Virtual reality (VR) isn’t a new concept but in many people’s minds the entertainment offerings were limited to glorified tech demos. Until, that is, the young people who attended Future Battle found themselves impressed by what they saw.
“Dozens of people can play against each other in the virtual world. You can touch the doorknobs and elevator buttons in the game, and you can roam freely,” one attendee said after playing with his colleagues at a Beijing franchise of Future Battle. “This kind of thrill and authenticity cannot be experienced with traditional VR goggles.”
Future Battle: The largest VR gaming arena in China
The Future Battle in Changying, Beijing, covers an area of 1,000 square meters and is capable of accommodating up to 40 people playing at the same time. It is one of more than 140 fields found in over 80 cities across China, with physical spaces varying from 50 to 1000 square meters.
Future Battle, a large-scale VR e-sports brand under STEPVR, offers an immersive experience to its players with life-like sight, smell, hearing and touch. The space also offers a sense of balance and the freedom to roam about in a spacious playground-like environment.
Future Battle has served over 1 million customers.and 70 percent of first-time customers later became regular members. The space attracts people of all ages, including the youth interested in VR gaming, corporate workers looking for fun team-building activities, and parents spending family time together with their children.
With its Future Battle playgrounds, STEPVR has found a way to monetize its state-of-art VR technology. The technology is now catapulting onto the world stage with the company’s VR gaming stores, the largest single VR arena and the only one to offer CS and MOBA games in VR.
Future Battle is like the Internet café when PCs weren’t so common, says founder and CEO of STEPVR Dr. Guo Cheng. When the VR facilities receive wide-scale adoption in business locations like Future Battle, STEPVR’s next mission is to recreate the VR experience for families.
STEPVR: A pioneer of the virtual world
Founded in 2013, STEPVR took the lead in producing VR devices, and aims to popularize VR equipment much like PCs have become in people’s homes.
It has a team of 140 people with 100 concentrating on R&D alone. Over the past nine years, the team has made significant breakthroughs — from lessening the de-synchronization of the vestibular system to developing the world’s first, fully immersive home-use VR equipment.
In October 2015, the company promoted its first generation of the technology which featured precise laser positioning capabilities. The technology at that time was able to track users to within a millimeter of movement.
In June 2019, the second generation was rolled out at Future Battle which enabled dozens of players the ability to wander about the epic scale of different worlds. The freedom to move around helps minimize the VR motion sickness some can experience as a result from conflicting signals between one’s static body and moving virtual surroundings.
In September 2021, STEPVR went one step further and brought the sense of touch to Future Battle. By way of pulling or pushing a robotic handle with force feedback, players are now able to touch a doorknob or elevator buttons in the game.
Dr. Guo took up the emerging buzzword of “metaverse” – a term referring to an immersive virtual world that is facilitated by the use of VR – and linked it with his own VR kingdom ambition, and now calls his work the “opening of the gate to the world of the metaverse.”
VR Gates 01: Full VR experience at home
After nine years of concentrated effort on metaverse access points, STEPVR finally launched last week its new VR Gates 01 cage. Users can now experience an immersive, all-encompassing gaming experience within a small cubicle that takes up no more than a two-square meter space.
As users on a VR headset, haptic vest and gloves and then are free to walk or run on the omnidirectional motion platform, participants will be ushered into the next evolution of digital connection.
Designed for maximum immersion, Gates 01 is able to reproduce every body movement and every facial expression with several modules, including a lightweight headset, a laser positioning system and an omnidirectional motion system.
The super-lightweight headset only weighs 150 grams, as light as an orange, but it features 4k resolution, delivers high-definition, and allows for diopter adjustment. The laser positioning technology is the one widely applied within Future Battle. It can locate a players’ movement within one millimeter and lags only by 2 milliseconds or so. Last but just as important, the omnidirectional motion system makes it possible to adjust speed and motion, allowing turning and stopping in any direction.
Following the same experience-first approach that PCs had when they were first made available at Internet cafés before becoming commonly used in homes, Gates 01 will start to be supplied to businesses first in July and offers an in-person experience to customers at Future Battle. A smaller version intended for home use will be open to the public at the end of the year.
MetaStar: A reliable partner of influencers
MetaStar, another new system also introduced at the press conference on Thursday, provides a new way for social media influencers to connect with their audience.
Influencers can use the system to create an avatar to make videos and even stream live. MetaStar can capture and reproduce every movement of the influencers, and do live video streaming for up to five hours. It can also be used for virtual press conferences, saving the cost of setting up locations. And that’s exactly how STEPVR’s press conference was presented on Thursday.
STEPVR is empowerinf everyone to experience the next platform of our world and to bring the metaverse to life. Behind its cutting-edge devices building up this gateway connecting humans to the metaverse, hundreds of engineers spent nine years, wrote 23,518,900 lines of code, and secures 88 patents. With this experience and depth of research behind them, they know they are shaping the future.