XRSpace’s Peter Chou believes 5G will usher in “the social reality of the future”.
Peter Chou, ex-CEO and co-founder of Taiwanese consumer electronics company HTC, has some bold opinions regarding the future of VR technology. According to Chou, who now serves as the head of Taiwanese VR development company XRSpace, the introduction of 5G connectivity will serve as a major turning point for VR, similar to how smartphone technology took off with the release of the original iPhone over a decade ago.
“This is a very exciting time because 5G is coming,” stated Chou during an interview with ZDNet. “There is a chance that 5G will make the experience of VR much more relevant to consumers. We are trying to make the overall experience more mature, so that it appeals to a mass market.”
Utilizing this enhanced connectivity, Chou and XRSpace are launching what they promise to be a revolutionary “social reality” platform powered by the world’s first 5G-enabled VR headset, the XRSPace Mova. Available Q3 2020 for $499, the Mova features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM, and support for controller-free gesture control; all of which packaged in a sleek orange or white housing (buyers choice). Two forward-facing cameras allow for onboard hand-tracking removing the need for motion controllers alltogether. According to Chou, this is to allow for the most accessible VR experience possible, allowing users to interact with their digital environments from virtually any location.
“It’s true mobility,” adds Chou. “You don’t have to carry anything around: wherever you are, you can pull out the headset, pull out your hands, and get started.”
These controller-free interactions will serve as the foundation for Manova, a “social reality” platform where Mova users can customize their own avatars and meet-up in a virtual world composed of multiple public and private spaces. Here, friends and strangers can meet-up at the city center to play games like basketball, golf, and darts; watch live sporting events and films; and coordinate with work colleagues.
Branching out from the this universal communal center are a series of beaches and parks in which users can bike, practice their yoga, or just roam around aimlessly. Over 50 spaces and applications currently exist, though Chou hopes to see this number expand as creators begin to develop their own third-party worlds.
It’s clear that Chou is striving for a Second Life-level of impact with Manova. In the past, several competent developers have tried—and failed—to emulate and adapt the revolutionary social platform for the VR format.. Even the founder of Second Life himself, Philip Rosedale, attempted to recreate the magic of his original venture with VR social platform Sansar to no avail. This past March, Rosedale sold his blockchain-powered social platform to San Francisco-based start-up Wookey Project Corp.
It sounds as though the idea for Manova is to provide a more mainstream social experience designed to cater to real-world needs and professions, whether you’re looking to host a private party between friends or show a potential buyer around a real home remotely.
“We think that the potential is huge, but there is still a perception that XR cannot go beyond B2B or certain communities like gamers,” explains Chou. “People think it’s bulky, gimmicky, hard to use, complicated, and that it doesn’t have interesting content. In fact, the vast majority of apps on VR at the moment are solitary, not interactive. But for the last three years, we’ve been focusing on lifting those barriers and solving those problems.”
“There are many challenges still,” he said. “The biggest one is probably to get people to use it. Making the product accessible won’t be easy.”
As previously stated, the XRSpace Mova is scheduled for release Q3 2020 for $499. Information on specs are limited at the moment, though we expect to learn more as we grow closer to its official release later this year.
Image Credit: XRSpace