Editor | Jan 12, 2018 | 0
VR technology showcased at VRVCA
Advancements in eye tracking, social AI, and tether-less solutions from 7invensun, ObEN, and TPCast were demonstrated at the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance’s (VRVCA) fourth investment meeting in San Francisco.
The VRVCA, founded by HTC Corporation, held its fourth closed-door members meeting in San Francisco with top VR/AR start-ups from around the world presented to over thirty of top investors for the industry. In total, 10 teams from five different regions showcased their achievements, which covered technology, software, hardware, and beyond.
With support from HTC VIVE and its $100 million accelerator program Vive X, start-ups including 7invensun, ObEN and TPCast have been able to make significant progress alleviating some of the most pressing challenges facing the industry today, such as interactive eye tracking, intuitive social connection, and seamless high-quality wireless experience.
7invensun (7invensun.com), a Vive X batch II team based in Beijing, is the first company to bring real-time eye tracking technology to all existing Vive systems in the form of an upgrade kit known as aGlass, enabling foveated rendering and real-time eye control interactions, lowering the hardware requirements for VR applications, and creating a more natural VR human-computer interaction. The aGlass DK II will start limited pre-order sales next month at the price of RMB 1,500 (approx. USD219) (binocular version). Each set of aGlass DK II comes with a pair of 200°, 400° and 600° myopic lenses respectively and also supports customized lenses depending on consumers’ need.
“It’s a great honour for us to attend VRVCA this year and we’re super excited about the benefits aGlass can bring to lower hardware requirements and thus enable broader access to high quality VR. Thanks to Vive X, we are able to work and share resources with a variety of Vive X teams, and jointly create more VR/AR eye-tracking solutions in game interaction, financial payment, travel guide, and so on. Our vision is to empower a new and cool way of human-computer interaction through eye tracking,” said Thomas Huang, Founder and CEO of 7invensun.
ObEN (oben.me), a Vive X batch I company, also achieved its landmark success by showcasing the world’s first WeChat integrated VR experience through Vive. Enabled by ObEN’s breakthrough artificial intelligence (AI) technology, this integration of VR with China’s most popular social platform allows all Vive users and WeChat’s 889 million mobile users to interact with each other in the same virtual space in real time. ObEN’s Personal AI combines voice, visuals and skills, resulting in a personalized photo-realistic avatar that allows users of Vive and WeChat to interact with one another’s virtual selves, making the experience more engaging, social and memorable. By bringing WeChat into the VR world, Vive users will never miss any WeChat interaction from friends while inside VR. ObEN’s APIs will be available to VIVEPORT developers later this year.
“China is a world leader in both mobile internet and VR adoption. We are thrilled to join forces with Tencent and HTC Vive to tackle the challenge of improving Social VR experiences using ObEN’s AI technology,” said Nikhil Jain, cofounder and CEO, ObEN. “Today’s showcase not only enables shared experiences between users of China’s top social and VR platform but is also an early demonstration of how ObEN’s Personal AI can drive and create AI generated content.”
Together with the formerly launched TPCast’s tether-less upgrade kit for Vive, these technologies present a next-generation and more intuitive user experience to move the global VR industry forward. TPCast (tpcast.cn), a Vive X Shenzhen Batch I company, announced its Business Edition tether-less upgrade kit for the Vive, which is the world’s first multi-user tether-less VR solution that allows up to six users to interact in one physical space. Available later this year, the TPCast BE is set to bring the freedom of tether-less VR to numerous VR vertical markets including arcade, theme park, education, real estate, travel, furniture, automobile, etc.
“We believe this industry milestone will really change the game completely for multiuser VR and ultimately unleash the tether-less VR world!” said Michael Liu, CEO of TPCAST. “We sincerely appreciate VRVCA for giving us this opportunity to show our latest tether-less VR product to the world. Also we would like to express our gratitude to HTC Vive for being always supportive to us.”
Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC and President of VRVCA said, “It’s always wonderful to see the amazing innovation presented to the venture capital industry at the VRVCA events every two months. This time it’s a special treat to have these three Vive X companies come in and debut the breakthrough tech they have created which are helping solve major industry roadblocks.”
With 50 VC members and USD 18 billion in investible capital, VRVCA has established itself as a major force for development within the global VR industry. Following the pioneering innovations demoed by Vive X’s teams at the meeting, Vive remains committed to helping more local startups fund their projects and use the accelerator platform to showcase their ideas as they have the potential to make a global impact and cultivate the entire ecosystem.