Tech firms expand business with the VR/AR wave

Ti Gong

Fiture Space opened its flagship store on Sunday in Shanghai. The firm offers home gym services through VR fitness mirrors

Chinese tech firms offering immersive VR/AR services in entertainment, fitness and tourism are expanding globally, with growing market demand and national policy support.

Home gym devices and services provider Fiture opened Fiture Space in Shanghai on Sunday as its global flagship store.

The space features the company’s interactive home fitness mirrors or Magic Mirrors, which contain motion capture technology that offers real-time feedback through form correction as well as pacing, timing and movement feedback. Besides hardware, Fiture will organize various fitting events for the community.

The Fiture Fitness Mirror was shown at the just concluded China International Import Expo, and attracted quite some CIIE visitors. Users can follow the movements of the “virtual coach” in the mirror, and will get a test result of their mobility condition.

Fiture’s users now cover 345 cities nationwide. They did home fitting exercises for 53.8 million minutes in total, over the past year, 2.5 times compared with the previous year, thanks to the booming demand during the pandemic.

By 2026, the total scale of China’s virtual reality industry will exceed 350 billion yuan (US$48.6 billion). Meanwhile, the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) investment more than doubled in 2021 in China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Also during the weekend, a total of 107 projects worth 71.7 billion yuan were signed at the 2022 World Conference on the VR Industry, which closed in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi Province, on Sunday.

HTC Vive, an exhibitor at the VR conference, showcased its metaverse vision and products, called VR is “opening a door to the future metaverse.” Its exhibits include a tool Full-body Avatar to allow every one to create digital avatars.

During the Singles Day online campaign on Friday, Nreal’s AR glasses sold well and the company took the leading 34 percent market shares.

The Nreal glasses’ standard size and lightweight design enable users to experience real spatial integration, physical interaction, and full-scene AR applications from any location. Some glasses have been shown in “virtual tourism” projects.

Brands like Fiture and Nreal are also actively expanding in overseas markets.

In the Amazon platform, Nreal is the bestselling brand in the AR glasses category in both the United States and Japanese markets.

A Fiture store has made its debut on Friday in the Westchester County mall, as the company’s first US store.

According to China’s national blueprint, the country will have 100 AR/VR enterprises with strong innovation ability and industry influence, while the sales of VR terminals are expected to top 25 million units by 2026, compared with less than 10 million units now.

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