Metaverse + Virtual Human: Typical Cases and Development Paths

A virtual human, also known as a digital human, refers to a virtual human image that is simulated by people on a computer. According to the “White Paper on the Development of Virtual Digital Humans in 2020”, virtual digital humans have three characteristics:

One is the person’s appearance and personality characteristics;

The second is to have the ability to express through language, facial expressions or body movements;

The third is to have the ability to recognize the external environment and communicate with people.

From the application scenarios of digital virtual human, it can be roughly divided into two categories. One is identity-based virtual people, such as virtual avatars and virtual idols. These virtual people have independent identities and are endowed with individual personality characteristics. The other type is service-type (functional) avatars, which can be put into production and services, and perform standardized tasks in the form of virtual avatars.

Virtual human technology is one of the basic technologies of the Metaverse. On the one hand, people socialize, work and play in the Metaverse virtual world through their respective virtual avatars, and creating an exclusive virtual person for users is a prerequisite for the Metaverse to achieve immersion and participation. On the other hand, virtual humans can replace manual labor and play roles such as virtual customer service and virtual tour guides, integrating into the application scenarios of offline industries and promoting the integration of the Metaverse and the industry.

At present, the virtual human industry has begun to take shape. According to the qubit “Digital Virtual Human Depth Industry Report”, in 2030, the overall market size of my country’s digital virtual human will reach 270 billion. Among them, identity-based digital virtual humans will occupy a dominant position, about 175 billion, and will gradually become an important part of the Metaverse. The service-oriented digital virtual human is developing relatively steadily, and the total scale will exceed 95 billion.

This article will start from the actual case of the combination of the Metaverse and the virtual human industry, and explore the combination path of the Metaverse and the virtual human. At the same time, 01 Think Tank, 01 Blockchain, “Lujiazui” magazine, and Hengqin Digital Finance Research Institute will jointly launch the “Metaverse Scenario Application Exploration Report”. Released at the China Digital Technology Investment and Financing Summit, all kinds of exploring companies are welcome to actively participate.

1. Metaverse + Virtual IP Case Analysis

1. Case 1: Spatial

Remote meetings, whether teleconferencing or video conferencing, cannot communicate in the same way as offline shared spaces. However, Spatial, a company that provides online social services, will support teams in developing more immersive virtual meeting spaces, including: using telepresence to connect teams, supporting AR and VR headsets, or simply interactive networking browser. Additionally, a key feature that helps teams create immersive meeting experiences is the creation of realistic custom avatars!

‘Dumb-like’ virtual reality avatar creation

With many other VR platforms, users are either limited by a narrow selection of avatar creation options, or the process of creating realistic avatars is complex and time-consuming. Spatial’s VR avatars make avatar creation tasks quick and easy.

First, users can take a photo of themselves via a webcam, or upload from the device, to create a 3D custom VR avatar based on the user’s appearance. After that, the user can customize the skin color appearance, change the color of the avatar shirt, and the user will complete the avatar construction after a simple operation. Creating user-specific VR avatars can be done by anyone in minutes, without any special 3D modeling skills or fancy equipment.

Metaverse + Virtual Human: Typical Cases and Development Paths

interactive social

In addition to the realistic nature of avatars, Spatial supports any way users want to express themselves. Users can generate any human face they want, and choose their preferred gender. In addition, the way users express themselves includes the body movements they are accustomed to when interacting with others.

Users can use the hand tracking function in the VR headset to support the avatar to follow the user’s movements, showing the user’s gestures and body shape. For users who do not have VR equipment, the platform embeds different body movements or dance movements, and users can display their own style and characteristics on the body by pressing keys on the keyboard.

Metaverse + Virtual Human: Typical Cases and Development Paths

2. Case 2: Luo Tianyi

Background: Luo Tianyi, a female virtual singer in Mainland China, is a virtual artist under Shanghai Henian Information Technology Co., Ltd. Luo Tianyi is a “girl” with gray hair, green eyes, and a natural cuteness. She is also a singer, idol and entertainer with a strong fan base.

virtual idol

Luo Tianyi has gained a group of fans with her cute appearance and excellent singing skills. As of now, Luo Tianyi’s Weibo fans are as high as 5.15 million, and Luo Tianyi’s official account at station B has 2.76 million fans. As a singer, Luo Tianyi also has strong business ability. According to QQ Music data, as of now, Luo Tianyi has released a total of 962 albums with 6,189 original songs. Most of these songs are from the spontaneous creation of the creators, and many songs are popular in the streets.

Luo Tianyi’s career can be said to be booming. In recent years, she has appeared on CCTV and various David TVs, and sings with various well-known stars. She even stood on the stage of the 2021 Spring Festival Gala and the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Cultural Festival, becoming a real “national idol”.

Metaverse + Virtual Human: Typical Cases and Development Paths

The identity of spokesperson and anchor with goods

With a solid fan base, Luo Tianyi has also received invitations from many well-known brands and has become a hot brand spokesperson. At present, Luo Tianyi has served as the image spokesperson for many companies such as Changan Automobile, Pechoin, KFC, Semir, Three Squirrels, Mirinda, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Pizza Hut and so on.According to CCTV Finance, the top virtual idols such as Luo Tianyi and Hatsune Miku are close to the level of first-line stars, and the cost of each commercial endorsement ranges from several hundred thousand to several million yuan.

Luo Tianyi also often appears in the live streaming industry that has emerged in the past two years. In April 2020, Luo Tianyi appeared in Li Jiaqi’s live broadcast room, selling goods for the well-known brand L’Occitane, and received a strong response, making it a hot search on Weibo. In May, Luo Tianyi and five other virtual singers started live streaming on Taobao. The number of online viewers was as high as 2.7 million, and nearly 2 million people gave rewards and interactions. According to the merchant, Luo Tianyi’s live broadcast pit fee is as high as 900,000, while the pit fee for ordinary live broadcasters generally ranges from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.

3. Case 3: New Small and Micro Enterprises

Background: On May 21, 2020, the world’s first 3D AI synthetic anchor “Xin Xiaowei” launched by Sogou and Xinhua News Agency was officially unveiled. “Xin Xiaowei” is based on Sogou’s core artificial intelligence technology “Sogou Avatar”. Driven by the AI ​​algorithm, just enter the news text, and “Xin Xiaowei” can broadcast news in real time with anthropomorphic expressions and actions according to semantics.


The prototype of “Xin Xiaowei” is Zhao Wanwei, a reporter from Xinhua News Agency, which was “clone” through the latest artificial intelligence technology. In order to restore Zhao Wanwei’s appearance to a high degree, the R&D personnel have carried out massive data collection work. The real Zhao Wanwei needs to wear a data collection helmet, and use hundreds of cameras to scan in all directions, collect the details of every body part, and capture and record its expressions, movements and shapes meticulously. The 3D digital character model constructed by real-time driving and rendering algorithm, whether it is facial expressions, lip movements, body movements and language expressions, all achieve a high degree of fit.

Metaverse + Virtual Human: Typical Cases and Development Paths

2D virtual to 3D virtual human evolution

The previous generation of synthetic anchors in 2D form could only show a single perspective, broadcast the whole process with a mechanical smile, and could only make some simple gestures in a sitting or standing position. The 3D virtual anchor represented by “Xin Xiaowei” has significantly enhanced the sense of three-dimensionality and layering, from multi-camera and multi-depth of field, diverse and subtle expressions broadcast, walking and turning like a real person, posing various complex movements and postures , and can also change hairstyles and clothing according to different news and scenes.

Open the anchor’s future imagination

“Xinxiaowei” is the first AI synthetic anchor in the news industry driven by artificial intelligence and presented by 3D technology. By inputting the corresponding text content on the machine, “Xinxiaowei” can accurately broadcast the news, and generate photos according to the scenes behind the semantics. Corresponding facial expressions and body language.During the two sessions in 2020, as the newest member of the Xinhua News Agency anchor, “Xin Xiaowei” will bring a new news and information experience to the majority of netizens through the Xinhua News Agency client, giving the solemn and serious meeting a different flavor. In the future, the virtual anchors represented by New Small and Micro will further open up more explorable new spaces for news production and broadcasting.

Metaverse + Virtual Human: Typical Cases and Development Paths

The virtual human industry has begun to take shape in China. In addition to the projects and companies mentioned above, there are also a number of virtual human beings that have landed in China.

  • Virtual idol, Su Xiaomei (blue cursor)
  • Virtual idol group, A-SOUL (Lehua Entertainment)
  • Virtual Internet celebrity, Liu Yexi (Chuangyi Video)
  • Virtual host, YAOYAO (Mango Super Media)
  • Virtual up master, ilem (Bilibili)
  • Virtual anchor, yoyo Luming (Mihayou)
  • Virtual KOL, Ling Ling (Next World Culture)
  • Virtual KOL, Jihara Mi (Mota Time and Space)
  • Virtual KOL, Reddi (Shiyue Xingcheng)
  • Virtual KOL, AYAYI (burning wheat technology)


2. A preliminary study on the path of Metaverse + virtual IP

At present, the development of Metaverse combined with virtual human has begun to take shape. On the C side, virtual people can create virtual avatars of exclusive users. On the B-side, virtual people have already landed in many industries such as entertainment, e-commerce, education, and cultural tourism. Virtual idols and virtual employees have shown the potential to reshape business models.

1. Create a virtual avatar for users to the Metaverse

The Metaverse provides us with a virtual, 3D but extremely real cyberspace, and users will participate in the form of virtual people, which will redefine the interaction objects and interaction methods of users. In the future, people will participate in social, gaming, and various entertainment and business activities through virtual avatars.

User avatars become human beings’ passports and identities in the Metaverse. At the same time, a single, static, and similar virtual character cannot satisfy the Metaverse’s definition of “identity”. People are full of personalized and customized needs for virtual images, and various virtual humans will also appear towards full and sound avatars.

2. Create virtual idols

The high-profile virtual idols have made the virtual human industry well-known. On the one hand, virtual idols satisfy the fantasies and sustenance of star-chasers on idols. Virtual idols are displayed in a digital form, which is more scalable in image development and content development, and can be iterated and upgraded with the trend. In addition, the “controllability” of virtual idols is stronger, and there are no behaviors that break fans’ expectations, such as singing “car accident” scenes, collapse of human settings, etc.

On the other hand, the commercial development potential of virtual idols is great, and it also brings new growth points to business models such as performing arts activities and live streaming. Virtual idols do not need to rest, their lifespan is approaching infinity, and they show more accurate and powerful “business capabilities”. Numerous fan bases make virtual idols as influential as real idols in commercial performances, endorsements and other commercial performances. According to iiMedia Research, the core market size of China’s virtual idols in 2020 will be 3.46 billion yuan, and the market size driven by it will be 64.56 billion yuan.

3. The virtual workforce that reinvents the business model

The Metaverse will not only redefine cyberspace, but will also transform the business model of physical industries. Various augmented reality technologies and virtual-real interaction models will reshape the representation of content resources in the physical industry and upgrade the experience brought by traditional products and services to the audience. At present, virtual people have already landed in many physical scenes.

In the communication industry, Mango TV launched the first virtual host YAOYAO, and co-hosted the program with the host; in the cultural tourism industry, Negotiated Technology launched a virtual explainer Xiaotang at the 2020 World Artificial Intelligence Conference to explain the content to the on-site guests; in addition, Virtual people such as virtual customer service, virtual teachers, and virtual doctors have also begun to be used in various service scenarios.

3. Suggestions on metacosmicization of the virtual human industry

At present, the virtual human industry ecology is emerging, and the applications that have been implemented have confirmed the feasibility of the industry. However, whether it is technology, content or industrial application, the virtual human industry is still in its infancy, and further exploration and breakthroughs need to be achieved in various dimensions.

  • Virtual human technology integrates technologies including cloud computing, 5G, artificial intelligence, blockchain, rendering technology, speech recognition and other technologies. At present, various technologies still need to strengthen interaction and serial applications to improve the production level of virtual human and lower the threshold for production.
  • While anthropomorphic, the virtual human also needs to show a more distinctive and stylistic aesthetic expression.Especially for users’ avatars, it is necessary to provide users with more space for free creation and imagination, and to show different styles of avatars.
  • Virtual humans also need to develop “inner beauty”. How to create virtual idols with super “business capabilities”, how to create more intelligent virtual practitioners, and how to allow users to create avatars that reflect their own personalities remain to be explored.
  • By exploring the path of integration with the industry, virtual humans can bring new growth points to the industry, especially for the service industry. However, at present, the application scenarios of virtual humans are still limited, and more potential to empower and transform the industry remains to be developed.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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