During the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Wang Yongtian, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and director of the Department of Information and Electronics of Beijing Institute of Technology, presented a hand-drawn "evolutionary map" to the reporters of the China News Service: humans walked from erect, slash-and-burn, to hunchback, gaze Mobile computer, to liberate your hands and stand up. What makes humans "get up" is the AR glasses on his nose. “In the future, AR glasses will replace mobile phones and become the next generation of mobile terminals.”
The so-called AR refers to augmented reality technology, which is like the "upgraded version" of VR (virtual reality technology): people can see the virtual video content while they are in the real scene, that is, the virtual and reality "seamless" fusion.
Wang Yongtian is a well-known scholar in the field of VR and AR technology in China. He has been engaged in research for several decades.
In 1992, he led the team to develop the first VR helmet in China at the time. He clearly remembers that the helmet that was borrowed from the screen of the mobile phone now seems to be somewhat "simplistic": although it achieves a 120-degree field of view, it is subject to the performance of the micro-display at the time, and the resolution is very low.
Wang Yongtian said that since the 1990s, for a long time, the development of China's VR and AR technology has been in a state of little concern and tepid, mainly used in professional fields, especially in the military field.
With the launch of Google Glass in 2012, the AR Handball “Pokémon Go”, which tracks the Elf in 2016, is popular all over the world. The emergence of explosion-proof products has quickly brought this new technology into the public eye.
In recent years, in China, various capitals have increased their support, and VR and AR technologies have developed rapidly. According to the China Institute of Information and Communication Research, China has entered a period of rapid growth since 2013. In the past two years, the number of newly added patents in mainland China has surpassed that of the United States, ranking first in the number of applications per year.
"The development of this round of VR and AR technology is caused by head-mounted display technology." Wang Yongtian said that the current Chinese VR and AR technologies are in the "running" state internationally. However, China still has a “short board” in developing practical software, integrating “software packages”, and building VR and AR platforms.
He believes that industrial development is a "system engineering". It is impossible for algorithms and programmers to work alone. It also requires technical documentation, software testing, technical support, and market research personnel to participate in team operations. "In this regard, China still has a long way to go."
Wang Yongtian revealed that the research team he led is working on the development of thinner and lighter AR glasses, hoping to combine the functions of correcting vision, liberating hands and inquiring information, helping to solve "face blindness" and becoming the prototype of the next generation of mobile terminals.
"For example, if you are attending a party, you will come to a person on the head, and the glasses will prompt the other person's information." However, the new technology also brings challenges such as privacy protection. Wang Yongtian suggested that the legislation should be improved as soon as possible and that new technologies should be developed faster under the premise of protecting privacy.
He believes that virtual reality and augmented reality can shine in more scenarios. In the future, 5G will also insert "wings" for the rapid development of VR and AR technologies.
Wang Yongtian, who witnessed the development of China's VR and AR technologies, believes that the process of information presentation and interactive technology development may be considered as the evolution of the "screen". The first screen people use is a movie screen. The TV screen immediately followed, breaking the space limit and taking the image home. The third screen is a mobile phone screen, and the promotion of smart phones allows everyone to connect with the world. Assume that the last screen is directly connected to the human brain. "Then, VR helmets and AR glasses may be the third-to-last and second-to-last screen for human contact. With them, people can lose their mobile phones and play easily."