We spoke with HTC Vive China President Alvin Wang Graylin just before CES 2018 about the current state of Virtual Reality in China and around the world. We covered topics across markets, ecosystems and culture with a recurring thread that the true test of VR adoption and value is more of an imagination challenge than an engineering challenge.
Imagine we achieve total, immersive virtual reality (VR) that’s shareable. What happens then to the idea of a “Live Event”? If we’re able to simulate a full 360 sight, sound, smell and tactile reality we find at a concert, a lecture or a sporting event, what does that new capability do to our ideas of individual and communal experience? How does that change who we are and how we live?
Those were some of the questions Alvin Wang Graylin and I sparred with during a pre-CES conversation.
Alvin is the President of HTC Vive China well as head of the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance (VRVCA). Additionally, he serves as Vice-Chairman of the Industry of Virtual Reality Association (IVRA), a 300+ company organization in China that develops VR technical standards to help build the ecosystem.
The current alphabet soup of VR, Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and other types of “reality” aren’t bugs so much as features of a rapidly evolving field of merged physical and digital experience. New hardware in 2018 such as HTC Vive’s Focus headset promise to bring high-end VR to the mass market. Then, there’s the investment in AAA-level content for VR. The point isn’t whether VR and similar mediums will become mainstream and but how will VR become mainstream and on what kind of timeline.
So sit back and enjoy!