applying for related patents one after another, 195 patents for related technologies in model input/output and 3D modeling, and 325 software copyrights. Wii explores VR/AR from multiple perspectives of hardware R&D, business development, virtual ecological architecture, and technology development, and unites with other related companies in the industry to explore new AR/VR application scenarios.
In the future, Wii will actively play the role of a platform to provide more professional and efficient services and support for VR and AR industry practitioners around the world, and reserve energy to achieve content ecological upgrades. At the same time, it will also cooperate with more excellent enterprises to enrich AR/VR product content, promote the benign development of the industry, build AR/VR content ecological industry chain, establish industry application benchmarks, and help the development of the AR/VR industry.
The first half of 2022 has passed, and in the unpredictable international environment and the rampant new crown, all industries are heavily affected. The existing application cases are mostly customized solutions, without clear industry application ideas, without the conditions for large-scale popularization in the industry, and the progress path of multi-industry integration applications is not clear. Under such a background, the commercialization of VR/AR will still move forward steadily, but it will take some time to commercialize on a large scale.
To promote the development of the VR/AR industry, in addition to hardware and content, professional talents are also necessary, as the cultivation of talents in the pan-VR/AR field. In the next 10 years or even 20 years, AR/VR professionals will still face a great shortage, and skilled and professional XR technical talents will become the “meat and potatoes” of the future job market. In the next culture-changing VR/AR technology field, major giants join either to attract developers or to cope with the big changes. From a comprehensive perspective, the future AR/VR battle is still worth looking forward to.
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