MR allows users to interact with both physical and digital objects simultaneously and, along with VR and augmented reality, forms a group of technologies known as XR.
GDI was founded in 2007 and claims to be one of the earliest VR companies in China. Headquartered in the Songjiang District of Shanghai, the company currently employs over 200 people and focuses on XR hardware and software solutions.
Commonly known in the industry as VR engines, tools like IdeaXR allow users to design and create 3D immersive experiences. In particular, his IdeaXR makes it easier for people with little knowledge of traditional programming languages to build VR content and applications using a so-called graphical interactive editor.
“The key underlying technology for VR is the engine,” Zhou said. “The first thing I wanted to do after starting my business was to build a domestically produced VR engine.”
IdeaXR, released in 2010 under the name DVS3D, has nearly 100,000 users in China and is one of the country’s most popular VR engines after U.S.-made Unity and Unreal Engine, according to Zhou. It has become.
While the other two engines are primarily used by video game developers, GDI differentiates itself by serving a wide range of clients, including education, emergency services, and advanced manufacturing. Chou said these customers are often interested in creating his VR tools for training and tutoring.
GDI’s strategy appears to be working. The company has served over 3,000 corporate customers to date. They include major companies such as Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, Chinese oil refinery giant Sinopec, Peking University, Tsinghua University and Disney.
For the first half of 2023, GDI reports sales will increase 96% year-on-year to 107 million yuan (approximately USD 14.9 million), and net profit will expand to 13.65 million yuan after sales declined 34% did. Last year, Shanghai’s two-month coronavirus lockdown and related supply chain disruptions played a role, Zhou said.
GDI’s business also fits with China’s national strategy to promote the digital economy.
Another national blueprint announced last November aims to grow China’s MR industry to 350 billion yuan by 2026 and achieve shipments of 25 million MR devices.
A few months ago, in July, the Shanghai government announced the establishment of an approximately 10 billion yuan industrial fund dedicated to metaverse development.
Zhou said GDI is committed to supporting domestic technology.
But Chou said GDI was open to using chips made by other companies based on standards from British firm Arm and American firm Intel.
According to Zhou, recent advances in the field of AI have further expanded the possibilities of XR technology.