Wang Jian, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering: Virtual reality is the next technological revolution after digitalization

Wang Jian, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering: Virtual reality is the next technological revolution after digitalization

From October 19th to 20th, the 2021 World VR Industry Conference Cloud Summit co-sponsored by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the People’s Government of Jiangxi Province was held in Nanchang. At the opening ceremony held on the morning of October 19th, Wang Jian, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and founder of Alibaba Cloud, delivered a wonderful speech entitled “City Digitization and Technological Innovation-Recognition of Virtual Reality 30 Years Later”. Wang Jian said that the invention of electricity changed the world in the 20th century, and a series of subsequent inventions are inseparable from electricity. Today’s digitalization is the electrification of 100 years ago, and AR/VR is another technology after the computer revolution. revolution. We need to look at and understand the virtual reality technology revolution from the perspective of a century of technological changes. Only in this way can we create technologies that truly represent the future.

Digitization is electrification 100 years ago

Wang Jian first stated that the city is the greatest invention of mankind, and there is no one. Then he talked about electricity. “The 20 greatest engineering technologies of the 20th century selected by the American Academy of Engineering in 2000, among which electrification is ranked first, and there are telephones, televisions, Internet, computers, etc. on the list. If there is no invention of electricity, the following series Inventions do not exist.” Wang Jian believes that the invention of electricity is not a single invention. It gave birth to an era. In the 20th century, we entered the era of electrification. Our cities were also changed. At the same time, cities also gave birth to electricity-based technologies. invention.

“And today’s digitalization is the electrification 100 years ago. It is not a simple technological continuation or a single technology. I believe that in the next 10, 20, 50 or even 100 years, we will come back to talk about digitalization. It’s like we talked about electrification back then.” Wang Jian thus talked about Nanchang’s active construction of the urban brain. Two things impressed him deeply.

One is that Nanchang is the first city in China to have restricted travel for more than 10 years and lifted travel restrictions. No city in the world has ever done such a thing, and Nanchang is the first. It benefits from the digitization of cities, and it will still have iconic significance in 10 or 20 years. The second is about rural road traffic accidents. Statistics show that the highest traffic mortality rate in China is on rural roads. Therefore, the relevant departments in Nanchang have a vision, hoping to drastically reduce the mortality rate and improve people’s living standards through the digitalization of rural roads is the most basic goal of digitization.

The next century-old technological revolution is “spiritual” technology

We have fully felt the tremendous changes brought about by digitalization today. Wang Jian believes that virtual reality is the next technological revolution after digitalization.

To this end, Wang Jian talked about a letter Qian Xuesen wrote to Dai Ruwei, Wang Cheng, and Qian Xuemin in 1994. “In his letter, Qian Lao translated the virtual reality engine (virtual reality engineering) into Lingjing technology, and believed that Lingjing technology is another revolutionary technology after the computer revolution. It will trigger a series of changes that will shock the world. It must be human beings. Major events in history.”

Wang Jian said that I will look at this matter 30 years later, and when I think back to what I have done, I feel deeply impressed by two points: First, virtual reality is a new technological revolution, not a continuation of computer technology. This new technological revolution is not simply included in today’s technological framework. What this technological revolution will bring and how deeply it will affect us requires rethinking. Second, AR/VR and CR (Cinematic reality) are a whole. There are many opinions about virtual reality technology: some talk about AR, some talk about VR, and some talk about movie reality and video reality (CR). There is no unified view yet. Why do these three words appear? It reflects that we have not yet unified understanding. Looking back today, whether it is AR, VR or movie reality (CR), it is a whole, and Qian Lao hopes to use the term “spiritual” to describe this technology.

Wang Jian also revealed that the work he was engaged in right after graduation was related to virtual reality, and his VR-related work ended in 1998, and then he switched to the field. There is a text introduction in Wang Jian’s book. About the virtual Forbidden City, it is about the National 863 Decade Achievement Exhibition in 1996. It exhibits the latest scientific research results of the Department of Psychology of Hangzhou University-“The Forbidden City”: just bring a special pair You can ride on a special bicycle to travel back and forth in the virtual Forbidden City as if you are on the scene. This is the first VR system made by Wang Jian. In the 5-day exhibition, there were more than 3,000 people. Experienced this system. The software of the Forbidden City system is self-developed, and the hardware system uses SGI Computer Systems. SGI is one of the most successful companies in Silicon Valley, but today it has been acquired as a very small part of HP. “This era is changing very fast, what we have done is still there, but the company is no longer there.” He said.

Wang Jian said that in 1993, the National 863 Program included virtual reality technology. He himself was fortunate enough to join the 973 project team in charge of Academician Dai Ru, and academician Wang Cheng to be in charge of the 863 project team. “Today we are able to hold this meeting in Nanchang, thanks to these predecessors for providing us with a very good starting point. Today we want to accelerate the development of the virtual reality industry.” Wang Jian said.

Psychology is the physics of virtual reality

The core of the great changes in a century is the great changes in science and technology. Virtual reality is the next one in the great changes in technology. The understanding and vision of virtual reality technology should be more ambitious and far-reaching. Therefore, Wang Jian shared a piece of information in his speech:

On October 12, 2021, the Astrophysics Laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology released a VIRUP system. This system can use data from 50 million galaxies and data from 300 million celestial bodies. One database contains 1.5 billion. The light source, its data comes from more than 3,000 satellites. Wang Jian said that although astrophysics research has been carried out more than 20 years ago, the celestial bodies seen today are far different from those seen 20 years ago, which means that the reality we see with our eyes today is not the real reality.

To see a more real reality, we need breakthrough technology. ” The light field display based on retinal imaging technology is a new beginning for real virtual reality. Nanchang has the foundation in this respect. I hope that the breakthrough display technology of virtual reality will be born in Nanchang. ” Wang Jian said.

 To create a revolutionary technology that supports a century of great changes, we need to pay attention to the origin of things, and we need to make breakthroughs in basic theories. “Today we are riding high-speed trains and engaging in recyclable rockets. The most basic principles and principles are all reflected in physics. Virtual reality needs a breakthrough, and it also needs physics support. I personally think that the physics of virtual reality is’ Psychology’.” Wang Jian further stated that virtual reality opens a new world for human beings, and its most basic principles are reflected in psychology, because psychology is a discipline that studies human behavior and mental activities. Its two cores are It is “mind-knowledge” and “behavior”. Human mind-knowledge can be analyzed and researched through behavior. In fact, the reason why today’s virtual reality technology still makes people feel uncomfortable, including dizziness, etc., is because they have not found a technology that can truly approach human perception. Perhaps human beings are more truly original in mapping and presenting the world. The method is not the retina, there are more things that need more original research.

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