Trade show description
A visit to AI Expo Japan, which was held in Japan in April 2018 and included a designated space for VR/AR/MR applications and products, gave us a wide overview of the offering in Japan for B2B and B2C by more than 300 exhibitors.
Most of the fair was devoted to IA. Nevertheless, other related fields were also present, such as contents, creators and distributors, graphic design, advanced digital technologies, and marketing.
Some of the new products presented were VR software, VR components, VR app development services, 360⁰ audio devices, capturing technology for VR avatars, motion capture for 3D Avatars, services for AR content, mixed reality hardware and software application to control them.
Description and evolution of AI Expo Japan
In general terms, the areas covered by the exhibitor were:
Natural language processing (NLP)
VR/AR/MR World included a special interactive section with content supply.
Some conferences about VR/AR/MR were held in the fair. They were presented by Microsoft and Bandai Namco employees. In these conferences some speeches about VR/AR technologies and prospects were made.
Trends and news products released
The trade show had a mix of products and was oriented to VR/AR technology. Not many specific areas were separated or dedicated exclusively in the fair.
The new products released during the trade show included:
Yamaha introduced a 3D audio device for studios and play zones for a deeper immersive feeling. It consisted of sphere of metal tubes with a radius of 3,5 m and speakers on each intersection of the tubes.
Live streaming for VR was also introduced with a model being recorded live by a VR camera that sent the images live and allowed the viewers to watch them in 360º.
Driving, rollercoaster, flight simulators (planes, helicopters, etc.)
Developers of content and some degree of hardware customization.
Three companies with proprietary hardware for VR/AR sets:
Software platforms to develop VR apps and programs. Software to develop in 8K were also available.
Cowell, a Japanese company for services of software and content development with branches in Da Nang and Hanoi.
Ultrahaptics develops devices with ultrasounds for AR. They made the feeling of pressure in your hand with no physical touch at all.
Peraso designs array chipsets that allows high-speed wireless communications for VR and other devices in the 60GHz band.
There were many companies displaying their products and some well-known companies as Yamaha. Lots of companies actively released their VR partnership, like VIVE, Oculus, etc. It’s an interesting fair for VR and AR. We discovered 3 companies with propietary VR hardware; however, there were no disruptive technologies.
It seems that VR is getting a better experience by the user at the expense of a high or significant hardware and software investment. More and more products are being developed to reduce costs for hardware and performance improvements, like EMT by Premo or more efficient chips and algorithms to simplify the development of VR/AR/MR applications and products.
This fair focused also on content improvement since there are many application and programs like racing simulators, rollercoasters, zombie games, etc. Smaller companies focused on current technologies and components to optimize or reduce costs. Most of the products were fully developed for the consumer market and were ready to be purchased by developers or studios.