VR tech expected to be a big hit in the future

Updated: 2016-07-16 02:16

By ZHANG KUN in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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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 "movie-quality 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."