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

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 XR Story and his effort on building an XR Community in China.

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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