In an unassuming two-story building at Beijing’s Jingxi Cultural and Creative Park, Chinese mixed reality startup Seengene is working hard to gain ground on Microsoft, Sony, and other international conglomerates that are located in the nearby Zhongguancun Technology Park.

On a recent visit to the startup’s office; Liu Yang, the CEO, and a colleague, wield their iPads as if they are steering wheels. They regularly use pilot games to test Seengene’s mixed reality technology. Both walk slowly around the office space, eyes fixed on the screen. Their colleagues pay no heed, even if the iPads are aimed at their heads or desks.

More than AR, the game is not only projected on the physical world, it interacts with it. If Liu tries to make his virtual figurine walk through an object on his desk, he will be stopped. Rather than simply overlaying the real world with static virtual information, mixed reality supports users’ ability to control the virtual technology, as well as their capacity to adjust to changes in the real world.

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Eduardo Baptista

Eduardo Baptista is a Beijing-based Portuguese-Korean journalist and editor. His work has appeared in South China Morning Post, CNN, and SupChina.