I was in Shenzhen, China last week at the first CE China trade show, which was created by Inter-Island Ferry Authority, the German company that also produces the giant IFA CE trade show in Berlin each September. Shenzhen, which has a population of more than 10 million people, is about an hour’s generate from Hongkong. The city is best-known as the place where Foxconn and other factories assemble consumer products, such as the Apple iPhone and I-pad, and is often called the “Silicon Valley” of China.
I wanted to attend the IFA China CE Display to specifically to see the way the Chinese were heading to apply their fabricating magic to virtual reality (VR) head sets, and to see if they could bring costs down and get new VR headsets out that had more extensive appeal to mass customer audiences anytime soon. What I found is the Chinese have actually gone to town on creating better mobile headsets, designed to use a smartphone to power a rudimentary VR experience.
Most of the Chinese head sets are made of solid plastic and have simple optics, costing anywhere from $23.95 to $129.95 depending on the quality. It is possible to find many of them on Amazon today and have them sent to you immediately from Shenzhen.
While that is fine and it does permit people to use a better Google Cardboard theory as training wheels for VR, I was most interested to see if the Chinese manufacturing companies might help get the costs down on the more costly headsets like those from Face Book’s Oculus and HTC’s Vive. The Chinese manufacturing companies are infamous for aping what they believe will be big-selling goods and create similar models at more affordable prices when potential.
The Oculus now costs $599 and needs an expensive high-conclusion PC to boot. The HTC Vive is $899 and also needs a PC with a costly graphics card to manage the interpretation of the VR content.
As I anticipated, the Chinese makers are hard at work creating similar headsets at more economical prices. Behind the scenes I was created aware of at least three VR head sets just like the ones from Oculus and HTC that could be brought to market at least $200 to $300 more affordable. However, at the minute they too need a costly PC. I will be told that these lower-price headsets could be outside for this holiday season. Yet, it’s uncertain if they’ll have the capacity to run the existing Oculus- or HTC-appropriate content when they send.
Yet, the fact that the Chinese are currently being quite competitive in producing VR head sets that seem a lot more like conventional glasses needs to be looked at seriously. This style is the Ultimate Goal of VR eyeglasses. Ground-Breaking work by Dlodlo and other Chinese makers could shove all headset sellers in this direction. This can lead to less obnoxious and mo Re socially-acceptable VR head sets.
In discussions which have many Chinese manufacturers at the IFA China CE Present, it became clear that the Chinese desire to provide the technical breakthroughs needed to generate VR head sets that are more like eyeglasses and relatively cheap as soon as achievable. Although this may take some VR affiliate programs and couple more years to realize, the Chinese are in a spot to be an important influence on VR technology of the future.