AR or VR, what to choose?

Although when we talk about technology trends, we always talk about AR/VR together and of course XR, but fact is that technical paths, product forms and even application scenarios between AR and VR are different.

In terms of product sales, VR is still far ahead of AR products, especially in consumer market where few consumer-grade products can make it to market. Virtual reality products from manufacturers such as Oculus, Sony and Pico have already sold hundreds of thousands to millions. In augmented reality market, Google Glass and Hololens are mainly focused on B-side scenarios.

Although VR headsets are not portable and difficult to wear outdoors, they provide a more immersive experience; augmented reality glasses are certainly lighter, but they also create more challenges for technology, and it's harder to get past line in experience.

For consumers, AR or VR is a choice, for producers there is also such a choice.

Nreal is a consumer-grade augmented reality glasses company. Previously, its products were sold mainly abroad. She recently returned to domestic market with two products: Nreal X and Nreal Air.

Following press conference, Nreal founder and CEO Xu Chi also agreed to interview Ai Phaner and other members of media. One of key questions was why this startup company is optimistic about AR and not VR. In this regard, Xu Chi said:

We discovered a very interesting phenomenon: all virtual reality vendors are slowly making augmented reality, but not all augmented reality vendors will be doing virtual reality.

We believe that beyond limitations of technology, augmented reality may have a wider range of use cases in future. Therefore, we are very open, there is still a lot to explore in AR, so we have no idea about entering VR field in short term.

We also look forward to new and richer VR experiences, not just games. In essence, we believe that whether VR or AR is an enhancement to content and interaction, in future, that content will be interconnected.

Although he was more euphemistic, Xu Chi probably meant that although augmented reality technology has great limitations at this stage, there will be many scenarios for its use in future. needs to be overcome.

At same time, he also talked about why progress of AR is not as good as progress of VR:

Across entire industry chain, it can be seen that today virtual reality has passed a relatively complex technological stage. Of course, in each generation there will be continuous iterations of computation. Now she's more stuck on content side. Last year we saw severalvery pleasant surprises. The figure means that Oculus' entire VR sales have gone from one million to tens of millions, and industry is thrilled about it.

Many have wondered: although growth rate is very fast, where is ceiling of VR? Is it volume of 30-40 million per year or volume of 3-4 billion? The answer depends on whether it's an XBox, a smartphone or a tablet. Today, it is too early for us to draw such a conclusion, but we will indeed see that with end of epidemic, Oculus sales abroad have declined, which may also indicate that, regardless of AR and VR, market as a whole is not developing. so fast.

Compared with augmented reality and virtual reality, it can be seen that core technology of virtual reality is relatively mature, augmented reality consists of several core modules, and modular supply chain in supply chain is not yet fully formed. Therefore, any enterprise that wants to get up and running quickly must delve into front of supply chain and conduct in-depth research and development of some core modules to provide users with a generational difference product.

Technology and cost curves mean that this is not a period of market explosion for augmented reality glasses, because first virtual reality has not yet reached stage of mass consumption.

AR or VR, what to choose?

So, when is this market that has been bullish for past ten years going to explode? Xu Chi said:

In fact, when I was in first generation of iPhone, I happened to be abroad at time, having experienced this, I felt that there was a full interaction, and end of content would be a matter of time. became ecological. Later, in next two to three years, entire content ecosystem quickly shifted from traditional PC apps to mobile phones.

So, perhaps a very good hardware, a very stable set of interaction paradigms, and a very good content ecology can really make industry explode quickly. In general, after these three points are determined, give another two or three years, and there is a chance to quickly form an explosive situation of rapid globalization in days of iPhone4S.

As to whether hardware or content comes first, if we look at smartphones, terminal and interaction paradigm must be defined first, and then application paradigm will quickly catch up. These two mechanisms are equivalent to a spiral pulling each other, so that whole ecology moves quickly and benevolently.

So I think that in next year or two we will definitely be able to see some things that can give everyone a very stable hardware terminal in terms of overall hardware experience and a relatively stable interaction paradigm. Base. Then prosperity of entire content ecology should have a rapid process of popularization in next 3-5 years.

Despite expectations for future, Xu Chi also acknowledged that there is still an augmented reality product that can give a clear signal of future, just like original iPhone.

It's a pity, but it's also an opportunity, because it means everyone has an opportunity. So, does this opportunity belong to Nreal Xu Chi, Luo Yonghao, who returned to technological path, or someone else?