Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

At the moment of NetEase Cloud Music’s IPO recently, NetEase founder and CEO Ding Lei ushered in the fourth IPO bell ringing ceremony in his life, but the difference is that this time there are three Ding Lei completing this action at the same time.

One of them is Ding Lei who appeared on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and the other two are virtual people Ding Lei who appeared online in 2000 and 2021 respectively. Behind it is NetEase’s self-developed technology related to the “meta universe” field.

Wise things news on December 4, at the NetEase Innovation Enterprise Conference held in Hangzhou today, NetEase announced for the first time its next-generation Internet technology architecture for the “meta universe”, and launched its virtual human SDK (software development kit) “The immersive activity system “Yaotai” shows off the muscles of the “meta universe”.

Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

“You Ling” Virtual Human SDK Application Page

Ding Lei said at the financial report meeting some time ago that NetEase is ready for “Meta Universe”, “When the gun is fired, we may run faster than anyone else.”

Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

Nowadays, the Internet and other big technology companies are secretly working on the “meta universe”. For example, Baidu just launched the virtual interactive space “Xiyang” APP in November, Tencent launched the virtual digital Sapiens multi-modal human-computer interaction system, and Huawei also launched A new generation of VR glasses, but none of them has officially launched a vigorous deployment of the meta universe.

As a veteran Internet company known for its games, NetEase changed its impression of “Buddha” and fired the first shot of Internet companies entering the “meta universe”.

Rush to run “Meta Universe”  NetEase reveals its technical territory

What is the “meta universe” world like now and in the future?

Ruan Liang, vice president of NetEase (Hangzhou) and general manager of NetEase Smart Enterprise, mentioned that the virtual game universe “oasis” in “Player One” is considered to be the future of “meta universe”. His identity and social relations will also form a new civilization. NetEase Smart Enterprise is the enterprise service department of NetEase and a large external enablement window for its AI, big data and other technologies.

Ruan Liang pointed out that at present, the application direction of “Meta Universe” is mainly focused on games and social networking. He quoted NetEase founder Ding Lei at the financial report meeting some time ago, saying that as soon as the “Meta Universe” shots, NetEase may run faster than anyone else. It can be seen that, as the next generation Internet technology, “Meta Universe” is very important to this new growth curve for this veteran Internet company.

At the meeting, Ruan Liang announced the technical architecture diagram of NetEase Smart Enterprise’s deployment of next-generation Internet technology applications to provide a basis for the development of “Meta Universe”. As shown in the figure below, through the global intelligent routing network, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other underlying technical capabilities, Netease Smart Enterprise provides coverage of real-time audio and video transmission, voice recognition/synthesis, face comparison and other capabilities, and then supports upper-level games and online There are various experience scenes such as conferences, scene-based social interactions, virtual concerts, and children’s education.

Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

Taking the application of virtual people in digital customer service scenarios as an example, in the technical layout of NetEase Smart Enterprise, users can scan real people to generate a similar customer service image, and answer questions and answer questions with customers in financial and other industries. Service communication. This is an IM+RTC+virtual person solution based on NetEase Smart Enterprise, and it sounds like there are some “meta universes”.

At the recent IPO ceremony of NetEase Cloud Music, NetEase founder Ding Lei ringed the bell at the scene. At the same time, Ding Lei’s “clone” of two different eras also participated in an online bell ringing ceremony. Behind it is NetEase’s Fuxi Yaotai system, which is a platform for NetEase to reconstruct the office scene, with efficient audio multi-room communication capabilities and character virtualization capabilities.

Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

Teach you to squeeze your face with one hand and “make people” with  one hand to build a virtual activity space

Ruan Liang believes that “Meta Universe” needs to be advanced step by step, and technology needs to evolve more quickly and continuously. At the meeting, the NetEase Fuxi Laboratory, which worked closely with NetEase Intelligent Enterprises, and its latest achievements for the “meta universe”-the “spiritual” virtual person SDK, and the immersive activity system “Yaotai” surfaced.

NetEase Fuxi Lab was established in September 2017, focusing on using artificial intelligence to innovate the player experience in games. It is said that there are currently 200+ related patents, with an average of 100 million calls per day. Li Renjie, co-head of Netease Fuxi Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, said that after several years of precipitation, Netease Fuxi Laboratory has entered the second stage, hoping to empower education, industry, entertainment and other fields with technology precipitated in the game field.

1. “Lingual” virtual human SDK: a photo pinches the face, AI drives to speak and make emoticons

Take virtual humans that have attracted much attention recently as an example. Many virtual humans are now played by real people behind them, but then the “meta universe” is realized. Through AI technology, the entire link from generation to final interaction is driven by AI.

At the meeting, Li Renjie announced the launch of the “Living” virtual human SDK, including 3D smart face pinching, 3D animation synthesis, speech synthesis and other modules, enabling users to create virtual digital humans and lowering the barriers to use.

Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

Take the 3D smart face pinching function as an example. Nowadays, face pinching has become a threshold thing. It is not easy to be realistic and artistic. This has also given birth to a profession like a face pincher. NetEase launched the “Ling” virtual person SDK to realize smart 3D face pinching, and using a photo to pinch the face through AI.

In terms of 3D animation synthesis, CG (computer graphics) technology was often used in the early days to capture the image of the actor and then migrate it to the avatar. The second solution is that the camera can capture the action for migration; NetEase uses the third voice or Text-driven mode, which can generate actions and expressions by only providing voice or text.

In terms of 3D animation migration, users can realize the migration of expressions and movements through simple devices such as mobile phones, and detect the user’s movements, expressions, and language to drive the virtual person in real time. Li Renjie said that as long as he uses this SDK, he can make his 3D image move.

In terms of speech synthesis, users only need to input text to synthesize high-quality, natural-sounding speech, and choose the most suitable timbre to output language expression for the virtual person.

In addition to these functions, NetEase Fuxi Lab is also exploring some new functions for the “aura” virtual person SDK, such as three-dimensional reconstruction, which only requires three-angle photos to generate a person’s virtual image in real time; to install a thinkable “for the virtual person” The AI ​​”brain is currently used in some games, allowing game characters to learn strategies by themselves, and so on.

2. Immersive activity system “Yaotai”: use cloud game technology as a “meta universe” conference platform

The immersive activity system-Yaotai, is currently mainly oriented to application scenarios such as events, exhibitions, conferences, etc., so that participants can customize their own personal images, move their movements and expressions, and obtain an immersive virtual activity experience.

This platform was founded during the epidemic last year, when the online meeting system prevailed. While improving efficiency, it was difficult to achieve a sense of immersion and ritual, and it was difficult to meet some social needs. Yaotai came into being.

Li Renjie recalled that in October last year, NetEase gathered more than 300 scholars at home and abroad in the game “Against the Cold” and held a multi-day second International Distributed Artificial Intelligence Conference, which received relatively good feedback from many professors and scholars. It gained the confidence of Li Renjie and his team, so they later increased the research and development of this immersive activity system.

Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

“Yaotai” adopts cloud game technology, no need to download the client, a link in the mobile phone or computer can participate in the conference. In addition, the data analysis system, the lottery system, and the multi-style reception venue are all being launched one after another.

Li Renjie added that “Yaotai” is currently mainly oriented to 2B (enterprise-level) scenarios such as events. More UGC content will be added later, and the editor will be opened to 2C (consumer-level) users. For example, users can use Yaotai on the platform. Build a virtual space like a home to hold family gatherings; users can play script-killing games on the platform, and they can also make their own scenes and props.

Li Renjie said that Yaotai may become a product that is both 2B and 2C.

“Meta Universe” may come quickly,  communication security is very important

Ruan Liang believes that technological progress represented by communications and security is the cornerstone of the development of the “meta universe” world.

NetEase Smart Enterprise provides digital risk control and content risk control solutions for companies that are deploying “meta universe”, such as cooperating with the popular ZEPETO platform across the country to provide them with instant messaging and content security. ZEPETO is a face-squeezing game that many people have played, allowing users to hold virtual fan gatherings and other activities. With 250 million registered users worldwide, it is expected to become the largest “meta universe” platform in Asia.

Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

Virtual people gathering on the ZEPETO platform

Yin Zhu, head of operation and project management of ZEPETO in China, delivered a speech at the meeting, saying that not only the virtual reality and augmented reality that everyone often said belong to the “meta universe”, he also classified life records such as the circle of friends as “meta universe”. The mirror world that replicates the navigation map of the real world is classified as “meta universe”.

Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

Yin Zhuyi believes that the “Meta Universe” will come sooner than imagined. Refer to the context of the rapid popularity of smartphones: iPhone sold 1.39 million units in 2007 and 11.63 million units in 2008; then look at Meta’s Oculus Quest2, which sold 1 million units in 79 days. It can be predicted that “Meta Universe” may come quickly. arrive.

Ruan Liang also believes that the new generation of Quest3 and Quest4 may also be iterated soon, driving the development of the “meta universe” market. However, Ruan Liang also admitted that “Meta Universe” is still in the early stage of exploration, the technology is not yet mature, the application scenarios are uncertain, and security compliance issues also require further attention.

However, he is also very confident in the “Meta Universe” business deployed by NetEase, and believes that entrepreneurs can start cautiously experimenting with the “Meta Universe” technology layout.

Ruan Liang pointed out that NetEase Smart Enterprise’s next-generation Internet applications will be committed to three major development directions. One is to help companies cope with the new era of digital risk control through “NetEase Shield” products; Application; The third is to help companies find new space for business growth through “NetEase Cloud Commerce” products.

Netease Ding Lei rushes to run Metaversee and pushes virtual event space Liang Metaverse technology layout

Concluding remarks: the old Internet giants rush to run away from the “meta universe”

Nowadays, “Meta Universe” has become a popular concept in the Internet industry on the one hand, and on the other hand, this concept actually coincides with the development trend of many technology companies themselves. As a company with a strong closeness to “Meta Universe”, NetEase is rushing to enter the “Meta Universe” track.

At present, the era of rapid growth of Internet companies has passed, and almost everyone is looking for a second growth curve. As a veteran Internet player who is still strong, NetEase will certainly not let go of the “meta universe” trend. But at the same time, the 2B market enterprise service market is also a relatively new field for NetEase. Whether it can remain in the forefront after the first shot is still awaiting verification.

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