Hong Kong – MobiusTrend, the fintech market research organization, recently released a research report “WIMI Hologram Cloud’s AR and AI Vision Turns Virtual into Reality, While Facebook and Google Increase Investment in Metaverse”. If there is a parallel universe in our real world, we can break the boundaries of time and space, live in it in the form of digital avatars, and never go offline. Meanwhile, in this virtual world, classic IPs in different films and television or games can converge, as well as a fully operational social order, economic system, political system, etc.; also, countless digital content and digital objects can pass through here. It sounds incredible, but now we have broken this fantasy and made it real.
This virtual space is the Metaverse. Namely, Meta means meta in the computer field, such as Metadata, verse is an abbreviation of the universe, which means to explore the reconstruction of the virtual world outside the real world. It includes all virtual worlds, AR, VR, and the Internet. Metaverse is a future Internet iteration concept composed of shared, 3D virtual space links, and perceptible virtual worlds. “Metaverse” can be roughly understood as a more immersive and participatory Internet. It has been found that the best carrier of Metaverse is games.
Experts believe that Metaverse has seven distinct characteristics: sociality, real-time authenticity, interoperability, platform, possessing an economic system, openness, and real-time authenticity. Metaverse is not equivalent to “virtual space”, “virtual economy”, or just a game or UGC platform. It represents a more open and comprehensive platform space.
In order to understand the mystery of the Metaverse, in China and abroad, there are already many related large companies participate in this field. The Metaverse concept stock, Facebook, recently stated to the public that in 2021, the company will increase its investment in VR and AR. In addition to Facebook, companies exploring the path of Metaverse include Google, Roblox, Tencent, WIMI Hologram Cloud, ByteDance, etc., all of which have increased their investment to promote explosive growth in this field.
Roblox relied on the Metaverse-based sandbox game platform to be listed in the United States and gained popularity in the capital market, with a market value of up to $412, which is equivalent to 246.8 billion yuan. In addition, SOUL, the first stock of the social Metaverse, will be listed soon. ByteDance raised $1 billion, mainly for the development of “Metaverse”, of which $200 million came from Sony. Tencent opened the path of Metaverse and is committed to creating a true Internet era, that is, the integration of Digital Twin and Metaverse. With the help of the concept of “Metaverse”, WIMI Hologram Cloud has rapidly developed 3D, AI, and AR technologies to build an AR+AI vision platform and continue to build a fully immersed digital community, allowing people to use digital identities to entertain, consume, social, and create in the virtual world, and they can also shuttle between different scenarios. I have to say that Internet giants in China and abroad are engaged in this Metaverse market.
In fact, from the perspective of the market in China, WIMI’s investment in the field of virtual technology has always been highly concerned, and it is committed to the investment of the holographic AR industry, helping the holographic AR industry and enterprises to develop rapidly. WIMI has invested in more than 17 related companies up and down the industry chains. Moreover, WIMI cooperates with related industry enterprises in multiple fields, such as holographic AR interactive component design, holographic AR optical component development, holographic AR image research and development, holographic AR hardware/software development, holographic AR application expansion, and holographic AR platform construction. Although WIMI was established in 2015 and did not last long, it has been successfully listed and has the NASDAQ stock code: WiMi. It is worth noting that WIMI has now become a holographic cloud platform with potential and international influence.
“Metaverse” is gradually evolving into the “real world” in the virtual environment. WIMI has focused on in-depth R&D and market applications in all aspects of holographic 3D computer vision collection, AI synthesis, transmission, presentation, and application, covering multiple links from computer vision production, service platform construction, to cloud software development and technical support. WIMI’s holographic computer vision AI synthesis and top-level visual AI production plus professional visual presentation promote the gradual evolution of the “Metaverse” into a high-precision restoration of the “real world” in the virtual environment.
Combining the participation of Chinese and foreign giant companies, “Metaverse” is very popular with the market and capital. Metaverse involves collaboration in multiple fields and will be deployed in VR, AR, and AI. Currently, people are more optimistic about the VR/AR plus education direction and AR large-scenario point cloud map applications, and it is believed that Metaverse concept products are most likely to appear. The virtual reality industry is now entering a growth period. According to the market forecast of WIMI, 2020-2021 will be a key period for virtual reality to enter the fast lane of industrial development. At present, the world is in a period of immersive growth and cultivation. The Metaverse concept uses virtual reality hardware and content as the technical foundation, which helps to realize the coordinated development of both ends of the virtual reality industry.
At the same time, when accelerating the rapid development of the virtual reality market, AR and content applications should be the core. It is reported that the global virtual display market is close to 100 billion yuan, and AR and content applications have become the primary growth points. The global virtual reality market in 2020 is about 90 billion yuan, of which the VR market is 62 billion yuan, and the AR market is 28 billion yuan. It is estimated that the average annual growth rate of the virtual reality industry during the five-year period from 2020 to 2024 is about 54%. Among them, the growth rate of VR is about 45%, and the growth rate of AR is about 66%. In 2024, the share of both will be 240 billion yuan. According to third-party data, in the first half of 2020, the market size of China’s artificial intelligence research and development platform reached $140 million, with a compound growth rate of over 30%. Among them, the head platform represented by Alibaba Cloud and Baidu Brain has more than one trillion calls per day, and the AI ecosystem is expanding rapidly. The number of users of the iFlytek open platform has reached 1.756 million, with a total of 2.89 billion supported terminals. The number of Tencent AI open platform customers reached 2 million, and the number of global users served has exceeded 1.2 billion. In terms of R&D, Google TensorFlow and Facebook PyTorch have occupied the mainstream position in the market due to their first-mover advantage and the endorsement of large companies. For example, TensorFlow’s leadership in the industry has made it a long-term leader, and its market attention has exceeded second place by 3 times. PyTorch has sprung up due to its ease of use, accounting for more than 50% of top academic papers. Obviously, in the future, Metaverse will fully blossom in the layout of VR, AR, and AI. This will undoubtedly bring new opportunities to Chinese companies. Seizing this opportunity will bring China’s Internet to a higher level.
The concept of Metaverse is more advanced. Some people in the industry said that they are not very optimistic about the development of Metaverse. At present, this field needs more giants to participate in. To realize a true Metaverse, there are still many problems that need to be resolved, such as increased market competition, related product release and technical support, and AI research and development. All these still need a long time to develop. It is uncertain to reach the ideal state, and it will take some time to be mature. But there are also industry insiders who have a positive attitude towards the development of this field. In any case, the development of the new concept of Metaverse in China still needs attention.
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