5 Chinese VR companies to watch in 2016

As written in our 2016 prediction series, China will likely see a year of fast development for virtual reality (VR) in the coming year. As for which companies you should pay closest attention to in the coming year? We’ve curated a list of the most noteworthy companies in the Chinese market as of right now.

Though none of these companies have established dominance yet, each has some comparative advantages of one kind or another. Whether you’re a VR enthusiast, or you only have some passing interest, the following companies should all be watched carefully in 2016!


DeePoon

Founded in 2014, DeePoon has risen as a hotshot in the sector. Its latest product the DeePoon E2, an Oculus Rift-like headset, similarly requires a access to a personal computer. For RMB 2199 (USD 343), it offers a 120-degree diagonal field of view with a pretty good 19ms delay on a high-resolution Samsung AMOLED screen.

DeePoon recently raised USD 30 million in funding from two companies in the Xiaomi galaxy, both of which have vast resources in video content and online games. With the new resources and investment, we can expect a boost in DeePoon-compatible VR content.

DeePoon E2

Price: RMB 2199

Specs: 120-degree view, 19ms delay, 75 Hz refresh rates, Samsung AMOLED screen.

Visit DeePoon


3Glasses

3Glasses is a Shenzhen-based virtual reality manufacturer established in 2014. 3Glasses claims research and development for its VR products actually stems back as far as 2012 according to the company’s official website. The company adopted a business model of collaboration with offline 3D theaters and experience stores to promote its products, and now has already over 1,000 experience stores in China.

3Glasses will present its new product along with its current signature product the D2 at the upcoming CES on January 6th. It is claimed the new product weighs only 150g.

3Glasses D2 Vanguard edition

Price: RMB 2199

Specs: 110-degree view,<13ms delay, 60 Hz refresh rate, 2K screen.

Visit 3Glasses


FiresVR

Different from the startups above, FiresVR is more of a software company than a manufacturer. The company only has a basic VR headset and focuses more on its own development kit the FiresVR Dawn SDK — currently at version of 0.9.

FiresVR claims to be the only company using Asynchronous Time Warp (ATW) algorithms besides Oculus, which reduces the time of delay for headsets to under 20ms. The VR startup has received investment from the Chinese mobile application developer APUS Group. The combination of the two may possibly lower the technical barriers to the uptake of VR in China.

JiDome-1 VR Glasses (Developer version)

Price: RMB 199 (USD)

Specs: 90-degree view, compatible with 5.7-inch screen smartphones.

FiresVR Dawn SDK: based on Unity 3D

Visit FiresVR


LeVR

LeVR is a subsidiary of Chinese smart device manufacturer and video streaming site LeTV. The smart device maker announced its entry into the VR sector in late December of 2015. Because of a high similarity in design, LeVR’s VR headsets are believed to be produced by its strategic partner the Chinese VR hardware maker LingVR.

LeTV notably has strong content development ability as well as high competence in streaming live performances. Its VR content development plan covers celebrity interviews, live performances and VR movies. The establishment of LeVR will likely add vast high-quality content to the market, especially in casual entertainment.

LeVR Cool 1

Price: RMB 149 (USD 24)

Specs: 90-degree view, 20ms delay, compatible with 5.5-inch screen smartphones (optimized for LeTV’s Le 1 & Le 1 Pro).

Visit LeVR’s Weibo.


And last but not least…

Tencent

Another strong player to keep tabs on is Tencent, the Chinese social network giant and mobile game monster. Tencent announced it will launch all three types of VR display headset including Cardboard-style VR glasses, all-in-one portable headsets, and Oculus Rift-like PC-connected headsets — likely to be compatible with its gaming console the miniStation — over the next two years.

Tencent has also released the development kit Tencent VR SDK which will first support Unity followed by Unreal and Android SDK in the future. Though few details have been released at present, once the industry giant gets into the game, it’ll very likely become a driving force in the sector with its power in research and development shining through with new VR technology and content.

Originally published on AllChinaTech.com.


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Rhea Liu | @yushan_l | January 02, 2016 05:58 pm

Rhea Liu is a writer at AllChinaTech. She acquired a Master of Science in Communication Studies from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Linguistics from Beijing Foreign Studies University. She also co-founded a podcast featuring Chinese post-90 generation lifestyle and intercultural communication. You can follow her on Twitter @yushan_l.

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