At the rise of spring, World VR Forum’s Creative Director and CEO, Salar Shahna took off to 2017 Asia VR and AR Fair and Summit, in Guangzhou, China, from 8 to 11 March.
It was a large-scale event, packed with 100,000 people of all ages in the third biggest city in China, after Shanghai and Beijing, located in the South of the country, in the province of Guangdong, which has shown a strong interest in virtual and augmented reality overall at the governmental level.
VR and AR Fair and 2017 Asia Amusement & Attractions Expo (AAA 2017) were two expos running simultaneously, organized by the Council for the Promotion of Guangdong-Hongkong-Macao Cooperation; The Guangdong Enterprise Association for Foreign Economic Cooperation; and the Guandong Grandeur International Exhibition Group. VR and AR Fair one was fully dedicated to VR and AR while AAA 2017 was an amusement parks fair with many VR components: VR booths, exhibitions, representatives from Leke VR (largest offline VR centres in China with VR Arcades).
The VR and AR Fair also included a two-day conference called Investors’ Forum and a small gig called China VR Joint. Shahna participated in Investors’ Forum, on the first day in the morning. In his presentation, Shahna highlighted the WVRF’s philosophy, its importance in the VR industry as well as WVRF’s annual summit in May where China is a guest country, inviting everyone there to join the summit, especially, as they are Chinese.
Furthermore, Shahna showed the quality of the Swiss works and explained to the audience how the Swiss ecosystem works in VR and AR from universities to industries, how the public, private cooperation works in Switzerland and emphasized what solution Switzerland could bring to China and how further collaboration could be beneficial for both parties.
Shahna’s presentation was well received, as it sparked a substantial interest in Switzerland among his audience which was a balanced mix of people in VR, officials, as the government of Guangdong is very interested in VR, investors, hardware and software makers. Besides Shahna, the audience and speakers were mostly Chinese, except for Julien Bence, who is from XXII company in France, but is based in China and Kevin Williams from the United Kingdom, who is interested in amusement parks.
“We can help bring Chinese content to the World while working together to keep making greater content,” said Shahna, “and be the bridge to connect the East and the West.”
Overall, Shahna was impressed along with the general public by the number of simulators of all kinds that were present at the VR and AR Fair and AAA 2017, which included: gun shooters, paragliding, driving, racing and flying, designed to satisfy everyone’s virtual adventure fantasies.
According to Shahna, VR and AR Fair and AAA 2017 demonstrated China’s enormous desire, potential and investment that’s being put into amusement technologies, designed for pure entertainment of the masses, and Switzerland will be happy to collaborate with China in the advancement of such technologies as it steadily leaps into the VR-evolving future.