In the future, VR will be the next-generation media form and traffic portal, and AR will become the next-generation productivity platform.
Since the release of Google Glass in 2012 triggered a boom in the global market, VR and AR-related concepts and technologies have been gradually implemented, a large number of enterprises and research institutions have entered related fields, and a number of VR and AR products have entered the market. However, since the relevant technical elements are not yet mature, the VR and AR industry has entered a relatively low period since 2016.
Since 2019, the VR and AR industry has begun to recover. In 2020, the global VR and AR industry financing scale reached 24.4 billion yuan, almost returning to the same level as in 2016. Events such as the emergence of the Metaverse concept, the acquisition of Pico by ByteDance for 9 billion yuan, and the big sale of Facebook’s VR product Oculus Quest 2 have further ignited the public’s enthusiasm for the VR and AR industries, and more and more entrepreneurs and investors have begun to ” Looking back,” revisiting an industry that has disappointed many.
There is a lot of discussion about the VR and AR industry in the current market, but there are still many outdated opinions and blind spots that go unnoticed. This time, Scale Partners will analyze the internal laws of industry development from the four dimensions of hardware, software, content/platform and application, and introduce the relevant situation of the industry chain, so as to expound our current views on the VR and AR industry, and to provide a positive feedback on the industry. Predict future trends.
This report is jointly released by Potential Capital and Light Cone Intelligence
Summary of core conclusions
VR equipment provides users with a three-dimensional, immersive information solution that spans time and space. Currently, the main scenarios of AR equipment on the C-side are movie watching games, intelligent translation, real-time prompting, navigation, and AR shop exploration. We expect that VR devices will have better development prospects than AR devices in the short term, but in the long run, hardware devices or MR devices that integrate VR/AR functions will become mainstream, because it is impossible for people to be immersed in the virtual world at the same time It is also possible to carry out normal activities in the real world.
The current VR and AR devices are far from mature enough to replace PCs or smartphones, but they can rely on their existing advantages to meet the unmet or poorly met needs of the current “two-dimensional Internet era”. With the continuous improvement of 5G, Wi-Fi6, cloud computing and other infrastructure, theoretical breakthroughs and commercial applications of optical technology, VR will be the next-generation media form and traffic portal in the future, and AR will become the next-generation productivity platform.
The iteration speed of VR hardware equipment is fast, there is no debate on the technical path, and there is no possibility of “overtaking on a curve”. Considering that the entire industry chain is relatively mature, it is difficult for enterprises to rely on several hardware to build barriers. In the short term, this generation of VR products represented by Quest still has great growth potential, and the cycle of supporting parts and related products is far from over.
AR hardware is relatively immature, and the key technologies are still in the stage of exploration. Before the rapid increase in hardware volume, attention should be paid to the progress of related technologies and the opportunities for mass production applications. Some AR glasses manufacturers will cooperate with car manufacturers or console game manufacturers to launch early adopter applications for high-end or vertical groups to strengthen the public’s awareness of AR glasses. However, in the future, AR glasses will eventually get rid of the split design and become independent hardware instead of mobile phones. , car, or vassal of the host.
A positive cycle in which VR equipment and content promote each other has gradually formed. In the future, the types of platform applications will gradually diversify, and social, office and other scenarios will become the rapid explosion points after games. However, at present, domestic VR content companies have not produced phenomenal content, and there is an opportunity for a number of good companies to emerge in this field.
Existing giants will choose different entry directions according to their own resource endowments. Consumer-grade hardware, operating systems, content ecology, and underlying technologies are all potential power points. Other companies that have a layout or accumulation in console games, smartphones, social applications and other fields will also gain a place in the development of the VR/AR industry by virtue of their advantages in supply chain, huge user base, and IP reserves. It is expected that companies in the game field will be the most active in the next 2-3 years, and will be deployed one after another.
If AR glasses want to be applied to a specific industry, they need to have a deep understanding of the industry, IT systems and knowledge maps of various enterprises/industries, like SaaS companies serving vertical industries or specific scenarios, and the delivered solutions are generally hardware + AI-assisted software platform.
Risks that the industry may face: less-than-expected progress in technology research and development, limited capacity of upstream key components, less-than-expected progress in the construction of related supporting infrastructure (5G, etc.), declining demand in the global VR/AR industry, policy supervision on content production, user privacy, etc. Tighten etc.
1. Definition and industry boundaries of VR/AR
We humans can see because light enters the eyes, stimulates the optic nerve, and finally the brain completes the imaging work. At the same time, without considering some special cases, light travels in straight lines. After helping everyone recall the physical and biological knowledge of these two middle and high schools, let’s analyze VR and AR together, so that we can discuss later.
Virtual Reality (VR): The essence of VR is to create a virtual three-dimensional interactive scene, allowing users to experience the virtual world with the help of special equipment, and interact naturally in it without knowing it. So at its core, VR is tricking our brains into immersing us in the virtual world created by the light from the device without feeling out of place.
Augmented Reality (AR): AR is characterized by the combination of virtual and real, and real-time interaction. By measuring the distance between the user and the objects in the real scene and reconstructing, the computer-generated virtual objects or other information are superimposed on the real world, so as to Achieve “augmentation” of reality.
Schematic diagram of a near-eye display system for VR and AR (NED: Near-Eye Display)
The above picture more intuitively illustrates the intuitive difference between VR and AR: the light entering our eyes in the VR situation is not naturally existing, but emitted by the device; the light entering our eyes in the AR situation is both real world and some. issued by the device. Here, if we borrow the words of Microsoft CEO Nadella to summarize: VR can be understood as “adding the physical world to the calculation” , and AR can be understood as “adding the calculation to the physical world” .
Next, we use a picture to help you have a general understanding of the industry to be discussed this time. In the second part of this article, we will discuss the situation in each area of the industry in detail to help you have a comprehensive understanding of the industry.
2. Industry history and stages
The development of the VR/AR industry has gone through four stages:
1) Concept period (1968-2010): The new technology of VR/AR was proposed and gradually entered the public eye.
2) The boom period (2010-2016): Enterprises and research institutions began to enter the VR/AR field, and various VR/AR devices entered the market:
In 2010, Oculus launched the first Oculus Rift prototype;
In 2012, Google launched Google Glass;
In 2014, Facebook spent $2 billion to acquire Oculus, and Sony, Samsung, HTC and other companies also launched related hardware products;
In 2015, Nintendo released the Pokemon Go game, which swept the world for a while;
From 2015 to 2016, the popularity of the VR/AR market reached a high point: Microsoft released HoloLens; Sony, HTC, and Oculus launched the first generation of VR terminals for the mass consumer market (PSVR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift); Google invested 500 million US dollars Magic Leap.
3) Cooling off period (2016-2019): Since the bottlenecks of network, hardware and content have not been broken through, VR/AR products can only bring users a primary immersive experience, which hinders the further penetration of the products in the crowd. People’s expectations for the VR/AR industry have gradually turned from optimism to pessimism, the capital market has declined, and the industry has gradually entered a cold winter.
4) Recovery period (2019-present): The VR/AR industry is back on the rise, and the industry chain is maturing.Technological breakthroughs have pushed VR/AR into partial immersion and deep immersion. Companies such as Oculus and HTC have intensively released a new generation of hardware products. All-in-one VR machines with independent processors have begun to develop rapidly and have become the mainstream form of current VR headsets.
Starting from 2020, with the improvement of the maturity of each link of the VR/AR industry chain and the addition of factors such as the global new crown epidemic driving up the demand for home use, the demand for consumer-grade VR equipment has grown strongly: VR equipment shipments in 2020 will be close to 10 million units. Shipments in 2021 will be about 10.95 million units. Compared with VR hardware, since the core technologies of AR hardware such as display, optics and chips are still in the research stage, the sales of Google Glass, Magic Leap One and other products for the C-end market are far below expectations, and most manufacturers have turned to the B-end industry. The application market is expected to take time to break out in the C-end market.
In terms of investment and financing environment, the popularity of capital in the VR/AR industry has returned and the flow is more rational. From the perspective of investment and financing amount, according to the data of VR Gyro and 36Kr Research Institute, there will be 340 investment and financing events in the VR/AR industry in the whole year of 2021, with an investment amount of 55.6 billion yuan. In 2020, the global companies that completed large-scale financing are concentrated in the two key areas of VR/AR hardware and applications. In 2020, AR glasses will occupy the top of the annual financing and M&A list with 4.762 billion yuan in financing and M&A. Continue the hot trend.
3. Market demand and value
Only when the industry can create social value and the companies in the industry can meet the needs of consumers (Needs), the industry has meaning, and it is worth our time and energy to search for excellent investment targets. So what needs does the VR/AR industry solve and what value does it create?
In the short term, VR is still used as an entertainment device in C-side games, social networking and other scenarios. In the future, it will expand its application in medical, education, media, industrial Internet, supply chain and other industries. As far as AR is concerned, the current C-side applications are still relatively useless, and applications that enable B-side applications (such as remote collaboration) will be the mainstream in the short term.
Next, let’s take several industries as examples, and then specifically discuss what needs VR and AR can solve, or what more efficient and low-cost solutions can be provided:
Manufacturing: Empower product development, assembly, maintenance and other links, significantly improve the visualization of simulation design, manufacturing testing, operation and maintenance, and realize the intelligence and integration of the entire industrial manufacturing process; Remote guidance service to solve the problem of being unable to visit the scene due to epidemic isolation;
Medical: used for learning and training, surgical simulation, mental rehabilitation and other fields. By providing real environment and real-time tactile feedback, help doctors improve the proficiency and success rate of surgery, and formulate effective rehabilitation training plans to help patients achieve postoperative rehabilitation;
Education: Build virtual learning environments for basic education in rare, abstract scenarios and high-cost, high-risk skills training;
Military: It is used in scenarios such as battlefield environment display, battlefield combat command, equipment maintenance support, telemedicine treatment and military training to comprehensively improve forward combat capability, post-support work efficiency and military training level;
Culture: Perform artistic processing of traditional film and television works through digital means, so that the audience can have an immersive experience; or turn the creator’s idea into a visible virtual object and environment to help create;
Retail: It has broad application prospects in increasing customers’ perception of online products, improving the accuracy of online product information, and virtual manufacturing and display of online products;
Tourism: Breaking the limitations of time and space, allowing people to experience the beautiful scenery in person, or replacing tour guides and interpreters to provide tourists with more natural services.
I believe that now everyone can deeply realize that VR and AR are expected to bring huge changes to our current social life.
4. Market size and growth rate
The key to judging whether an industry can breed great companies is to have a correct understanding of the market size by orders of magnitude , because it is difficult to expect big fish from a small pond. After estimating and comprehensively comparing the calculation results of several institutions, we believe that the market size of this industry is on the order of RMB 100 billion.
According to the forecast of China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, IDC and other institutions, the CAGR of the global virtual (augmented) reality industry from 2020 to 2024 is about 54%, of which the growth rate of VR is about 45%, and the growth rate of AR is about 66%. It is close to and both reach 240 billion yuan.
According to the forecast of Haitong Securities, CICC and other institutions, the global VR equipment market will exceed 23 billion yuan in 2021 and 50 billion yuan in 2023, with a CAGR of 31% in 2021-2023.
5. Drivers of Market Growth
Readers familiar with VR and AR should clearly remember that a few years ago, the VR and AR industries were once “scenery”, but it seemed to be quiet after a while. So what’s causing the renewed interest in the industry? Let’s analyze it from the perspective of supply and demand:
With the popularity of the Metaverse concept, VR/AR has gained widespread attention as the most mature application scenario for consumers in the short term and an important entry for Metaverse interaction;
Metaverse concept games, social applications and tool software continue to be sought after, and factors such as the continuous expansion of the VR offline consumer ecology at home and abroad have strengthened consumers’ awareness of VR and AR;
The social isolation caused by the new crown epidemic has limited the frequency and duration of people’s outings, and increased people’s exposure to VR/AR devices and applications.
The network infrastructure has been continuously improved, and technologies such as display imaging, optical modules, and special-purpose chips have continued to mature, and the cost has been further lowered. The cost performance and user experience of VR/AR devices have been substantially improved in the past few years, and they have gradually been recognized by consumers. ;
The content ecology matched with hardware devices is constantly enriched, and a large number of IPs run on games and other content launched on VR/AR devices, attracting more and more people to pay attention to and use VR/AR devices;
The “OpenXR” specification released by the Khronos organization has been supported by many VR/AR manufacturers, breaking the previous development of software and hardware platforms. App explosion paved the way;
In terms of China, the state has given great support to the VR industry in terms of policies, and the policies from the central to local governments are relatively complete. It is one of the high-tech industries that the state focuses on.
To sum up, it can be seen that the resurgence of the VR and AR industries is not “cold rice”, but indeed “this time is different from the past”, and there are some conditions and opportunities that were not available in the past.
6. The latest trends in the industry
The following table organizes the iterative path of VR and AR equipment in the current future period of morphological structure, display and optical module technology. In this section, we will introduce hardware-related technological innovations and progress in detail from multiple dimensions.
a. VR related technologies
(1) Display technology
VR screen display technology is divided into entry-level, consumer-level and professional-level three grades. In the early days, because there was no display specially adapted for VR, the manufacturer chose the OLED solution with obvious advantages in response speed. Later, after the launch of Fast-LCD with high resolution and high response speed, Fast-LCD gradually became the mainstream. The actual production stage.
In the future, as the mass production capacity of micro light-emitting diodes (Micro-LEDs) increases to drive down costs, Micro-LEDs will become the best solution for VR display technology by virtue of their performance advantages in high resolution, short response time, and thinness .
The difference between display technologies such as LCD and OLED is explained:
At present, the optical modules of mainstream VR devices mostly use Fresnel lenses . The Fresnel lens can greatly reduce the thickness of the lens, effectively reducing the weight and volume of the VR headset, thereby reducing the discomfort for users to wear. But Fresnel lenses sometimes distort the image, reducing image quality. In addition, due to the limitation of the focal length of the lens itself, people cannot further reduce the thickness of the optical module.
Short focal length optical modules are the future development direction. The essence of the short focal length optical module is to use the technology of folding the optical path, and the light is folded multiple times to increase the refraction distance, thereby reducing the distance between the lens and the eye, and further reducing the volume and weight of the VR device. Compared with the Fresnel lens, the problem of picture distortion has been effectively alleviated, but the module solution needs to be matched with Micro-LED display technology to overcome the low utilization rate of light energy, high power consumption, and the difficulty in achieving both thinness and wide viewing angle. defect.
(3) Tracking scheme
Early VR devices (such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PSVR) mostly used outside-in tracking solutions based on external positioning base stations. Although the solution has high precision, the equipment required is expensive, the installation and debugging are complicated, and the tracking space is limited. At the same time, this solution does not track well in occluded situations (for example, if the user suddenly walks behind a sofa or a tall plant, it will be difficult for the system to track the specific location of the person). The current solution is to add multiple tracking devices to ensure the effect.
With the gradual maturity of machine vision algorithms, inside-out solutions are gradually emerging. Under this scheme, the camera installed on the VR headset will autonomously detect changes in the external environment. After collecting relevant information, vision algorithms (such as SLAM algorithms) will calculate the spatial position of the camera to track the user. Since this solution significantly reduces hardware costs and usage thresholds, inside-out tracking has become the mainstream positioning solution for consumer VR. At the same time, 6 degrees of freedom (6DOF) replaces 3 degrees of freedom (3DOF), from a scene that only supports rotation motion to a scene that supports rotation and displacement motion, which greatly improves the user experience.
(4) Motion Capture
Motion capture technology helps to better realize the interaction between people and equipment and improve the experience of using equipment. The current motion capture technology is mainly divided into two major schemes: optical motion capture and inertial motion capture . At present, most of the mainstream VR equipment adopts these two schemes at the same time.
a. Optical motion capture
Optical motion capture can be subdivided into multiple technical paths such as laser, infrared, and visible light, but the essence is based on the principle of computer vision. Multiple high-speed cameras track the target feature points from different angles. According to the obtained target image and camera Its own position information calculates the position and posture of the target object and other information, so as to complete the capture of the user’s whole body movements.
The advantages of optical motion capture are mainly high precision, but the equipment requirements are high and the site layout is complex, which is a bit too high for individual users.
b. Inertial motion capture
A complete inertial motion capture system typically includes dozens of sensor units, each of which includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetic sensor, and digital signal processor. In the inertial motion capture scheme, after the sensor captures the motion, the data is further transmitted and processed, and finally a 3D model containing the motion information is obtained.
The advantage of inertial motion capture is that it can achieve high-precision motion capture effects with relatively low cost, simple equipment and environment, but there are problems such as “zero drift”. Most current inertial motion capture devices require additional integrated optical positioning devices to determine the spatial position of the hand.
(5) Eye tracking
Eye tracking devices can help improve the computing efficiency of VR devices, help users avoid visual fatigue through dynamic curved light, and judge users’ emotions to improve user experience in specific scenarios (such as VR social). At present, there are three main types of eye tracking technology routes. Among them, Tobbi’s pupil corneal reflection method is the most mature and has been applied on a certain scale.
(6) Facial expression recognition
Facial expression recognition and reshaping technology can identify the user’s facial expressions and eye changes in time, thereby improving the user’s experience when interacting with virtual characters. At present, Facebook has made great breakthroughs in this field, and can achieve cost-controlled facial expression reconstruction through cameras and related algorithms.
(7) Zoom display
The human eye will adjust the visual focus according to the distance of the content displayed on the screen. However, since the distance between the VR device screen and the human eye is always the same, the user may experience a visual convergence adjustment conflict (VAC) during the wearing of the device. The variable-focus display technology can solve this problem. The solutions are divided into two types: mechanical modules and electronic modules: the mechanical module mainly adjusts the distance between the display plane and the human eye through a voice coil motor and a flexible hinge, and the electronic module uses an electronic liquid crystal lens. to open and close to achieve zoom.
(8) Cloud VR
Under the current situation, both integrated VR and split VR have their own advantages. In the future, with the application expansion of 5G and cloud computing, steps such as content storage and image rendering will be completed in the cloud, and the head display device worn by the user only needs to have Decoding, rendering and network access capabilities, thus promoting the gradual development of VR devices to a low-latency, lightweight cloud VR form.
b. AR related technologies
(1) Display technology
At present, silicon-based OLED is the mainstream solution, which is matched with free-form surface/Birdbath optical module, but the brightness is limited;
The mass production process of LCoS and DLP solutions is mature, and most of the parameters are suitable for optical waveguide optical modules, which are currently considered to be the main solutions for AR development;
In the long run, Micro-LED is recognized as the best solution in the industry, and its refresh rate, brightness, light-emitting method, pixel density and other indicators all perform the best. However, the current Micro-LED industrialization faces problems such as high costs, and the entire industry chain needs to continue to be explored and optimized.
(2) Optical scheme
The free-form surface/coaxial air guide (Birdbath) solution still occupies a place in the C-end AR market due to its controllable cost and relatively mature technology. The optical waveguide solution is considered to be a must-have solution for consumer-grade AR glasses in the future due to its advantages such as thinness and high penetration of external light. In addition, multilayer waveguide sheets can be stacked together to provide a more “real” 3D image by providing a virtual image distance per layer.
The basis of the waveguide structure is a thin and transparent glass substrate (usually a few millimeters or sub-millimeter thickness), and the light is “total reflection” back and forth between the upper and lower surfaces of the glass. The difference between different waveguide types is mainly in the coupling structure of light entering and exiting the waveguide. Specifically, optical waveguides are divided into two categories: Geometric Waveguides and DiffractiveWaveguides.
①Geometric optical waveguide
Geometric optical waveguides are also known as arrayed optical waveguides. This solution realizes image output and eye-moving frame expansion through the stacking of array mirrors. The representative company that adopts this technology path is Israel’s Lumus.
Schematic diagram of the geometrical optical waveguide and the “semi-transflective” mirror array
Note: When the coupled light first enters the waveguide structure, it generally encounters a reflective surface or a prism.When reaching the front of the eye after multiple rounds of total reflection, the light encounters an array of “semi-transparent” mirrors (structures that couple light out of a waveguide). The “semi-transparent” mirror array here is equivalent to multiple copies of the exit pupil (the “exit of the image) in the horizontal direction, and each exit pupil outputs the same image, so that the eye can see the image when moving laterally. , to achieve one-dimensional pupil expansion (1D EPE)
Advantages: The lens has good light transmittance. And because this technology path applies the traditional geometrical optics design concept, simulation software and manufacturing process, and does not involve any micro-nano-scale structures, the image quality (color, contrast) can reach a very high level.
Disadvantages: The overall process is cumbersome, the process of coating the “semi-transparent” mirror array, ensuring the parallelism between the mirrors and the angle of cutting is extremely difficult, and the overall yield is low. In addition, although the mirror array has been almost “invisible” with the optimization of the process, people can still see a row of vertical stripes on the lens (that is, the mirror array) when the optical machine is turned off. This row of stripes may obstruct part of the outside view and also affect the appearance.
②Diffractive optical waveguide
In diffractive optical waveguides, the process of coupling light into and out of the waveguide structure is no longer realized by traditional optical components (such as prisms, “semi-transparent” mirror arrays), but by planar diffraction gratings, thus saving space , increase the degree of freedom. At present, the two mainstream gratings are volume holographic grating (VHG) and surface relief grating (SRG). Thanks to the accumulation of design and manufacturing in the optical communication industry in the past, surface relief gratings currently occupy the mainstream of the market (for example, Microsoft’s HoloLens and Magic Leap products use this solution), and there are relatively few manufacturers using the holographic volume grating waveguide solution (representative companies have Digilens, Sony, Akonia acquired by Apple, etc.).
In simple terms, a diffraction grating is an optical element with a periodic structure. This period can be the peaks and valleys embossed on the surface of the material, or it can be the “light and dark interference fringes” formed by exposure inside the material with the help of holographic technology. A periodic change in the refractive index is induced in the material. After the diffraction grating “splits” the light, it plays the role of changing the direction of light propagation similar to the traditional optical device.
(b) Schematic diagram of the diffractive optical waveguide and surface relief grating
(c) Schematic diagram of the diffractive optical waveguide and holographic volume grating
Since the grating structure has more degrees of freedom to manipulate the light path than traditional optical devices, diffractive optical waveguides can achieve both one-dimensional pupil dilation and two-dimensional pupil dilation with relative ease. This feature not only expands the range of interpupillary distances that AR glasses can adapt to, but also improves the compatibility of glasses with different face shapes and heights of the bridge of the nose.
(a) One-dimensional pupil dilation
(b) 2D pupil dilation using a turning grating
(c) 2D pupil dilation using 2D grating
Compared with the solution of using traditional optical components in geometric optical waveguides, the gratings used in diffractive optical waveguides are more flexible in design and production. Moreover, since the diffractive optical waveguide modules are all coated with a thin film on the glass substrate plane and then processed, the complex glass slicing and bonding processes used in geometric optical waveguides are not required, and the mass production and yield of the product will be relatively high. ;
The two-dimensional pupil dilation technology enables the eye frame to cover more people with different face shapes in the direction of the bridge of the nose, leaving more room for ergonomic design and user experience optimization.
The diffraction process itself is selective to the angle and wavelength of the light, which can easily lead to dispersion problems (manifested as non-uniform colors in the field of view and within the eye frame, known as the “rainbow effect”).In the process of designing and optimizing the grating, how to use a layer of grating to act on the RGB three colors and achieve the largest FOV is a huge challenge, which puts forward high requirements for the design level of the enterprise;
The electron beam exposure machine and nano-imprinting equipment required to manufacture diffractive optical waveguides are expensive, and they need to be placed in a professional clean room for use. The construction cost of the production line is extremely high.
Comparison between three optical waveguide technology solutions
(3) Cloud AR
Since the computing power of AR glasses itself is difficult to meet the needs of complex applications, many companies will choose to design split AR glasses, and transfer the computing and communication tasks required by AR to the mobile phone through wired and wireless transmission methods such as USB/UWB, so as to avoid equipment. Problems such as excessive weight and excessive power consumption. In the future, if the computing-intensive tasks of AR devices can be transferred to the cloud, with the data storage and high-speed computing capabilities of cloud servers, we can further reduce the performance requirements for local AR devices, thereby further reducing hardware costs and accelerating the all-in-one AR The penetration process of glasses.
Industry Chain and Industry Pattern
1. Industry chain and industry map
The following figure helps you to clearly present the industry chain of the VR/AR industry:
On this basis, we have sorted out the main companies in the industry chain by field, so that everyone can have a more panoramic understanding of the industry.
1.1 Wearable terminal:
1.2 Communication infrastructure:
2. Industry concentration
Hardware equipment materials:
The most critical components of VR hardware are the main chip, optical module and display. Taking the component cost of Oculus Quest 2 as an example, the main chip, optical module and display account for 20%, 15% and 25% of the total cost respectively; in terms of AR hardware, the optical display is the core part, and the rest of the components The supply chain of China has a high degree of overlap with the supply chain of smartphones, and the barriers to mass production and popularization are low.
At present , the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chip is the main chip of the global VR all-in-one machine, and theQualcomm Snapdragon 8 series chip is the main chip of the AR device (the main chip specially designed for the AR device is still being designed and has not yet been released). my country is relatively late in the field of VR/AR chips. At present, Allwinner, Rockchip, Amlogic and other manufacturers have provided VR chip solutions, but there is still a significant gap between the performance and Qualcomm chips; Huawei HiSilicon XR chips have first-class performance. Decoding ability, but due to the impact of US sanctions, the future application prospects are still unclear.
Hardware development and production:
VR equipment will account for more than 90% of CR5 in 2020. With the launch and sales of the Oculus Quest series, Facebook quickly seized the global AR/VR market, accounting for about 70% of new VR device shipments. From 2020 to 2021Q1, Chinese VR manufacturers account for 15%-25% of the global market, and still have a certain market share.
In the domestic market, affected by factors such as host and network adaptability, the Oculus Quest series products have not formed a crushing advantage, and companies such as Pico, Dapeng, HTC, and iQiyi all enjoy a certain share.
Device application scenarios:
At this stage, VR/AR equipment is mainly used in pan-entertainment industries such as games, and the downstream landing scene is gradually being built and perfected.
Judging from the sales of games on Steam, the high-selling game categories are mainly shooting and action. At present, the vast majority of games are still mainly single-player, but MMO (multiplayer online game) products that already have VR platforms are about to be released. In addition, the popularity of VR technology has increased, and a large number of VR mods made by players have appeared in the market. The launch of MMO and battle royale VR games will expand the social ecology of VR games and continue to promote the influence of VR games.
The VR all-in-one machine currently mainly uses the Android system, and the operating system of the split VR (including PCVR, PSVR, etc.) is still dominated by the connected host operating system;
The current pattern of AR operating systems is uncertain. Most start-up companies optimize and customize based on the Android system, while tech giants develop and support their own AR operating systems, such as Microsoft’s Windows Core OS system, Magic Leap’s Lumin OS system, etc. .
At present, both VR/AR have been out of the simple and inefficient development stage based on the manufacturer’s original SDK.
The core VR development engines in the market include Unity’s U3D, Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, and Frostbite Engine, etc., which are mainly used for PGC content production such as games and movies;
In terms of AR software development tools, both Apple and Google have launched AR Kit and AR Core, which are convenient software development tools for AR developers at the developer conference;
Qualcomm and mobile phone and AR device manufacturers released the XR Viewer development platform and participated in the formulation of AR industry standards.
In order to create an open ecosystem with interoperability, the Khronos organization has launched an open, copyright-free XR industry standard specification: OpenXR. Games and other content developed according to the OpenXR standard can be run in different brands of VR/AR through the API interface, which greatly enriches the content ecology of VR/AR devices. Microsoft, Unity, Epic, Oculus and other companies or platforms have joined OpenXR, and my country’s Huawei, Zhaoxin, and Pico have also joined the OpenXR Alliance to participate in the discussion and formulation of standards.
List of companies supporting the OpenXR standard
Among the VR platforms, the most influential ones are Steam and Oculus Quest . The Steam platform has benefited from the promotion of the 3A-level VR game “Half-Life: Alyx”, and the Quest platform has soared with the sales of Quest 2, and the number of active users and platform revenue have soared. In the short term, gaming is still the main application on VR platforms. In addition to games, content such as video, live broadcast, e-sports, and social networking has also gradually developed, and VR content has become increasingly rich in subject matter.
Thanks to the efficient development software such as AR Kit and AR Core, AR applications also show a diversified trend in content, including AR games like Pokemon Go, and the combination of traditional manufacturing companies and AR. The representative mainstream AR remote collaboration platforms include Microsoft Dynamics 365, Atheer ARMP
3. The decisive elements of the industry
For entrepreneurs and investors, what elements should they focus on if they want to seize the opportunities in the VR/AR industry? We analyzed the four dimensions of “hardware”, “software”, “content/platform” and “application”, and gave our judgment on the decisive factors of the industry:
Hardware technology research and development and mass production capabilities
The balance between experience and cost performance is the key to determining hardware sales and growth. On the one hand, there is still room for further optimization of VR and AR terminal equipment in terms of comfort, interactive perception, etc. The importance of technology research and development including spatial positioning and gesture interaction is self-evident; on the other hand, supply chain management capabilities are The key for enterprises to form economies of scale and ensure hardware delivery. Before considering opportunities related to hardware manufacturing, start-ups should carefully assess whether they are competitive in technology R&D and mass production.
Operating System and Development Tools
The operating system is the ecological commanding height that determines user habits and affects the formulation of industry standards; and low-threshold content production tools can greatly improve development efficiency, facilitate content production and promotion, and determine the speed and quality of VR/AR ecological development. There are currently strong opponents in these two fields, but they are far from entering the final state.
High-quality VR/AR content and scene-appropriate solutions
The amount of content directly affects the sales performance when the hardware is rapidly increasing, and determines whether a positive feedback loop of bilateral interaction between users and developers can be formed; the pros and cons of solutions oriented to specific scenarios are critical to B-side customer acquisition and the construction of an industrial innovation ecosystem. system has an important impact. There are also many opportunities in this field for outstanding entrepreneurs to further explore.
Layout of foreign related companies
In this section, we will introduce you to three foreign companies with a presence in the VR/AR industry that deserve attention.
1. Facebook (Meta): Start with popular VR hardware and build a comprehensive platform
(1) VR/AR industry layout and development history:
After Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014, it successively launched PCVR Oculus Rift CV, Oculus Rift S, VR all-in-one Oculus Go, Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2. New Oculus devices are expected to be launched in 2022, and AR glasses codenamed “Orion” are expected to be released in 2023;
In November 2021, Facebook announced that the company has developed tactile gloves to simulate the physical properties of the real world in VR situations. After wearing them, users can feel texture, pressure and vibration on their wrists, further enhancing the authenticity of the experience.
Software and Systems:
Facebook has increased investment in recent years, and has developed its own VR/AR operating system around spatial computing and 3D content, deeply integrating games, social networking and other applications with hardware, while reducing its dependence on Google’s Android system.
Since 2017, Facebook has invested in and acquired game developers including Beat Saber, Downpour Interactive, Bigbox, etc. At the same time, the Quest Store platform strictly reviews the game content applied for online, and is committed to driving hardware sales with high-quality content, allowing developers to Gain income and achievements, and attract more outstanding creators and IP content to go online with word of mouth to expand influence;
Facebook Horizon involves VR social, games, conferences (Horizon Workroms) and other work scenarios, and it is still not fully open. On December 9, 2021, Facebook opened the beta version of Horizon Worlds to some invited Oculus VR users.In Horizon Worlds, Oculus VR headset users can create a character and roam around the virtual world. Users can play games and communicate with other users in the virtual world.
(2) Relevant financial and operational data:
Oculus Quest 2 goes on sale in October 2020. Half a year after the launch, the sales volume exceeded the sum of all previous products, and it is predicted that the sales volume will be around 10 million units in 2021;
Since the launch of the Quest platform, the revenue scale has grown steadily, with a cumulative revenue of more than 150 million US dollars, and the revenue of more than 60 games has reached 1 million US dollars.
2. Microsoft: Focus on the AR field, relying on HoloLens to enhance AR commercial capabilities
(1) VR/AR industry layout and development history:
HoloLens 1 was released in 2015, and after continuous polishing, HoloLens 2 was launched in 2020, adding powerful gesture tracking functions and running complex special effects more smoothly. HoloLens works well with remote solutions such as Azure and Dynamics 365;
Released a joystick controller X-Rings, specially designed for VR usage scenarios. It can restore the shape of objects in the virtual world by changing its own shape, and make targeted feedback by recording the strength of the user’s touch and grasping the handle.
Image source: Microsoft official website
HoloLens runs on the Windows Mixed Reality (formerly Windows Holographic) platform and provides a holographic image framework, interaction model, perception API, and XboxLive services. At the same time, Microsoft and Unity launched the MRTK development tool, which aims to help developers easily use Unity to develop cross-platform MR applications. The latest MRTK 2.7 supports the OpenXR standard.
(2) Relevant financial and operational data:
HoloLens will be officially launched in November 2019 and is currently priced at $3,500. The estimated sales volume is in the order of 10,000 to 100,000, mainly for enterprise customers;
The number of B-end customers ranges from one thousand to ten thousand. The U.S. Army has repeatedly signed agreements with Microsoft to purchase more than 200,000 HoloLens 2 units with an order value of more than $20 billion.
3. Apple: Continuous layout for many years, products are ready to go
(1) VR/AR industry layout and development history:
Patented technology: Since 2006, Apple has been laying out patents in the VR/AR industry. Up to now, Apple has more than 330 publicly available VR/AR-related patents, the latest patents include “dynamic ambient lighting control”, “panoramic light field capture, processing and display”, etc.
Hardware: Both Apple mobile phones and tablet devices support AR applications. According to reports from Tianfeng International, Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has begun planning the second-generation VR/AR headset, which can seamlessly switch between AR and VR functions, allowing users to obtain a brand-new headset experience. In addition, according to Digitimes, Apple may release two AR headsets in 2022-2023
Software: Apple’s latest ARKit 5 provides augmented reality technology based on 3D scenes (SceneKit) and augmented reality technology based on 2D scenes (SpritKit), helping developers build applications that can bring better AR experience through API interfaces , reduce the development difficulty of AR applications
Content/Platform: Apple acquired VR/AR live broadcast company Next VR and virtual conference company Spaces, and added VR/AR content to Apple TV+ streaming video service, based on the improvement of the content ecosystem
(2) Relevant financial and operational data:
Tianfeng International predicts that Apple’s AR/MR headset shipments will be 2.5-3.5 million and 8-10 million units in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
After analyzing the four-dimensional framework of “hardware”, “software”, “content/platform” and “application” mentioned in the section “Industry Winning Factors”, we introduce some of our promising companies here for Let’s communicate and discuss together.
(1) Bright vision
Founded in 2014, Liangliang Vision is an AR glasses company with “complete machine + platform” that has been polished for many years and has independent intellectual property rights. In addition to owning complete hardware products including GLXSS SE and Leion Pro, the company continues to develop Arise, an XR collaboration platform, with high intensity, and has long-term deployment of core technologies and AR operating systems.
2015.02 Angel Wheel Jingwei China, Cheetah Mobile
2016.04 A round of Jingwei China and Tianfeng Securities
2017.05 Round B Lanchi Ventures, Matrix Partners China
2018.06 B+ round CCB International, Lanchi Ventures, Matrix Partners China
2020.05 Strategic investment Yitang Changhou
2021.11 Round C Yizhuang SDIC, United Optoelectronics, Essence Securities
The core technology is self-developed, and it has the full-stack delivery capability of “complete machine + platform + algorithm”. The company has developed the lightest, mass-produced, high-yield array optical waveguide module in the country, and has deployed the next generation of super-surface optical displays in advance. It has also launched the XR collaborative Arise platform to establish spatial perception, realize fusion interaction, and deploy AR in the long run. operating system;
The company digs deep into the needs of the scene, solves the pain points of the industry, and has won many leading orders in the industry. It has accumulated excellent capabilities in security, customs, construction, aviation, energy, manufacturing and other industries. It has more than 5,000 corporate customers and shipped more than 30,000 units. The company also launched hearing-impaired glasses for the C-end;
The company has a first-class AR+AI technical talent team. The founder was the head of Lenovo’s Wearable Innovation and Optics Laboratory. The chief optical scientist & co-founder is currently the deputy dean of the School of Optoelectronics, Zhejiang University. The core team comes from Google, Microsoft, Lenovo, Nokia, Siemens, Intel and other top global companies.
(2) iQIYI Adventure VR
The predecessor of the company was the iQIYI Intelligent Hardware Division established in 2016, and it began to operate independently in September 2017. Up to now, the company has released Qiyu 2, Qiyu 2s, Qiyu 2Pro and Qiyu 3 VR series headsets. At present, the team has a total of about 200 people, mainly responsible for software development, platform construction and product design.
2017.08 PPS iQIYI
2018.07 Pre-A round of China Securities Investment Co., Ltd. and Liangjiang Capital IDG Capital
2019.11 A-round RMB Yida Capital Beixin Capital
2021.01 B round hundreds of millions of RMB Yitang Changhou Fresh Capital
2021.8 B+ round Deyang Industrial Investment Development Group
C-end sales are firmly in the top of the market, and JD.com/Tmall’s all-in-one VR device ranks first in sales, second only to Pico in domestic mid-to-high-end VR devices. Since the release of Qiyu 3 in August 2021, the sales volume has exceeded 100,000 units, and it is expected that the total sales volume of the entire product line will reach 500,000 units in 2022;
Based on iQIYI’s content resource library, iQUT content format is exclusively customized, which exceeds the industry average in resolution, frame rate and bit rate, and has a richer content ecology than Pico;
Self-developed VR core technologies such as image quality enhancement and encoding and decoding technology, tracking and positioning technology and terminal optimization technology, and owns the complete intellectual property rights of the Inside-out 6-DOF controller.
(3) Yingmu Technology
The AR smart glasses company, formerly known as the Coolpad AR division, was officially split and independent in December 2020. The company has released the AR glasses INMO Air for the C-side, and the AR glasses INMO X for the B-side.
2021.02 Angel round tens of millions of RMB Eagle Fund Rong Pu invests in Sanqi Mutual Entertainment Venture Capital Fund
2021.11 Pre-A round of tens of millions of RMB Matrix Partners Jiuhe Venture Capital Junsheng Investment
2022.05.16 Zhiwen Group with nearly 10 million USD in A round-Momo
Based on the Android system, it has developed its own IMOS in depth, optimized in background management, power consumption optimization, etc., and improved the battery life;
The first vertical array waveguide technology to achieve a completely unobstructed viewing angle, when INMO Air is worn, it is no different from ordinary glasses when viewed from the front;
The founder used to be the general manager of Coolpad Group’s wearable division and the consultant of Epson AR in China. Team members have 8 years of accumulation in software and hardware research and development, industrial chain management, cost control, etc.;
INMO Air is currently priced at around 3,000 yuan, and the crowdfunding order volume has exceeded 10,000 units. It is expected to be mass-produced and delivered in batches by the end of 2021, and it will be launched on domestic e-commerce platforms. It is expected that the investor Sanqi Interactive Entertainment will support Yingmu Technology at the content level.
(4) Light Particle Technology
Founded in 2017, Guangli is committed to combining advanced optical technology with AR technology. Based on self-developed technology, it has launched extremely thin and light AR smart glasses. At the same time, it empowers customers in different vertical fields by providing efficient solutions. Solid technical capabilities promote the development of smart industries.
2017.04 Angel round $1 million Linear Capital Sirius Capital
2018.01 A round of tens of millions of RMB Linear Capital Xiangfeng Investment China Fund Ivy Capital
2020.07 Deqing Puying
2021.11 A+ round of over RMB 100 million Xiangfeng Investment China Fund Wind and Investment Songyang Pastoral Economic Production Investment
AR glasses use self-developed technology. The founding team is from Zhejiang University, Cornell University, University of Delaware and other domestic and foreign institutions of higher learning, and has mastered more than 170 Chinese and international patents in the entire industry chain;
In August 2021, the holographic resin optical waveguide Holoresin™ was released, becoming one of the only two companies in the world that released pure resin optical waveguides, and the only company in the world that mass-produced this technology and launched mature terminal products;
Since the pre-sale of Holoswim was launched in August 2021, the cumulative sales volume during the pre-sale period has reached more than 2,000 units. In early 2022, the company officially released the binocular full-color diffractive optical waveguide AR smart glasses Lightin Me and the supporting interactive ring HandPlus;
At present, the AR application store of Guangli has integrated more than 200 mainstream APPs, which can basically meet the general daily application needs of users. The company officially released the AR developer platform in early 2022, opening up capabilities including AI recognition and SLAM, attracting creators to build an ecosystem together.
(5) Consonance Shimmer
Lingxi is a consumer-grade AR glasses optical waveguide module supplier and AR glasses complete machine solution provider. At present, it has 3 optical modules that have been mass-produced, 2 optical modules that will be mass-produced, and 3 customized solutions for AR glasses.
2015.09.01 Angel round 3 million yuan Hejun Capital Xi’an Jiaotong Science and Technology Innovation Fund
2016.11.29 Pre-A round of RMB 15 million Dongfang Fuhai Hejun Capital Western Capital
2017.12.25 A round of 10 million RMB Sequoia China
2019.05.14 A+ round of tens of millions of RMB Sunny v Fund Zhongguancun Development Qihang Industrial Investment Fund
2022.03.09 Round B 100 million RMB FIH Mobile Medicare International Investment Meiya Fund Tianhe Ventures Wudao Capital
It is one of the few optical waveguide technology owners in the world. In April 2021, it took the lead in releasing a two-dimensional array optical waveguide, breaking through technical difficulties such as ghosting and two-dimensional pupil dilation; in terms of holographic optical waveguides, it was the first in China to complete the preparation of monolithic single-green volume holographic grating waveguide samples. Preparation system and method of polymer dispersed liquid crystal holographic grating;
The core processing of the optical waveguide is completed in its own factory, and it is the first in the world to achieve low-cost mass production of optical waveguide AR lenses. It is estimated that the revenue in 2021 will be 33 million+, the comprehensive gross profit rate will be around 35%, and the cumulative revenue in the next three years will be 550 million yuan;
The team has gathered scientists and engineers with rich industry experience in the field of AR display. The core members are from Peking University, Tsinghua University, and well-known companies such as Samsung, Foxconn, and Crystal Optoelectronics.
(6) Lipai Optical Crystal
Ripai Optics is a company that focuses on optical waveguide display technology and owns the intellectual property layout of geometric optical waveguide modules. Products include 6 arrayed optical waveguide modules, two-dimensional arrayed optical waveguide modules (unlisted) and developer kits. At present, the cumulative shipment of products exceeds 10,000 sets.
2016.10.26 Pre-A round CSI Huijin
2021.01.25 A round of tens of millions of RMB Yunhui Capital Kaifeng Venture Capital Tianyi Co., Ltd. Hefei Shiya
2021.10.27 A+ round of tens of millions of RMB GF Qianhe Country Garden Venture Capital Relay Group
At the Optical Expo in September 2021, Lingxi Weiguang exhibited its own two-dimensional pupil expansion solution. It is currently one of the few companies in China that owns the intellectual property layout of geometric optical waveguide modules. In the two-dimensional expansion of the geometric optical waveguide technology path There is a breakthrough in the pupil direction;
Since the pilot line of optical waveguide modules was built in 2020, the technology, process and production lines have been opened up, and the mass production yield has stabilized at 80%+. So far, tens of thousands of sets have been shipped;
The company’s new plant in Kunshan, Jiangsu will be officially put into production in Q1 2022.
(7) Zhige Technology
Zhige Technology is an innovative enterprise that adopts IDM mode in the field of diffractive optics, mainly engaged in the research and development, production and sales of AR diffractive optical waveguides and diffraction gratings.
2020.07.03 Angel round tens of millions of RMB TusStar Ventures Qingkong Ginkgo Tsinghua Holdings Huaye Tiancheng Capital
2021.03.31 A round of tens of millions of RMB SMIC Juyuan Fangguang Capital clears and controls Ginkgo
2021.12.17 A+ round Xiaomi production investment
It was incubated by the Grating and Measurement Laboratory of the Department of Precision Instruments of Tsinghua University, relying on Tsinghua University’s more than 20 years of scientific research achievements in the field of gratings for industrial transformation. On the basis of realizing the independent and controllable three core technologies of grating design, grating master processing and nano-imprint production, Zhige Technology has established a complete mass production system of diffractive optical waveguides, and has already had mass production for C-end customers. Delivery experience, can provide customers with one-stop solutions from design, plate making to materials and processes, as well as fast, stable, reliable and low-cost diffractive optical waveguide mass production delivery solutions;
A complete diffractive optical waveguide production line has been built in Huzhou, Zhejiang, and production processes such as nano-imprinting, cutting, lamination, and black borders have been completed. The main processes are equipped with customized equipment. The yield rate of the first generation of surface relief grating waveguide products is over 80%, and the overall yield rate is expected to increase to over 95% in the future;
Zhige Technology has previously received strategic investment from OPPO. The OPPO Air Glass, a mass-produced AR smart glasses for the C-end released by OPPO a few days ago, uses the diffractive optical waveguide module exclusively provided by Zhige Technology.
(8) Be popular in the sky
Danghong Qitian is a cultural technology company dedicated to creating the ultimate immersive experience, integrating “XR content production + vehicle R&D + digital operation overall solutions and product implementation”. The current business involves: XR+ Paradise, XR+ Technology Show, XR+ Party Building Patriotism Education, XR+ Museum, XR+ Emergency, XR+ E-sports, XR+ Sports and XR+ Live Broadcast, etc.
2009.11.08 Seed round AVIC Trust
2016.11.15 Angel round Lenovo Venture Capital
2018.06.21 Pre-A round of over RMB 100 million Weiyue Group Mango Cultural and Creative Fund
2018.12.20 A round Intel Capital
2021.10.12 B round of hundreds of millions of RMB Xiaomi Group CCB International Weed Ventures Lenovo Ventures
2021.12 Strategic Financing Intel Asia Pacific Xiaomi Group
2022-02-14 B+ round undisclosed blueprint venture capital
Established a 5G joint innovation center with China Mobile, established the first private enterprise’s own 5G XR laboratory with the support of ZTE, carried out technical layout around the application scenarios of 5G+XR, and built an international 5G XR laboratory with the support of Intel. Professional VR e-sports event – VR e-sports international competition;
The projects that have been implemented and will be implemented include Shanghai Disney Town SoReal 5G XR Super Space, Beijing Shougang “No. 1 Blast Furnace” SoReal 5G XR Super Space, Guangxi Liuzhou Xiangyun SoReal 5G XR Snail Park, etc., and have set foot in 12 cities across the country;
Strategic resource support: Lenovo provides channels and strategic layout of hardware and terminal services, AVIC Trust provides assistance in the To G field, Mango Fund and Weiyue Group provide linkage and cooperation with leading cultural and entertainment companies, and Intel provides underlying computing power, etc.
VeeR is a world-leading virtual reality VR content company with a current scale of around 200 people. The company’s business is divided into two parts: online and offline: online has the world’s largest platform with more than 4,000 hours of high-quality VR content; offline, has its own one-stop VR experience space “Zero Space”, Let users experience VR movies, games and other content.
2016.06 Angel Wheel Linear Capital
2017.01 Pre-A round BAI capital
2017.06 A round of creation partner capital
2020.04 A+ Wheel Wind Language Building
The investor Fengyuzhu has a large number of cultural and tourism resources such as museums, exhibition halls, shopping malls, etc., and can have strong cooperation with VeeR at the business level;
The company is the largest copyright content licensor of China Mobile, China Unicom and Telecom, and has mature experience in producing VR content. It has released more than 200 works successively, and has the production capacity of domestic high-quality VR content; the offline business part will start in 2020. By the end of 2021, nearly 40 offline experience spaces of Space Zero will be opened in 30 cities across the country;
The core team has diverse and excellent backgrounds. The two founders have study and work experience in Silicon Valley. The team members are mainly from Jiaotong University, Fudan University and other institutions. The technical and content personnel have work experience in companies such as Google, Mofa Technology, and Hollywood.
Yahaha is a company dedicated to democratizing 3D real-time content creation, bringing more advanced productivity to the content entertainment space. Yahaha will truly lower the creative threshold for game developers through its self-developed 3D engine, allowing users to tell stories and make friends in a 3D virtual world easier and better.
2021.01 A round Wuyuan Capital Xiaomi Group ZhenFund
2021.03 A+ round of Hillhouse Ventures BAI Capital Wuyuan Capital Xiaomi Group ZhenFund
2021.06 A++ round Coatue Management Bilibili Hillhouse Ventures BAI Capital Wuyuan Capital Xiaomi Group ZhenFund
The production method of the game industry is still dominated by professional game engines, and the threshold for users to use is extremely high. If the potential of users’ co-creation can be released, we will see more explosive content with innovative gameplay and better integration of social elements in the 3D Internet. The overseas start-up company Manticore on the track has received multiple rounds of investment from well-known institutions such as Benchmark and Epic Games. Unit 2 Games, the developer of UGC game creation platform Crayta, has also been acquired by Facebook at a high price;
The company’s core team members come from first-tier technology and game companies such as Unity, Microsoft, EA, and BAT. Founder Chris has an undergraduate degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University and a master degree from Fudan University. He has worked in Microsoft, EA, Unity and other companies. The other two co-founders have held executive positions in Unity’s technology and platform operations departments respectively, and also have successful entrepreneurial experiences.
(11) Grain World Technology
Grain World Technology is a computer graphics and vision technology research and development company, dedicated to promoting the cross-domain of rendering technology. The company’s core product is GritGene, a real-time graphics rendering engine. Based on the 5G communication architecture, the engine is designed to open up and intelligently distribute the computing resources of the “cloud-edge-terminal” three-level hardware. It is aimed at developers with almost no game programming experience, which greatly reduces the learning threshold and maintenance of the engine. cost.
2018.07.04 Angel Wheel Mystery Technology
2018.12.03 A round of tens of millions of RMB linear capital Jiangmen Venture Capital
2019.12.30 A+ round of tens of millions of dollars C capital Hillhouse capital Linear capital Six pulse capital Creo Capital
2021.01.15 Strategic financing of tens of millions of RMB Hubble Investment
2021.07.19 A++ round of tens of millions of dollars Poly Capital Wuxi Gold Investment
2021.11.16 B round $10 million Hillhouse Ventures Poly Capital Linear Capital
2022-04-26 B+ round tens of millions of dollars Baidu Ventures (lead) CCB Trust (lead) Langma Feng Ventures (lead) Hillhouse Ventures
Instead of competing with Unity and Unreal in the game market, it is committed to realizing the cross-domain of graphics rendering engines in multiple non-game fields, and the potential market is larger. In addition to animation production, the company has expanded its business to other fields including smart cities, and has cooperated with well-known enterprises such as Jinke Service and K11 to explore the development of digital management. The solutions have been implemented in many smart parks and smart city systems. At present, GritGene has begun to experiment in VR/AR applications, and has begun to deploy the GritGene engine in the field of XR technology and the development of C-side business;
Introduced a mixed rendering scheme of real-time and offline rendering, which is hundreds of times faster than traditional rendering and greatly improves rendering efficiency. , another graphics technology company responsible for “side” graphics computing).
(12) Hongyu Technology
An operating system developer for the next generation of VR/AR terminal equipment.
2018.03.12 Angel Round Millions of RMB Cloud Angel Fund
2021.10.08 Round A Jinshajiang Venture Capital
2021.11.08 A+ round of nearly RMB 100 million source code capital
In the future, information will be projected into the space in a more three-dimensional and realistic way, and the form of our interaction with the device will also change from a two-dimensional plane to a three-dimensional three-dimensional space. The operating system development of VR/AR equipment is difficult, but it is very imaginative. Once successful, it will establish the company’s future industry status, which is worthy of attention;
In 2020, the self-developed VR/AR 3D multitasking system Iris OS will be released, which can present 2D and 3D windows and panoramic applications. At present, the company has cooperated with OPPO, vivo and other manufacturers to provide the underlying system for a variety of XR products, jointly launched reference designs with ODM manufacturers, accumulated rich industry experience, and established a wide range of cooperative alliances with upstream and downstream industries.
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