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Computer vision tech used in VR/AR sees surging growth

Global spending on VR/AR is set soar nearly 72% annually on average from 2017 to 2022, IDC says.
Wang Rongjiang

VSLAM, a key computer vision technology featuring artificial intelligence, is set to see explosive growth this year as it will be increasingly used in VR/AR devices and home robotics, Shanghai Daily learned on Thursday during the ongoing CES Asia, China's biggest consumer electronics show.

VSLAM, or visual simultaneous localization and mapping, uses positioning and mapping technologies and AI algorithms to construct and update a map in unknown environments while simultaneously locating and tracking the position.

Worldwide spending on virtual reality and augmented reality is forecast to grow 71.6 percent annually on average over the 2017-2022 period, said US-based researcher IDC.

Computer vision contributes the most revenue — 60 percent — to AI applications, against 30 percent for voice and under 10 percent for translation, said John Lin, president and CEO of Xvisio Technology, a Shanghai and Silicon Valley-based startup which offers VSLAM technology and solutions for VR/AR and robotics firms.

In 2017,  Xvisio secured 16.5 million yuan (US$2.6 million) in a financing round with leading investor CASSTAR, an investment subsidiary of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It is preparing for another round of financing of 25 million yuan to 30 million yuan, Lin said during an exclusive interview.

Another startup taking part at CES Asia, SanKoBot, expects large-scale production of home robotics powered by VSLAM.

Utilizing computer vision and AI technologies, robots create 3D visual landmarks, recognize key objects and create 3D map of the indoor environment, Amanda Hou, co-founder of SanKobot, told Shanghai Daily during an interview.

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