XROM PODCAST: AR & VR in China with Eloi Gerard – Founder of CrowsNest & XR-Story

Eloi Shone light on the Hype Versus the Ground truth of China’s AR/VR/MR industry, the Chinese Government masterplan to lead Virtual Reality by 2025. He shares his Virtual Reality Content Studio CrowsNest XR and his effort in building an XR Community, XR-Story, in China.

Watch this video here.

Full Transcript: 00:00hello everyone and thank you for joining00:01ex our own podcast00:03I’m your host Ariel X our own podcast is00:05designed to celebrate showcase and shape00:08the AR vrm our industry and to help you00:11understand learn about this00:12transformational technology which holds00:14potential to change the way we live work00:16and play X our own digital news magazine00:19and X are important labor of love00:22we need your support to keep this00:23platform running so do kindly subscribe00:25and spread the word and do also suggest00:28ways for us to improve and who you might00:31want me to interview next happy to have00:33with me a larger god founder of Shanghai00:36based virtual reality content studio00:38Crowsnest and exile story a community of00:41exiled professionals from China and00:43around the globe working on shaping the00:45exile industry forward alone as a00:48leading voice in China’s exile industry00:50and it was a wonderful conversation very00:52shown light on the hype and reality of00:55China’s arv rmr industry we should enjoy00:57this conversation hello00:59so thank you for being on X our podcast01:01is really a pleasure to have you on01:03Exile of what cast so so so you mean a01:08consultant and you’ve you’ve come01:10China’s in maybe like around through 1001:12to 15 years back like that’s what we the01:14last we spoke that’s what he mentioned01:16you also have your own startup called01:20cause business then you you have a01:23community platform called exile story01:24and you be prescribing the air we are01:27ecosystem there in China so can you01:28start by telling me something about01:30Crowsnest01:31how did you build it and what’s the01:32status at this one time01:34of course yeah so my background is01:38mainly from the time I’m in China for01:40eight years I worked in an content and01:44building a TV content or audio-visual01:46content for marketing for agencies and01:51for events you know and on that01:55experience we decided to create I01:57decided to create my own company called01:59Crowsnest four years ago and it’s02:01dedicated to VR and AR and just02:04transposing the the our ability to do02:08content video content and to be on so we02:12started by doing a lot of 360-degree02:14video our first client was purchase it02:18Wayne and then we moved to a lot of02:20travel clients like Thomas Cook Club Med02:23we have Hayat while we’re moving in02:26through different international brands02:28being here in China so these are live02:30action or DCG we are connected so we did02:35both we we did at the beginning of02:38course it was very you know it was four02:40years ago where there was not even a02:42camera we we started by building around02:44camera with GoPros like the world02:46community world wise this is what we we02:48were doing you know and so stitching02:51these images so we were not yet even02:53thinking about using CG even if we had02:56the capabilities to do it and then02:58progressively I think it was for a03:00client called cash cash which is a03:03retail brand here a fashion retail brand03:06in China from France where we start03:08building the first CG which was quite03:11rudimentary we really knew because it03:15was computer intensive to do that in 36003:17degree so yes at the beginning it was a03:20bit hard but ya know and now we are03:22building full CG things you know it03:25really yeah it depends so we we can do03:28everything that has been done in in a03:31video we do it in VR we also do03:33animation so Rob my partner is an03:37animator is from the UK but originally03:39is an animator so we can also provide03:42for clients quite delicate clients who03:44are looking for a more artistic03:46experience then03:48we can we can provide animation and03:50delicate animation yes okay so you’re a03:53Belgian right yes true yes China I mean03:58it’s because you have a background in04:00media technology and advertising so the04:03China obviously seems to be the obvious04:05answer because that that part of the04:07world is booming when it comes to media04:10technology in utilizing but what is the04:13ground truth you know I mean at this04:14point of time there’s two markets which04:16is being called Adi market you know when04:18it comes to AR we are worldwide one is04:20America and obviously the second is04:21China but what is the ground truth in in04:24China when it comes to here we are ever04:26yes so I believe that China would be the04:29largest market for you he offer for04:32multiple reason the first one being like04:34I was in China already for several years04:37and I was like in China people do really04:39love technology they really love to try04:41new thing they’re not afraid like for me04:43as European you know in Belgium or but I04:46guess the same a bit Iran on all around04:47Europe we are very afraid of trying new04:50things we are like let’s wait that you04:52know for a few years these things has04:54been the Americans they do it and then04:57they try and they make mistakes and then04:59when it’s working really well after a05:01few years maybe you will think about05:03implementing these kind of things this05:04is what Europe is about but in China is05:07like no if it’s something new if it05:09looks cool we we go directly and we05:11really try to do something with that so05:14I was really expecting that VR would be05:17a wide thing and that China would be a05:20massive market you know you have a05:22massive market for video games so I05:24imagined that the gamer community of05:27China would really enjoy a lot of VR and05:29games in VR and it was unfortunately not05:33the case at all so uh my mistake so so05:40China was didn’t really embrace the05:43Wolvie offing even if China is you know05:45the factory of the world were so a lot05:47of hardware’s are actually built in05:50China so oculus many parts of the oculus05:53I think that even though the final parts05:55is assembled in in China05:57HTC is Taiwanese you know so06:00many components you know many processors06:03and many graphic cards or whatever all06:06of these type of things is actually06:07produced in China so China has a major06:11contribution at least in producing the06:14the necessary piece of that but it06:18didn’t work in the in the adoption06:20itself so it’s not here that people06:22really cut in love with the idea of06:25watching something in VR playing video06:28games or having a narrative experience06:30or even for b2b application this market06:33is only starting slowly right now and it06:36isn’t work for multiple reason the first06:39one being that we have a huge firewall06:42you know so around China we have we are06:46experiencing a quite heavy censorship06:48here and Facebook is blocked Google is06:52blocked and oculus belongs to Facebook06:55so oculus and accessing oculus comm and06:59accessing all the content that you want07:02to use with oculus doesn’t work in China07:04without what we call a VPN which is like07:06a little software that you install on07:08your computer you have to pay a07:10subscription for that and it’s a bit it07:12adds some friction even to VR which is07:14like already quite difficult to have so07:17in to be able to really access like cool07:21content like what we would have on the07:23on the oculus store it’s difficult you07:25know it’s already difficult then we have07:28another problem which is which is like07:31the the level of education in07:33universities we don’t have enough good07:35schools for some schools for example but07:39then we do not have enough creative07:41schools design schools to be able to07:44really invent what will be the07:45interaction of the future and how what07:48VR can be used for you know so there are07:51a lack of multiple talents here it’s07:56very hard to recruit people that have an07:57understanding and that can bring new07:59ideas into VR I like to say that to be a08:03great entrepreneur in VR ought to be a08:05great employee let’s say you need to be08:07good in three domains you need to be08:08good in creativity you need to be good08:11in technology and08:13you need to be good in business all of08:15these three things needs to be important08:17in the same time you know and anjana are08:20good in developing people into one area08:22of the things but never into really the08:25three things and having and a complete08:27understanding of these three things to08:29do something to do a great application a08:32great game a great you know a great I’ll08:34build an ecosystem so all this idea of08:36an ecosystem that oculus is building08:38that Sony is building here there is a08:40huge lack of that we don’t understand08:42how to build an ecosystem of content08:45creators platforms and hardware as all08:47of these things doesn’t really exist and08:50then we have a funny part also is that08:52China of course there is a heavy08:54censorship and there is censorship on08:56the porn industry and the porn industry08:58in the u.s. is a great driver to the the09:02VR business so here also we do not have09:05you know these these people that could09:07be the receiver being between guys and09:10being oh let’s try this VR thing haha09:12hard of the pawn this is softened and09:15they start by having a little fun and09:17then they move into games or other09:19applications this doesn’t really exist09:22here so we have a lack of different09:24things that doesn’t make the market09:26being really thriving you know and and09:28and being very healthy but I do not lose09:32all my hopes I see that progressively09:36the building blocks are arriving and09:38that market is building slowly and in a09:41more mature way and with more yeah new09:44IDs are coming but it’s way slower than09:47I imagined way slower than in the US or09:49in Europe so so you don’t want to get09:52the outside perspective of China is that09:54that’s that’s to play the part of the09:56world which is booming because at least09:58the media projects as China being10:02completely invested and pushed thriving10:04the ecosystem when it comes to10:06artificial intelligence here we are Emma10:08or quantum computing in things like that10:09and to get a perspective that it says10:12slow it is it’s something which is it’s10:17difficult to fathom because I mean the10:18the perspective over here the China is10:20leading the space so India in India10:22obviously has as10:23the similar kind of problems though the10:25ARV our ecosystem is is growing quite10:29rapidly and and I think what the what10:31our plus point is there is no censorship10:34being a democratic country kinda helps10:37us to do what we want the porn industry10:39is they’re flourishing nobody stops the10:41government obviously has a little say10:43they on maybe you cannot push tribe10:47maybe child pornography and things like10:49that but then there is you you have10:53freedom to do what you want but I think10:55what are what makes China different it10:59is that they are working very hard to11:03delete the the copycat11:05tag which is being put on them and I11:07guess that’s the reason they are11:08fearless and that’s the reason somehow I11:11mean I feel that they are leading in in11:14all of these technologies and like like11:19you rightfully mentioned even if you11:20want to over here in India back packet11:22India if you want to be build in here at11:24set OVR and said we love to run to China11:25to acquire the the the products and11:29maybe yes there is a lack of like you11:32mentioned that a complete balance of11:36what one needs to be an entrepreneur11:39like a a sense of creativity with the11:42technology in the business you know that11:45possibly is maybe could be missing and11:48maybe that that’s maybe slowing down the11:50thing but I really hope the China push11:51trials the ecosystem because it’s a huge11:54country and they’re doing all the right11:56things so you’ve been pushed driving the11:58community over there with XR story can12:01you give me more details on that it’s12:02it’s built on WeChat platform right yes12:06yes so in in China we have so we have12:09which at because we don’t have a12:10Facebook and we don’t have you know12:12whatsapp all of these Western12:15applications are blocked here so a12:17ten-cent created their own their own the12:21messaging app called WeChat which is12:23immensely popular here in China12:25absolutely everyone is using that and12:27you use that to to transfer money it’s12:30like it’s like your daily tool you know12:32that you you know you use it for12:33business the email12:35exist anymore we do almost everything12:38through which happened through messaging12:40through widget and and very you know at12:43the beginning of my company three years12:45ago I was frustrated that the ecosystem12:47obvious with the case like what you are12:50doing in India you know I was frustrated12:52that we couldn’t gather together and and12:55people were doing great things in12:57Beijing people are doing great thing12:58Hong so you know in Shenzhen and then13:00outside of China and I was realizing13:04that these people were not really13:06connecting and and that China needed to13:09be connected quite – – to the rest of13:12the world so I was like okay let’s13:13create a little which that group which13:14works like a what set book you know and13:17and installed adding few people that I13:19think would be interested and with13:21interesting and would would really bring13:23some information and and and try to yeah13:28to share more information create13:29collaboration and that client could find13:32the vendors and and and and that it13:34would help and and and and build more a13:37bit more the ecosystem13:38so I created exhaust story in this way13:40and then every day I share few news on13:43my group and people add friends and add13:45other people and and and this community13:48is like growing and we are like almost13:51like four hundred people I think in the13:52group now and you have people from HTC13:55from Google from oculus and from Xiaomi13:59from all the vendors and from studios14:02from different different placements14:04where we share IDs and and try to to14:08anticipate what’s what’s happening and14:10and and and just it’s a little workshop14:13it’s a little area of freedom for us14:17where we can we can we can share great14:19ideas unfortunately I try to invite you14:21multiple times but in India it’s blocked14:24for some reason and Tencent and we don’t14:26know why police Tencent hear us and try14:29to help our Indian friend to draw in14:31which at it would be amazing but so yeah14:35it’s it’s it’s nothing you know it’s14:37just it’s just a group and then I I just14:39organized a drink or14:42I did like a conference on our space VR14:44for the community I did it two times I14:47think about doing it but a bit more but14:49it’s just like how can we gather the14:51community you know you have festivals14:53you have online communities and it’s14:55just one of them where we share and14:58whereas yeah we try to be also quite fun15:02about the industry and make fun of15:03ourselves yes so I think we’re doing a15:08great thing because I guess the only way15:10the Arva ecosystem can grow is when you15:13build a community and in nurture is15:15nudge it because the technology is in15:17the nascent stage and it’s it’s it’s a15:19transformational technology and15:21eventually once it matures I guess it’s15:24gonna impact and disrupt all possible15:27industry verticals and it’s a very poor15:32potential technology so so tell me what15:33is the current ecosystem or when for15:39startups in China I mean what’s the15:42funding stage because worldwide globally15:44if you see that there are there there15:47are good things and bad things are15:48happening in equal this there was decree15:52a very successful startup is just shut15:54down magically has given out his patents15:59as a collateral to JP Morgan Chase16:01there’s other some really good startups16:03which has been shutting down but at the16:05same time there are some really great16:07things happening right oculus quest is16:08doing very very well the sales are very16:10end and encouraging and there are they16:15are VR startups which is growing16:17globally on a phenomenal rate we here in16:20India only oh we have more than 15016:23startups so what is the ecosystem like16:26for startups in China and how is a I16:30read last read this news that the16:34government has like 2025 2030 plan for16:38get a you know attaining global this16:42thing with a they are we are community16:45for the Chinese government so what is16:47the situation present situation in China16:52okay so before talking about the present16:55situation let’s talk about the past16:57situation that it’s still the present17:00one with some with some problem okay17:05that when we are really started17:06worldwide was like four years ago you17:08know when the Samsung gear VR the first17:11oculus rift was released you know17:14everything in China was like VR will be17:18the most important technology in the17:21next 100 years it’s gonna be something17:23so big that our president the decision17:28paying and everyone and Prime Minister17:30and everyone with China has to lead into17:32that field okay and and everyone I guess17:37you know China is about startups and17:40it’s about success stories like Jack Ma17:42you know and when we heard that Palmer17:44Luckey sold his company so oculus to to17:48Facebook for two to three billions we17:51then all investors in China with all17:54three billion dollars I need to be into17:57that thing17:58me too so we move into that the18:02government being the first one to18:04actually move into that thing and18:06created the government created several18:09phones you know regional phones you know18:12different province of China start18:14distributing a huge amount of money into18:16any startup that could have just said18:20well VR hello I do VR please give me 1018:24million RMB and this money was18:27distributed like so easily to so many18:30people of course out of these many18:33people many of those were totally18:35unqualified and were an absolutely no18:38idea of what is special computing you18:41know and how you know what does it mean18:44to do a VR application what does it mean18:47to organize information into the space18:50there was you know that a huge lack of18:53understanding what it is it was just18:55everyone was just driven by these three18:56billion door all that power like he was18:58was doing19:00so and the government just enforced this19:04ID by spreading all the older all their19:07billions into unqualified people what19:09what happened is that it was a huge huge19:12war there to try to get this money and19:15at the end it didn’t lead to anything of19:17course after one year three years the19:19vast majority 99% I’ve heard there’s19:22some reporting of the 99 percent of the19:25startups in China just collapsed19:27bankrupt everything is gone19:29sorry government we lost all your money19:31sorry taxpayer yeah everything is gone19:36it created for one in two years a pure19:39distortion in competition also because19:42you had huge you had unqualified people19:45with a huge amount of money that they19:48were advertising of course and they were19:50attracting clients and and these clients19:53was looking at their solutions and19:54looking at it and being like but what is19:56that this doesn’t mean anything at the19:58understood that it and then aside of20:01that you had real little started with20:03real good ideas but without the money of20:05the governments that couldn’t compete20:07with the money with the startups having20:10connection with the government and that20:11collapsed also because they were not20:13connected to the government so the rule20:16ecosystem was burned because of that bad20:20I mean wrong policy you know so it took20:25a few years after – that the design20:29entire thing okay it’s a huge failure20:30huge failure from mainly for you know20:34from in terms of policy you know a huge20:37failure then it took a few years for the20:39government to stop and – okay we’re not20:42gonna touch into that thing anymore20:44we imagine that this is what they’re20:46gonna do after for AI and for for20:48blockchain and this is this is the20:50copy-paste this strategy which is20:52probably very wrong but whatever and and20:55now the ecosystem is more the government20:58is not involved into that thing so you21:00had real startup which will VCS21:02they are really thinking about okay what21:05it is you know what is this hardware or21:07does it you know what what can we do21:09where is the traction or what which21:11company does21:12really have clients here where are the21:14revenue coming from so I just mean that21:16I would say now two years that it’s more21:19logical more where if you have a good21:23idea you can actually you can actually21:25come you know if you do VR for21:28architecture or for construction yes21:31there is a need for that please come and21:33do that before you you would be eaten by21:37another company that actually don’t21:39understand what is VR for construction21:41but that would we take the wall space21:43and there will PR but now it’s a good21:45moment to to actually do that but it’s21:48still very small so if you are talking21:49about the what is the ecosystem of the21:51startups in in China it’s still super21:53small we are just a few a few few people21:56there are a few investors that are22:00actually understanding really what is VR22:02now because before they were also22:04investing like crazily crazy money on22:07very unqualified startup and now they22:10are thinking more and I guess you know22:12that is the same in the u.s. you have22:14specialized VC’s in VR and in AR and22:18those aren’t the one you want to talk to22:20you don’t want to talk to generalist VC22:23who you know the investing in blockchain22:27the investing in e-commerce and they22:29invest in VR but they don’t actually22:31understand what is the ecosystem and22:32which is the VR ecosystem so it’s slowly22:35coming now we still of course still22:39driven by a lot by hardware because we22:42have major hardware company we have HTC22:45we have shown me you know we have Pico I22:48don’t know a Pico is successful for you22:50we have here in Shanghai we have with22:55that we have PI max you know so we have22:58different different of these companies23:00and they have their own little success23:01on the in their own niche and it’s it23:04start being like stable you know so yeah23:08yeah it’s it’s not we have in Beijing we23:11have a VR which is a platform of a23:13360-degree video they are pivoting again23:16they are searching a bit what is the23:18where is distraction and I think now23:19they are really focusing on premium23:21content and they want to show23:25content in VR to to the end users where23:27before it was much a user-generated23:28content but so people are still looking23:30for their their own little nation their23:33own little market but it’s more healthy23:35it’s it makes it it’s more business23:37driven now and more stable and yeah the23:42outlook looks better than before right23:44yeah23:44yes somehow I mean we were I mean in23:46India we didn’t go through that hype23:48cycle because I guess that’s terrible23:51for VCS who put in their money and then23:56they realized oh wow I mean when you23:58said can 99 percent or startups went24:01bankrupt you know after the I I guess24:03that that that’s that’s what big brings24:05a bad name you know somehow we in India24:08that there was no such high Prius post24:12Facebook acquire acquiring or oculus24:15there was this huge me media and PR out24:19doors that Mark Zuckerberg goes in a24:22clockwise oculus and we are is going to24:24be the next big thing but then luckily24:26there was no investors over here was24:28jumping onto the bandwagon investing24:31into startups even now like like I24:33mentioned we have around hundred and24:35fifty plus startups but less than five24:37percent has got some kind of funding and24:40yes I am doing something to push to24:42having the ecosystem connecting to the24:43government or the investors and building24:46a community and and identifying those24:48startups which a scalable and which are24:52which are driven and they have the24:55sustainability built into their into the25:01work Berkeley so so so so tell me I mean25:05you know I feel that India and China are25:08two very strong nations which can play a25:14big role when it comes to global25:17adoption of AR via because collectively25:20we are somewhere around25:22half the world’s population I think25:25collectively we have somewhere around25:26three three billion plus four people25:28just in India and China and that’s a25:30huge number of people in supposing and25:32if someday we kind of push stripe25:34adoption each of our countries that will25:37kind of be like one of those maybe what25:44said when something happens around in25:45some part of the world then acts as a25:47I’m not getting the right word you know25:50but possibly push drive the ecosystem25:52and pushing right the main mainstream25:54adoption for globally what do you think25:58want to should be done I personally26:01believe the collaboration is a key to26:04grow this ecosystem but somehow there is26:07not a single bridge between India and26:11China to enable collaboration between26:14startups you know to grow the ecosystem26:17so do you see that as a possibility and26:21would according to you something like26:25that help grow the ecosystems so of26:27course I totally agree with you there is26:29huge opportunities and in collaborating26:32between these two countries for sure26:34it’s a wide super big market and and26:37it’s true that the collaboration is26:39almost an existence not only in Vienna26:42or via when I see in technology I I do26:45not see lots of sharings between India26:47and China I actually don’t know why well26:51what I see is that from China everybody26:55is very focused and on the US know the26:59main part the main partner for Chinese27:01is to sell in the US27:02not even Europe you know is really us us27:05us because US is wide it’s a big big27:09market where people are rich and where27:12you can actually sell at a high price so27:15they are super focused on the US market27:18I guess for this reason but there is no27:21reason to do not increase the27:22collaboration we are extremely close so27:24it’s very simple to do that but you know27:27China is also focusing on the the27:30satellites around China like Thai27:33you know like Singapore Southeast Asia27:37is usually a place where there are also27:41a lot of collaboration more than more27:44than India I guess India is big and27:46India’s so I don’t think that a Chinese27:50imagine that India could be a great27:52market for them except that I think that27:54brands like cher ami are working very27:56well and Oppo and vivo I think it’s27:58working very well in India so there are28:00some already existing brands that are28:03that are doing that but I don’t know I28:06don’t I don’t know if in a RvR there’s28:09something existing like that where it28:12could be I guess there is a huge28:14community of gamers in in India where it28:17could could be some stuff going on I28:19mean I’m super happy to to help in28:22building any bridge between both of ya28:27that could be like a nice opportunity28:29because down here with my ventures I28:32mean anything because I believe the28:33collaboration of the future and with28:36immersion we are fest which was India’s28:38first we have to invest William28:39conference we had somewhere around 60028:40or people coming for the event and what28:43I did was I reached out to different28:45countries and at least the embassies of28:46the countries right from UK Australia28:49Israel New Zealand and even China and28:53luckily we had the the team from UK di T28:56participating for the first year and28:58this second year we will he still talks29:00with Canada and Australia and New29:04Zealand hopefully hopefully China I mean29:07though I mean it’s very initial29:10conversation I hope that that there can29:12be some kind of bridge built because yes29:16I mean India at this point of time VB29:18the industry is in a very nascent stage29:20but it’s growing rapidly and I do see29:24you rightfully mentioned that the price29:27points over here in India compared to29:29America is there’s a huge vast different29:31because the price points over there is I29:33mean people will pay a bigger price29:35compared to India but the the scale29:38market size is humongous oh yeah so so29:43so – tell me what which occur of article29:46accordingly29:47you is going to kick drive the adoption29:49conversation for VR I think I think the29:55game industry I think the gamers we have30:01to I mean I’m not a gamer myself me I do30:04I do our via for marketing you know but30:09but it is of course very important for30:11me that there are as much people in in V30:13on and having a VR headset where we can30:16propose content to them so for the mass30:19market I imagine that oculus quests30:24especially now that you know that you30:26can use oculus with the link so which30:28would open a new library of content and30:31and people will be able to access a lot30:33of very good content I think this really30:37helps to to increase the user base in30:42China it’s a big problem because the30:44quest the oculus quest is is prohibited30:46because it’s Facebook so it doesn’t30:49connect it’s a private that you can buy30:50it but but to connect you need to30:52install VPN so it’s not simple but it30:56becomes the most important offer now you31:00know for a consumer it would be like you31:02would be crazy to not buy this because31:03you can do anything you want with a with31:06an oculus quest and this devices problem31:10in China but I think having more and31:13more people are anyway going through31:15that and and playing with more games and31:17the most Jews are are building games and31:20Triple A games for a VR the the best it31:25will be and I see also a great traction31:28with kids I don’t know if is the same31:31for you in India but here in China the31:35youngest you know like teenagers when31:38they start doing things in VR the super31:40love it super love the idea of being in31:43this different world and it’s it’s31:45working really a lot so I have been it’s31:48also a question of generation of like31:49okay growing generation generation Z as31:52we call it you know growing and31:55and playing more games or having more31:58narrative experience and then having32:01more in education I think it will32:03continuously drive also that we build32:06content for education and for schools or32:09yeah all these type of things yeah we’ll32:13help yeah I think so what are you using32:15location-based entertainment because32:17that’s that’s one vertical which is32:19growing in a big way warriors interested32:22in it and Steven Spielberg’s company32:24dream dreamscape he must serve has been32:26invested in a hollow gate is doing very32:29well zero latency from Australia has32:31been doing very good so what are you32:34views on elby’s so yeah so here in China32:40we we had at the beginning of VR Albie32:43was that we will be the most important32:45thing and I was surprised because I was32:48I’m not sure about that because how can32:51you really differentiate yourself32:53especially at the beginning at this32:54stage you know how can you really32:56differentiate yourself from LBE to a32:58home entertainment experience you know33:00and there was not that much compelling33:03games to be really like olb makes a33:06difference but so you had a huge33:09development of anybody in China had what33:13you have in Shanghai like I don’t know33:14hundreds of people using their33:17apartments to put HTC vive and then an33:21online going the to on a little platform33:24and saying oh I have three games and if33:27you come to my apartment you just pay 2033:31RMB and you can play for 15 minutes of33:33these games you know I’ve visited some33:36of them to understand this new trend so33:38of course it was like an opportunity to33:40make money for a few of them you just33:42buy an HTC vive and and and you just do33:46that you know and of course it’s illegal33:48because you do not have the proper33:49license to commercial activity but China33:53China is not about that okay if you see33:55an opportunity like that it’s just do it33:57and but but but there was no big34:00strategy everybody was copying itself34:03and there was no differentiate or in the34:06experience so it34:07at the end was quite expensive for34:10something that was not bringing much34:12value so the users whether they were34:15trying the vibe and in an apartment they34:17were paying a little bit of money to34:18play and then they were probably coming34:21back home and check online and buying34:23themself an HTC vive and that we had no34:27sense you know because you couldn’t have34:29like traction and a recurrent user34:31coming back because lb was just there to34:34sell the concept of VR and they were and34:37each time that you convinced a user34:39earlier he was buying some had said and34:41he couldn’t come back to your lb so it34:45didn’t really work and but you had that34:47you know in malls but the vast majority34:50of those experience was a super crap no34:53it was like you could see content which34:57was just downloaded from YouTube you34:59know you people were downloading35:01advertising in VR being made on out of35:04YouTube or you know you know like35:06rollercoaster but super crap35:07rollercoaster they were it doesn’t35:09matter you know and of course the users35:12they were in the mold well what is we35:13all want to try they were trying once35:15and it has a super crappiest thing yes35:18it is super crap and it didn’t help us35:20to convince them about what is real no35:22because they were trying in this context35:24and China doesn’t really think about35:27content you know it’s really hard were35:29driven so they were thinking that if the35:31shop and the LBE35:33was cool with big machines where you35:35were using VR35:36what you were seeing does Anna doesn’t35:39matter but of course it matters is the35:41most important thing but they didn’t get35:42it you know at this stage so there was a35:45huge strength of lb and then the whole35:47thing collapse because people were not35:49interested anymore in lb those who were35:51interested in VR they start buying their35:52own VR headset and going at home but now35:56I think it’s the moment for probably the36:00Americans and people like sandbox VR you36:03know which is actually Hong kong-based36:05but the void you know and all these36:08super high and our dreamscape36:10as you said you know all these super36:11high had the company to come to China36:13because36:15they could come and there is nothing36:17anymore they I mean they would bring an36:19exclusive experience with an exclusive36:23contents and there is an existing market36:26now people understand what it is and36:28they would bring an experience which is36:29way higher than what they’ve seen before36:32so I’m quite sure that it wouldn’t it36:34would make sense now for a very good36:36concept to come to China and to and to36:40bring that you know like the void yeah36:42and they could go into so many cities in36:46China to do it they couldn’t be copied36:49anymore you know because it’s quite36:51unique you know it’s like the the36:53content being made for the void is only36:56for the void so it doesn’t it would be37:00quite protected pure piracy we didn’t37:02really exist for them so I think it’s a37:04good moment for them to come and to do37:06this type of thing there is not anymore37:09great great things the ideas are project37:12I think that some people are raising37:13money to do things but it’s a good37:15moment to investigate this market with a37:17unique value proposition with unique IDs37:21and things that cannot be copied and and37:24bring an experience which is super high37:25hand it would work very well I think37:29because just like you mentioned you know37:31bad content is something which is really37:33being the main reason for killing var37:36var because if most of the people I mean37:40except for the ones will be invested in37:41this space like us will be you know37:44doing this stuff I mean it’s just us who37:48know what the what this technology is or37:51what it can do but you just step outside37:53outside your house and largely I mean37:55people really don’t know what this37:56technology is or what it can do they’ve37:58just read about it possibly in the media38:01or seen it on paper so you know watch TV38:04now if the ones who are possibly38:06experiencing something like this and for38:08the first time in if they experience bad38:10content that’s that’s such a letdown and38:13that that just kills it so exclusivity I38:15think it is something which should be38:17retained with a RvR because it should be38:20identified as being exclusive something38:22which is different what Tony cannot do38:24and also that that’s the only way I38:26think possibly you38:27to strike the ecosystem because here we38:29are mr is an extension it’s not what 2d38:32is you know it here we are you can move38:39from your 2d platformer and jump into38:41the 3d platformer start interacting38:43contain content and you know that’s what38:45the power of a RvR mr is so also going38:52back to your V chat thing you mentioned38:54that yes you have around 400 people on38:59your group in your community and yes I39:02think you know in some ways if tenth39:05tension kind of comes in and opens it up39:08to not just India but around the people39:09around the world I think the community39:12will grow and that’s what I think is the39:15need of the day so what do you think39:18with you are prescribing the ecosystem39:21what what extra step one needs to take39:23to push try the ecosystem and what to39:27build what does a startup needs to do to39:31make his company more sustainable and39:34scalable I think that we are still39:39resting at the beginning of this entire39:41thing and still we I think we we are39:43still building the language of spiritual39:48computing okay so we are we are the39:52writers of this language you know you me39:54all the community and we try to39:56experience thing you know people are39:59doing super hearts people are doing beat40:01Sabre40:02people are doing narrative experience40:04like you know Felix and Paul you know40:06and and we are all trying to do40:10something and then we put it on we put40:12it on actually within our community40:15because who is watching actually these40:17things first this is us we’re going into40:19festival buying these things online40:21trying this new thing40:23always trying I’ve heard that this is40:24interesting this is this is and and then40:27we comment and then and then we are okay40:29yes this is working a camera movement in40:32VR it doesn’t work very well we didn’t40:35know at the beginning well we want to40:37try because we just want to transpose40:38what40:40television is about and put it in via40:42and then we just move the camera and40:44then we try when we are sick and then40:46what does it mean it’s bizarre it40:48doesn’t work you know and then we we40:49start Renee you know thinking and40:51questioning ourselves and and what is it40:53actually the camera has to stay there40:55camera can stay there and it’s the thing40:58around that have to move ah yes this is41:01okay ah yeah and we think about that and41:03really yes and we try several times and41:05then we show it to people and they are41:07looking at it and they say and they are41:08reproducing themselves you know the41:10movement of the camera by by moving41:12their head around the scene and then all41:15okay we discover something and this is41:17building the language of y’all you know41:20so and we are at a very small step on41:24all these things that I’m just talking41:25about camera movements you know but but41:28it’s like how do we use interaction we41:30have so much lost into that thing you41:32know now we’re gonna have hand tracking41:33that I hope will be will be mainstream41:37within the community fast but you know41:39how do we use that we never had the41:41chance to do that to do to have a41:43computer using our hands so how are we41:46going to push on button you know what41:48does it mean that we we get close to41:50something and then this action starts41:52you know we don’t know so it’s it’s41:54gonna bring a new things and we’re gonna41:56have to experience and many people you41:58know will do experience and they will be42:00like oh actually we build it this way42:02but then we realize the user never think42:04about clicking on the button you look at42:06the button it doesn’t think about42:08clicking on it so no button let’s do42:11something different you know let’s do a42:12button in different way all you know and42:14we have to think about all these new42:15type of interaction that we don’t know42:18and and we gonna do and it’s all bird42:22and okay we chose to do that job we have42:24to go through that research and the42:26research and development is part of what42:28we what we need to do so I think we’re42:30gonna still be few months maybe a few42:32years of really developing this entire42:34thing you know deciding that this button42:37goes to that thing you know just right42:39now between oculus and vive and the42:41buttons are not the same even within the42:43oculus store it’s not the same button to42:45teleport yourself you know like because42:47everybody was researching in different42:49way so you know we need to we need42:52to establish grandma a common grandma we42:55are writing things people are watching42:58or things you know it’s like between42:59writers and and readers how we need to43:02be compatible and build this language43:04and be this is a views that when you43:07have an tracking and the button is there43:09for everyone it means that clicking43:11there as we will need to to reinvent the43:15type of things and really establish what43:17what it means so I think that when that43:19will be there and obvious for everyone43:21and for every developer and for the43:23audience then we can start building43:25really cool application where it’s gonna43:28be abused so it doesn’t mean that it’s43:31not the right time for startup to come I43:33think it is the right time because it’s43:34gonna still take maybe one year maybe43:36two years but if you want to build a43:38great platform a great product it’s43:40probably now that you need to experience43:43and learn the learning in a RvR things43:46yes okay years of understanding and43:50realizing that you were wrong and that43:52you’re yeah I’ve thought about that but43:55then sorry people actually know how many43:58times it happened to me and I had to say44:00sorry to my partner say sorry Rob yes I44:03thought that for years that this would44:05be but and you disagree with me but44:06actually now I have to admit I was wrong44:11it’s about really really thinking44:13through several times looking at the44:15user doing this error many times and44:18then thinking okay now yeah it shouldn’t44:21be this way and and okay we are still44:23building the whole thing we are still44:24still making mistakes and trying to44:27build that so I think it’s the perfect44:28time you know for startups to really44:31come into our field because now we see44:33the adoption coming it’s really close to44:36now but without big expectations it’s44:40really coming with a simple ID precise44:42IDs and being like oh ok let’s imagine44:45to do something which is can be44:47profitable in the existing market and44:49don’t think that millions of billions of44:52people will have VR headset in two years44:54no it’s not the case it’s gonna still be44:56close it’s gonna be still small within44:59the next few years and you have to think45:01about proposing a product which is45:03compelling for a very45:07audience and and and think about really45:09making something great for these very45:11nice audience I think lovely I think I45:14mean bang on I think whatever you said45:16was completely bang on we are in the45:18early days and I think everybody is45:20learning globally I mean you know and45:21it’s only when you make mistakes you you45:25learn you know it’s fail forward you45:27move one step ahead and I guess right we45:30rightfully said you know I mean startups45:32need to start small I do have your big45:35dreams you know but you know take one45:38step at a time I guess you know go solve45:40one problem get a use case which is at45:43this point in time solving a problem and45:46helping people and and I guess that’s45:47the only way to go go move about and45:51building the ecosystem in growing the45:53ecosystem and making a are we are that45:55that that thing which will impact us in45:59a way in you know transform mankind46:01India so in that note I mean thank you46:04it was a pleasure talking to you46:06so would you like to share any any last46:09words of advice to our listeners you46:10know startups or people who are46:12listening on to you and besides the46:16advice what what what what do you see or46:20where do you see yourself in the next 1046:22years in the next 10 years 10 years I46:27have no idea what will be there in 1046:30years 10 years I mean if you if you ask46:35me that three years ago I would be like46:37yeah I think it would be very far no now46:40we’re gonna be very more cautious about46:42that no I think I think I love I love46:47what I do I love to I love to do Excel46:51for for marketing you know and doing46:53experience for brands and think about46:56application which are very customer46:59facing you know and useful for people47:01and that they understand what they can47:03do with with that type of things I’m47:05super in love with original content you47:09know so to do not games but what I would47:12call narrative experience you know the47:14things that you will find in festivals47:16in Venice47:18Tribeca and Sundance you know in here in47:20China we have a festival called the47:22sandbox immersive festival which is also47:24providing amazing things and I’m really47:29in love with that things because artists47:33are building experience and narrative47:35experience for the sick of it you know47:37for it’s pure research in VR where when47:40you are watching that you have we are47:42rethinking how to deliver a story yeah47:44and what does it means to to have an47:48immersive story what does it means47:49immersion what does means interaction47:52with the story and all these thinking I47:55think this is really the research and47:57development laboratory of the entire47:59industry it’s really in the field of48:01narrative VR so I’m in love with that48:04and I hope that in the next 10 years we48:06will do more of these works and and to48:09go into Festival and to go into you know48:11you have cinema VR you have people48:14downloading secretly in their clothes48:17home and and a non-steam bizarre things48:21and being um this is interesting this is48:23I love this type of things also it48:25doesn’t bring money okay doesn’t bring48:26money but it helps the industry to move48:28forward so what I would love to do all48:30that and to do more in different48:32countries you know I’m the based in48:34China but we would love to see what’s48:36going on in India we would love to go in48:38the US and Europe and and to have more48:41more things as a final things because48:43you are a final world I would love to48:45invite you of course or to any startup48:48cynics are in India if you come you guys48:51come through Shanghai you please you48:54contact me I hope you can share my48:55contact I really want to know what you48:57guys are doing there and to see come49:00with your demo and show me if you need49:03any introduction with a with the49:05startups or with investor or with49:07hardware people here in China would be49:10very happy to help so thank you thank49:13you a lot for being an excellent podcast49:15really appreciated it was a lovely49:17conversation I got to know so much about49:19where the China industry stands what are49:22you doing and thank you for the last49:24message and I’m sure the listeners and49:26startups49:28who are keen on exploring China as a49:30market would love to get in touch with49:32you and yes I will leave your49:33information behind your all your social49:35media links behind so in case if there’s49:37a startup who wants to connect with you49:39in if they have a travel plan to China49:40China Shanghai I’m sure they will you49:43can get it reach out to you because49:45that’s the only way we can build the49:47ecosystem and grow the ecosystem so49:49thank you once again for joining xro49:51podcast and for the listeners if you49:52like what you see in here please press49:54the subscribe button until next time see49:56you guys provide

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