Professor Sheng Bin of Jiaotong University: The Metaverse boom is a good thing, it is a catalyst for the progress of the discipline

“At present, the concept of virtual reality and Metaverse is hotly discussed in various circles at home and abroad. It is a good thing, and it is also a catalyst to promote the progress of related disciplines, but as a scientific research, I think the most important thing may not lie in the progress of a certain technology or algorithm itself. It is the breakthrough of related technologies to the traditional scientific research thinking paradigm, and the change to the previous way of human life, exercise, and health management.” Sheng Bin, a professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of Shanghai Jiaotong University, accepted The Paper (www.thepapewr.cn) said in an interview.

Sheng Bin is the winner of the national “Ten Thousand Talents Program” for young top talents, the director of the artificial intelligence key laboratory of the Ministry of Education and the smart medical technology leader of the Shanghai Institute of Artificial Intelligence. Research.

In the field of virtual reality, in 2019, Sheng Bin’s team deeply participated in the “Science and Technology Winter Olympics” project of the Ministry of Science and Technology led by the Shanghai Institute of Physical Education to build a virtual reality-based snowmobile simulation training platform for Chinese athletes preparing for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. .

“With the support of the Science and Technology Winter Olympics, we have transformed snowmobile training in a virtual environment into a high-level competition through realistic graphics modeling and rendering, physical simulation in ice and snow sliding, and highly immersive virtual reality interaction. A virtual simulation-assisted teaching and training system that experiences effects, not games.” Sheng Bin said.

“Ice and snow sports should not only belong to Gu Ailing,” Sheng Bin said with a smile, “Virtual reality technology can allow more Chinese teenagers to experience the happiness brought by ice and snow sports.” Since 2019, Sheng Bin led the team to develop a virtual simulation system for ice and snow sports. Its teaching application was selected by the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission as a virtual simulation teaching project in Shanghai and a first-class course at Shanghai Jiaotong University.

In January 2022, on the eve of the Beijing Winter Olympics, led by Vice President Wang Jihong of Shanghai Institute of Physical Education, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Baoshan District Education Bureau, and Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Research Institute and other industry-university-research units jointly established the “Beijing” with the support of the Ministry of Education. One of the tasks is to rely on the virtual simulation system of ice and snow sports developed by Sheng Bin’s team to promote it to the physical education and technology experience of primary and secondary schools in Baoshan District, Shanghai, to help more Shanghai Teenagers know and love snow sports. Sheng Bin said, “It’s equivalent to leaving a little spark in his heart.”

At the same time, Sheng Bin also explained the technical background behind the virtual simulation system of ice and snow sports in combination with the current hot concept of “Metaverse”, “Our virtual simulation system of ice and snow sports can be regarded as a Metaverse application of ice and snow sports teaching, while Yuan The universe can be regarded as the expression form of human’s networked life in the virtual reality environment. The so-called virtual in virtual reality refers to the use of computer technology as the core, combined with relevant scientific fields to generate a virtual digital environment, providing people with vision, hearing and touch. , spatial information and other perceptions; and the so-called reality refers to such a digital virtual environment and the various perceptual information it provides to people, which can immerse people in it and produce a sense of reality.”

VR is beginning to mature: vertigo has not been completely solved

In the 5G and even the post-5G era, the basic hardware that supports the large-scale development of VR, such as chips, sensors, optical components, and displays, all have mature development conditions. Roblox, a Metaverse concept stock company that uses VR and other devices as an interface, will have a market value of US$50 billion after its listing in March 2021. After ByteDance’s acquisition of Pico, the first domestic VR manufacturer, once again attracted widespread attention.In addition, Goertek Group has been deploying the VR/AR industry since 2012, and currently occupies 70% of the global market share of mid-to-high-end virtual reality headsets, and took the lead in introducing the world’s leading 12-inch nano-imprint production line to build the world’s leading VR/AR High-end optical components industry base.

According to a report released by IDC in November 2021, the shipment of VR headsets will increase from about 5 million units in 2020 to more than 28 million units in 2025. Meta (formerly Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerberg once said that on a platform, about 10 million people need to use and purchase VR content in order for developers to continue to develop and make profits; once this threshold is exceeded, the content and ecosystem will be Realize leapfrog development.

In terms of the domestic academic ecological construction of virtual reality, Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware (VRIH), an international journal in the field of virtual reality independently founded by Chinese academic circles, has been published for less than three years. It is included in the engineering literature database EI Compendex, and will organize the “Metaverse” album jointly with Computer Graphics International (CGI2022), the most famous international academic conference with the longest history in the field of virtual reality and graphics, in October this year. As the editorial board member of the VRIH journal, Sheng Sheng Bin believes that the above events all prove that China’s virtual reality academic and industrial achievements have an increasingly important international influence.

In the process of designing the virtual simulation system for ice and snow sports, Sheng Bin realized that the most subtle part is to overcome the limitations of the inherent knowledge field, carry out realistic modeling and simulation for a sports without any previous experience at all, and is committed to using virtual reality With artificial intelligence technology, the real experience and feelings of others on this activity can be restored and reproduced to the greatest extent. “This is actually one of the charms of the Metaverse. To really do this well, in addition to tackling difficult problems in modeling, rendering or interaction technology, it is also important to integrate other disciplines, such as exercise physiology, Some equipment and equipment on the ice exercise rules, etc., will be integrated in the system development process.”

The “Virtual Reality Industry Development White Paper 2021” released by CCID Research Institute shows that the key core technologies such as vertigo and interaction in the current virtual reality industry have not yet broken through, and the wearing comfort, visual comfort and comfortable experience of VR, AR, MR and other terminal equipment There are still gaps.

As for dizziness, Sheng Bin explained, “Essentially, dizziness actually comes from the discomfort caused by the brain’s processing of ‘unrealistic information’. Very low, or the light and shadow effect is not normal, it will bring discomfort. There are many technologies to deal with vertigo, but I don’t think this problem has been completely overcome. This is why many people talk about the Metaverse, but in actual experience, stuck on the device.”

“Ultimate Display”: The Virtual Reality Window of the Future Human Digital Society – Metaverse

As early as 1965, Ivan Sutherland, the father of computer graphics, published a short article entitled “The Ultimate Display”, proposing that the ultimate goal of display technology is to immerse people directly in computer-controlled virtual reality. environment, just like everyday life in the real world. “At that time, the expectation for the ultimate state of this display technology was still the window of the Windows system. People could walk into Windows, just like Alice in Wonderland, they could move, listen, see, touch and smell.” Sheng Bin said.

Such “ultimate display” thinking has continued to this day, and there is a “next-generation general-purpose computing platform” argument. In 2016, Goldman Sachs released the report “VR and AR: Interpretation of the next general computing platform” (AR Augmented Reality, Augmented Reality). In February 2022, Guotai Junan released the report “MR: The Next-Generation Universal Computing Platform Leading to the Metaverse” (Mixed Reality).

Sheng Bin revealed that he is currently working closely with the team of academician Jia Weiping, chair professor of Shanghai Jiaotong University, to carry out scientific research with a multidisciplinary team of experts from sports science, clinical medicine, psychology and brain science, and develop research and development for people in the future. The “Spiritual Realm” system of refined management of health intelligence hopes to use artificial intelligence and virtual reality to answer the current problems that have plagued the scientific community for many years: what effects do physical exercise in the real world and virtual world (Metaverse) VR sports have on human physical and mental health.

Sheng Bin believes that behind these efforts lies his scientific research beliefs, “If we finally communicate with machines through AR, VR or MR, then through the comprehensive use of multidisciplinary knowledge, based on big data and high-performance general computing The platform, virtual simulation and artificial intelligence can fully realize the simulation and prediction of the changing laws of the real world and human state.”

Professor Sheng Bin of Jiaotong University: The Metaverse boom is a good thing, it is a catalyst for the progress of the discipline

Picture: Qian Xuesen expresses about the future of VR in his letter

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