This is the fourth post of “Now in Shenzhen”, where TechNode visits a handful of Shenzhen-based companies leveraging Shenzhen’s core strength: manufacturing.
Focalmax, a Shenzhen-based company that specializes in smart optical technologies and products, says that its artificial intelligence robot combining VR technology will be ready by the end of this year.
“We’ll have the beta version of the AI product by the end of this year. Artificial Intelligence needs the R&D, investment, and capacity,” Raymond Lei, co-founder as well as deputy general manager at Focalmax told TechNode.
Their AI robot works like any other home robot in China: provide audio and video entertainment, charge itself when the battery is running out, recognize face and voice, and manage your schedule like a secretary. The differentiation lies in its VR capacities. The built-in projector will use VR technology to make 360 video calls and use an infrared remote control to manage household appliances. It can also monitor indoor air quality.
“Currently, artificial intelligence research done by China’s companies isn’t all that different. It’s about how fast they are developing it and how much data they have aggregated,” Raymond says. “Our strength is the platform around optical technology. Robots need to combine optical technology, including 360-degree mapping, interpreting, and monitoring. That’s why our robot research is based on visual optical technology to lead as a platform.”
Optical technology is key to best VR experience
The company is now committed to building a VR+AR ecosystem in China. The strength of the company is its optical technologies, largely coming from its founding members. Founded in August 2014, the co-founders have 20 years of experience in optical technology, smartphone, hardware, and trade.
The company is focusing is on the B2B market with strategic partners including Qualcomm, China Telecom, Ebaby, and Philips.
“The core of a great VR product lies in its computer chip, its screen, and its optical system. Everyone can buy 20K, 10K screen, if you have money you can buy the best computer chips, too. So what matters is the optical system. It decides the user experience and clarity of view,” Raymond says. “Since our main strength is the optical technology, we can apply this technology to any machines and devices for other companies.”
While their AR, VR products will mainly focus on B2B customers Scati ONE, their flagship AR headset will launch its Indiegogo campaign soon.