Since 2020, the novel coronavirus pneumonia industry has been accelerated and new demand for “contactless” economy has been brought to new opportunities for the development of virtual reality industry in the background of 5G. Virtual reality and augmented reality technology have played a positive role in supporting the prevention and control of epidemic situation, speeding up the resumption of work and production, strengthening service guarantee, and improving the efficiency of anti epidemic. Looking forward to 2021, the key technologies of virtual reality industry will continue to break through, the supply of consumer level and industry level virtual reality products and industry application solutions will be more abundant, the enthusiasm for industrial investment will rise again, and the virtual reality industry will enter a period of steady development.

Basic judgment on the situation in 2021

(1) Giant enterprises cross into the market, opening a new space for explosive growth

In 2020, the virtual reality terminal market will expand rapidly, opening a new space for the explosive growth of virtual reality industry. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Huawei, Xiaomi and other leading enterprises have released new products one after another. Oppo, Skyworth, Lenovo, HP and other enterprises have entered the virtual reality terminal industry and launched ar glasses, VR all-in-one machine, separated mobile phone VR and VR head display respectively. With the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic continuing for a long time, home entertainment, online education, telemedicine, tele patrol and other industries demand growth, virtual reality terminal shipments increased rapidly. According to IDC’s forecast, the shipments of AR all-in-one, AR head display, VR all-in-one and VR head display will grow by 244.7%, 400%, 30.4% and 25% respectively in 2020.

Looking forward to 2021, as the virtual reality terminal enterprises have not yet emerged a clear leader, there will be more cross-border enterprises. The shipment volume of multi modality virtual reality terminals such as PC terminal, mobile terminal, TV terminal and all-in-one machine will continue to maintain rapid growth in the field of popular consumption. All kinds of new virtual reality terminals will be developed rapidly. The appearance will pay more attention to fashion, lightness and comfort, and the function will maintain the development trend of high resolution, wide perspective, low power consumption and wireless. The terminal products with diversified forms and integrated functions will provide a new basic carrier for the development of virtual reality application and content.

(2) The industrial ecology is more perfect, and a new trend of multi-dimensional development is promoted

In 2020, the core technology of virtual reality industry will continue to make breakthroughs, and domestic systems and solutions will gradually mature, forming a relatively complete virtual reality industry chain. In the upstream, ruiyue’s AR / VR operating system, Qixin Yiwei’s eye tracking solution, and nuoyitan’s motion capture technology have been applied to domestic VR / AR terminal devices. In the downstream links, VR live broadcast of CCTV Spring Festival Gala, VR game “blind spot” and VR theme park enter people’s lives. Dreammaking technology cooperated with Huawei cloud, launched 5g cloud VR platform dreamvr, and launched the first batch of 30 VR game works, all of which rely on cloud servers.

Analysis on the development situation of virtual reality industry in 2021

Looking forward to 2021, the content of virtual reality will continue to enrich, and extend to the direction of more diverse forms, more efficient rendering efficiency, lower energy consumption, improved video decoding ability and bandwidth. The content and terminal of virtual reality promote each other, the positive profit industry model gradually matures, and the closed-loop of virtual reality industry chain and value chain accelerates to form.

(3) Investment confidence gradually recovered and entered a new stage of active investment and financing market

In 2020, the scale and quantity of investment and financing in the field of virtual reality in China will drop sharply, and the industry investment and financing market will be less active. VR gyro data shows that from January to October 2020, the total investment and financing of domestic virtual reality industry is about 1.59 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 70%. From January to October, there were 30 domestic investment and financing events, a year-on-year decrease of 25%. At the same time, the scale and quantity of investment and financing in the field of VR dropped sharply, the average scale of investment and financing in a single event decreased significantly, and the overall situation was grim. From the perspective of investment field, enterprises engaged in hardware field account for more than 90% of investment and financing scale and number of cases.

Looking forward to novel coronavirus pneumonia in 2021, the investment and financing exchanges and research activities of enterprises and institutions will gradually take the lead. The investment market of China’s virtual reality industry will gradually return to a more active level. The achievements and good market prospects of VR / AR technology in health care and education will attract investors to pay more attention to the field of virtual reality and help the investment market recover. With the improvement of the performance of virtual reality terminal products and the implementation of local policies to accelerate the application of virtual reality, the field of content services will receive continuous capital injection from the capital market.

(4) With the popularization of non-contact applications, VR + RTC has become a new hot spot

In 2020, the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic promoted the development of non-contact economy. Virtual reality technology played an active role in keeping epidemic prevention lines, helping to resume work, and developing online education. VR / AR equipment used in non-contact temperature measurement system can reduce the risk of crowd contact and improve the efficiency of first-line prevention and control. VR / AR equipment used in telemedicine can alleviate the uneven distribution of medical resources and reduce the risk of contact infection of medical staff. VR / AR equipment is used for telecommuting and online education to ensure the efficiency of returning to work and production. VR tourism helps users to visit global scenic spots remotely, and panoramic VR live broadcast enables millions of users to experience the construction process of “leishenshan hospital” in full swing. VR house viewing enables users to see and select houses online without leaving home, and simplifies the process of house purchase and rental.

Looking forward to novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic prevention and control in 2021, the “non-contact” mode will become a new demand for people’s daily work and life. With the help of immersive and interactive experience of VR technology, VR + RTC (real time online scene) will break through the existing interactive mode of “plane, passive and one-way”, and realize a new mode of “three-dimensional, active and interactive”. In VR social networking, VR tourism, VR education, VR medical, VR electronic competition, VR live broadcast, VR house viewing, VR remote operation and maintenance, VR remote office and other subdivided fields, a number of replicable, easy to promote, productive and large-scale demonstration applications will be implemented.

Several problems needing attention

(1) Virtual reality core chips and key technologies need to be broken through

The weak link of China’s virtual reality industry is still focused on the core parts field and the underlying software development. The core components of virtual reality products rely on imports, and the key core technologies such as vertigo and interaction have not been broken through. In terms of hardware, the CPU, image processing chip GPU, physical operation chip PPU, somatosensory recognition and other high-precision sensors of virtual reality terminal products mainly rely on imports, and the mature special chips for virtual reality have not been launched in China; In terms of software, most content developers use foreign software such as unity and UE. There are two aspects to be solved. One is the display vertigo problem. The current products on the market are mainly based on the binocular parallax principle, which can not solve the vertigo problem caused by the contradiction of focusing in theory; Light field display and holographic display are still in the research and development stage, and are not mature products. The second is the natural fidelity of the interaction, which has not yet broken through the limitations of the current screen physical size, and can not achieve the natural human-computer interaction of wireless transmission and hand eye coordination; There are still a lot of problems in the way, mechanism and equipment of force / touch lifelike perception between human and virtual objects. Touch, temperature and humidity, smell / taste and so on are still in the primary stage of research or have not been involved.

(2) The stock of virtual reality content is not enough to support the popularization of terminals

The content of virtual reality is not rich enough, high popularity games and killer applications have not yet appeared, which can not meet the needs of consumers for high-quality consumption upgrading and large-scale application of industry customers. On the consumer side, the content of virtual reality is mainly games, and the content quantity and update cycle of domestic virtual reality game platforms are not comparable with those of mainstream platforms such as steam abroad. On the industry side, there are many kinds of industry applications, and the scene homogenization is relatively serious. At the same time, due to the limitations of hardware equipment, the industry is highly professional and poor in generality, which makes the industry content development costs very huge. The lack of a unified industry application standard system and uneven user experience make it difficult for virtual reality technology to be rapidly applied in key industries. In addition, there are many data formats to generate virtual reality content, and the compatibility of formats, standards and protocols between different devices, systems and platforms is poor, which affects the experience effect and is not conducive to the promotion of virtual reality content.

(3) The ecosystem of high-quality industrial innovation and development is not mature yet

The domestic virtual reality industry chain is relatively complete, but on the whole, the independent industry ecosystem is not perfect. There are few leading enterprises in the key fields of virtual reality, few enterprises with leading independent technology and competitive products in the international market, and the industrial ecosystem surrounding the leading enterprises has not yet been formed. Core components and software are relatively weak, and they are highly dependent on foreign chips and sensors. Domestic system software and development tools have made some breakthroughs, but it is difficult to replace the market position of foreign software. There is a lack of high-end R & D talents in virtual reality, and the relevant policies and regulations and standard test certification system need to be improved. The promotion and depth of virtual reality application need to be strengthened, and consumers’ recognition of virtual reality is not high. The scale of virtual reality hardware market is small, and the virtual content lacks cash channel, which affects the enthusiasm of developers. The positive Circular Industrial Ecology of mutual promotion between content and terminal has not yet formed.

Countermeasures and suggestions

(1) Break through the core technology and enhance the ability of industrial innovation

Promote the research and development of key technology products in all links of the whole virtual reality industry chain, break through the core chips of virtual reality (virtual reality visual graphics processor, physical operation processor), new near eye display devices, light field / holographic display, human-computer interaction (six axis and above GHz inertial sensor, eye tracking, tactile feedback, facial expression recognition, EEG interaction, etc.) Development tool software (virtual reality operating system, 3D development engine, content production software) and other key core technologies to fill the gaps in the key links of the industrial chain. We should strengthen the leading role of key enterprises in technological innovation, guide them to improve the quality of innovation, pay attention to original innovation, and develop internationally competitive products and technologies.

(2) Enrich the content supply and improve the standard system construction

Encourage the production and distribution of virtual reality content, and enhance the innovation ability of virtual reality content production. Promote the construction of open virtual reality content distribution and content service platform. We will promote the normal application of virtual reality in various industries, encourage the development and application of virtual reality content production tools, and organize relevant content application competitions. We should encourage medical and health, press and publication, radio and television institutions, film and television enterprises, experience venues, theme parks and other subjects to participate in the production and production of virtual reality content, and enrich the supply and service of high-quality virtual reality content. Accelerate the development of unified virtual reality content data standards, interface protocols and evaluation system, and give full play to the guiding and supporting role of standards for the industry.

(3) Strengthen industry cooperation and accelerate application demonstration and promotion

Establish a perfect virtual reality industry innovation ecology, support local governments to actively build national and provincial virtual reality manufacturing innovation centers, and promote the development of virtual reality industry upstream and downstream. Enterprises in all links of the industrial chain should be encouraged to work together to tackle key problems of virtual reality core technology, promote the innovation and development of hardware manufacturing, software development, content supply and application services, and comprehensively improve the capacity and quality of virtual reality content supply. Promote the application demonstration of key industries, and innovate the application types and service contents around the application needs of key industries and characteristic fields such as industrial manufacturing, medical and health, security monitoring, culture, education and entertainment, and cultural creativity.

Editor in charge: Tzh

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