Virtual Reality

Tech giants are betting on virtual reality for metaverse opportunities

A visitor plays a VR game at the HTC Corp exhibition area during the 2022 Global 5G Convention in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, in August. [ZHANG SHU/FOR CHINA DAILY]

HTC Corp will step up popularization of the use of virtual reality technology in both the consumer and enterprise markets as part of its broader efforts to better leverage the metaverse, a senior executive said.

As a cutting-edge buzzword, metaverse refers to a shared virtual environment or digital space created by technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality.

Charles Huang, corporate vice president of HTC, said there was growing demand for VR devices across a wide range of segments, such as remote conferencing, training, education, healthcare health, design and exhibition, the COVID-19 pandemic boosting the application of virtual reality equipment.

According to Huang, HTC is focusing on the business-to-business segment and attaches great importance to cooperation with industrial partners to develop new applications.

“The metaverse is not a slogan or a very distant future,” Huang said, adding that HTC is working hard to strengthen technology exchanges and information sharing in the metaverse and strive to build an interconnected metaverse ecosystem. , mutually beneficial and compatible.

HTC unveiled an open metaverse platform called Viverse, which delivers seamless experiences accessible on any device anywhere and is enabled by VR, AR, broadband connectivity, AI and blockchain technologies.

Data from market consultancy International Data Corp showed that the investment scale of the global AR and VR market was close to $14.67 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $74.73 billion. dollars in 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 38.5%.

IDC said that IT-related spending in China’s augmented reality and virtual reality market reached about $2.13 billion in 2021 and will reach $13.08 billion in 2026, making it the second largest market in the world.

Pedro Palandrani, technology analyst at research firm Global X ETFs, said early versions of the metaverse now exist, giving investors a glimpse of its enormous potential. However, a successful metaverse should feature a decentralized open platform accessible by VR headsets and powered by blockchain technology.

“A truly immersive metaverse experience, for example, engages all of the senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Virtual reality today primarily involves sound and images,” said Palandrani said.

To accelerate the development of the metaverse, other Chinese technology companies are also moving rapidly. Huawei and Alibaba, for example, are among the first group of companies, along with Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and Microsoft of the United States, to form a standardization group that aims to accelerate the development of the metaverse.

Metaverse Standards Forum attendees include many of the biggest companies working in the industry, from chipmakers to gaming companies, as well as established standards bodies like the World Wide Web Consortium, according to the group.

“Industry leaders have said the potential of the metaverse will be best realized if it is built on a foundation of open standards,” the group said. “Building an open and inclusive metaverse at scale will require a constellation of open interoperability standards.”

The move means companies are racing to build the metaverse concept and want to make their nascent digital worlds compatible with each other, said Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center at the University. International Business School of Zhejiang University.

This could make it easier for developers to create the same content for different metaverse platforms or for users to export data from one service to another, which will help create a thriving ecosystem in the future, said Bang.

Seven of China’s big tech companies, including Huawei, Tencent, Baidu, Oppo and Alibaba, are among the top companies that have filed the most virtual reality and augmented reality patent applications in the world over the past two years, it said. said the Singapore-based research and development analytics provider. PatSnap.

Bloomberg Intelligence predicts that metaverse revenue globally could reach nearly $800 billion in 2024.

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