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NEW YORK, April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Augmented reality is becoming a more prominent technology in the social media sector. After Snapchat pioneered it, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok have launched their own lenses, filters and effects. In the process, AR has shown its value not only for branding and entertainment, but also for commerce. A few recent developments from the social media world include Facebook's roll out of AR advertising, and Instagram adding try-on features. According to a report by eMarketer, the shutdown of many retail stores spurred some marketers to invest more in AR as a way to offer virtual try-on and other experiences typically only available in-store. Several social media properties now enable try-on within their apps. Scienjoy Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SJ), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), MicroVision, Inc. (NASDAQ: MVIS), Unity Software Inc. (NYSE: U), Himax Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIMX)
Continued advances in AR technology and the growing adoption of the technology in consumer applications is also seen driving the need for compatible AR chipsets. As a result, companies such as Qualcomm, AMD, and Intel are responding to the situation by launching state-of-the-art AR-enabled chipsets. For instance, according to Grand View Research, in May 2018, Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon XR1 chipset, which is dedicated to the extended reality platform. Then, in December 2019, the Company unveiled its 5G-enabled Snapdragon XR2 chipset for AR and VR hardware.
Scienjoy Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SJ) announced yesterday breaking news that, "it has established a strategic partnership with Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT) to research multi-user augmented reality technology and its applications for live streaming content and entertainment.
As part of the agreement, Scienjoy will purchase patents for "augmented reality technologies and systems for multi-user interactions" from BUPT. Scienjoy plans to use these patents in multi-player games and multi-player live streams to enhance the user interactive experience in Scienjoy's virtual reality second life worlds.
Through partnership with BUPT, Scienjoy hopes to further promote innovation and development in the live streaming industry, and to explore research synergies between institutions of higher education and private enterprise on AR technology. This agreement represents a further deepening of the cooperation between BUPT and Scienjoy that was announced in January 2021 regarding the applications of web-based augmented reality technology (Web AR).
Through 3D imaging technology and visual tracking algorithms, augmented reality (AR) technology superimposes computer generated information into real environments. AR allows users to experience both a virtual world and the physical world simultaneously, and to interact with both in a unique and intuitive way. Mobile augmented reality can be divided into three categories: single-user AR, two-user AR and multi-user AR, each backed by different key technologies and useful for different applications. Multi-user AR, the technology in this cooperation and patent acquisition, is of particular interest to Scienjoy, which seeks to continually upgrade the user experience to be more participatory, interactive and entertaining.
For Scienjoy, multi-user interactive AR technologies are a further step in the Company's long investment in enhancing the user experience of live streaming and games with augmented and virtual reality. The traditional live streaming video experience is one-directional and relies on host appearance, performance skills, environment, and storytelling abilities. In the live streaming category, where users are increasingly looking for interactive entertainment, traditional live streaming may become repetitive and cause users to lose interest in hosts and whole platform ecosystems over time.
Scienjoy has long been at the forefront of researching and integrating AR, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to its social platforms to improve the user experience and maintain high user stickiness. Scienjoy has already applied single-user AR technologies to allow hosts and users to supplement their appearance or environment and has also explored multi-player "Second Life Worlds." This acquisition of multi-person AR technology will allow hosts and multiple users to interact in second life virtual world spaces and together interact with virtual objects and information. Unlike traditional online games, where players are only able to control virtual objects and avatars, AR games allow players to interact with each other, and virtual objects to interact with the physical environment, bringing a new level of novelty and interactivity to the live streaming game experience.
With recent advancements in mobile devices and chip technology, smart phones and tablets now have the hardware to support AR entertainment. The sensors needed for AR entertainment such as multiple lenses, gyroscopes, accelerometers, and others have all already become standard configurations. The application of these sensors also provides an unprecedented development opportunity for the popularization of AR technology on mobile social platforms like Scienjoy's. At present, players in the mobile device field such as Google, Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba, and Xiaomi and others are all engaged in the research and development of mobile AR related technologies and products. As a leading live entertainment mobile streaming platform provider, Scienjoy will continue to find applications of mobile device technology to further integrate AR to its social platforms and strengthen the user experience.
"In the future, Sienjoy plans to fully integrate virtual and reality through the combination of 5G and AI, AR, VR and other technologies, to give users a more realistic and rich immersive experience," said Victor He, Chairman and CEO of Scienjoy. "I believe that the purchase of these AR system patents, which represents a further step in Scienjoy's strategic commitment to entertainment R&D, will bring great value to Scienjoy's live streaming ecosystem."
With the goal of seizing the opportunities 5G era for the live streaming industry, Scienjoy has invested considerable research, accumulated solid technology reserves, and attached great importance in R&D personnel to apply technologies to the platform. As user habits evolve, AR technologies advance, and new forms of entertainment are developed, the role of live streaming will be redefined and applied in new ways."
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) HoloLens is the first self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. Windows Mixed Reality combines the thrill of virtual reality with the power to engage with and personalize your surroundings. Windows 10 will enable this experience for a variety of headsets, from fully self-contained holographic computers like HoloLens to the most innovative and affordable headsets.
MicroVision, Inc. (NASDAQ: MVIS) uses an integrated approach of proprietary technology to provide solutions for automotive lidar sensors, augmented reality micro-display engines, interactive display modules and consumer lidar modules. Earlier this year the company announced that it has received necessary components and equipment to meet its April milestone of completing A-Samples of its Long Range Lidar Sensor. The Company also announced that it has started outdoor testing of key performance features on its development platform.
Unity Software Inc. (NYSE: U) announced earlier last month the acquisition of VisualLive, a technology company enabling the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry to reduce costs and increase efficiency by visualizing and collaborating in augmented reality (AR). VisualLive's technology is complementary to Unity Reflect, the immersive collaboration and development platform that connects people, project stages, and data across the digital building lifecycle. This acquisition expands Unity's strategic growth in the AEC industry and allows customers to achieve optimal efficiency and cost-savings.
Himax Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIMX) is a fabless semiconductor company, provides display imaging processing technologies in China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Europe, and the United States. The company also designs and provides controllers for touch sensor displays; in-cell touch and display driver integration single-chip solutions; light-emitting diode driver and power management ICs; and liquid crystal on silicon micro-displays for augmented reality (AR) devices and head-up displays for automotive industry. Last month the Company announced that its ultralow power WE-I Plus AIoT Platform has been listed in the Azure Certified Device Catalog after receiving Microsoft Azure IoT PnP certification. "The Microsoft Azure IoT Platform and Himax WE-I Plus AIoT Platform collectively create a powerful tool for our customers to unleash their creativity," said Jordan Wu, President and Chief Executive Officer at Himax. "We bring to market a reliable, secure and long battery life edge AI product, and make it easier and faster than ever."
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