Recently, PG Verse announced the completion of a Pre-A round financing worth several millions of dollars. This round of financing was funded by New Access Capital, BlueRun Ventures and Youshan Capital. The funds are aimed at bolstering the company’s Metaverse ambitions and its underlying technology, including the integration of “R&D + Algorithm + Computing Power” such as spatial computing, AIGC and 3D cloud services, and accelerate the process of commercial applications, 36Kr reported.
Founded in 2022, PG Verse is an independent brand spun off from the space-time AI industry empowerment platform “WAYZ Technology”. After its separation, PG Verse mainly relies on spatial computing intelligent platform and spatial AIGC technology to create urban meta-space with a symbiosis of data and reality, so as to expand the virtual and real interactive experience and service of offline spaces.
Although the concept of the Metaverse re-emerged several years ago in the commercial field, until now the industry has not reached a consensus on the optimal development path of Metaverse and the final form of its commercial application.
From the perspective of a development path, both digital twin and digital native have enterprise layouts at present. Digital twin combines reality with emptiness, maps the real world into the virtual world, and advocates promoting reality with space; Digital origin is from virtual to real, that is, it creates a virtual world that has no corresponding relationship with the physical world. Some people think that digital twin is the virtualization of the real world, while digital nativity represents a more mature stage of Metaverse. However, in terms of enjoying space, the difference between them lies in whether they think that the real world is still beautiful and full of value.
The reason why PG Verse chose “Real Metaverse” as the development path of its digital twin is precisely because it believes that with the support of the underlying technology of Metaverse, the real world can in turn benefit.
Fan Xiao, CEO of PG Verse, said: “By ‘transforming’ the original space and superimposing digital elements such as content and interaction, the digital experience that once existed only on the Internet appeared in the offline world, which is the incremental innovation of Metaverse technology in the real world. The Metaverse is based on space computing and space AIGC which breaks the uniqueness and monotony of the physical space itself and endows space with an infinite imagination and incremental value.”
Specifically, for space users, the value of Metaverse lies in expanding content carriers, improving interactive efficiency and optimizing the interactive experience. For owners and managers, the value of Metaverse lies in the renewal and incremental value of assets.
On the one hand, Metaverse itself is an innovation of the interaction paradigm between man and space, and it also involves the upgrading of interaction means, content carrier and presentation form. Moving the interactive interface to real meta-space first means pulling people’s experience back offline, but the content carrier becomes a three-dimensional space with virtual and real integration. By superimposing the digital information in space, the content form that people can perceive will become three-dimensional, diversified and customizable.
Secondly, the interactive tools that people can use are no longer limited to traditional electronic devices such as the PC or smartphone, but also include new generation intelligent devices such as XR. These devices are fundamentally windows for people to observe the new environment. On the basis of visual digitalization, people can quickly obtain diversified information contained in buildings and various objects in real space, such as the service content that can be obtained in specific places, the price that needs to be paid for corresponding services, and the style classification of shops. This is expected to reduce offline search costs and improve offline interaction efficiency.
At the same time, in terms of interaction, in real life, people’s own behaviors, whether they turn their heads, raise their hands, stay and consume, are a manifestation of interaction with their surroundings. For example, in the future, people’s way of expressing “love” could be directly changed from praising and giving gifts through electronic screens to “voting with their feet”.
On the other hand, the offline world has a natural flow, but the key lies in the attraction and transformation of that flow. Fan Xiao, CEO of PG Verse, said: “Whether it is a commercial street, a subway station, a railway station and other places, the flow of people actually exists naturally. However, these traffic flows are actually have not been fully utilized. By digitizing real space, we can help offline space owners and managers to realize space renewal and value-added benefits on the basis of data analysis, supplemented by novel content creation and matching people and scenes in the future. “
To realize the value creation in the above three aspects, technology and understanding of the needs of various spatial subjects are very important. PG Verse said that the company has built certain technical advantages in spatial data collection, access and utilization, and accumulated a corresponding engineering implementation experience in the city Metaverse track.
At the technical level, on the one hand, PG Verse can use inertial navigation Tracking, panoramic image lidar and other hardware equipment developed by Weizhi Technology to help realize efficient modeling of panoramic large space. On the other hand, PG Verse has developed an independent Spatial Computing intelligent platform, which can realize dynamic perception, real-time high-precision positioning and dynamic 3D cloud interaction of seamless indoor and outdoor scenarios, and endow XR intelligent terminals such as smartphones, cars, glasses and robots with spatial perception and positioning capabilities.
In addition, PG Verse has realized spatial intelligent modeling, 3D interactive experience generation and rapid editing by using space AIGC technology, and started the exploration of AIGC content co-creation in campus Metaverse scenario.
At the market level, in addition to the campus Metaverse, PG Verse has jointly built the Shanghai Zhangjiang Group park in the Zhang Jiang High-Tech Park Artificial Intelligence Island in the city of Shanghai, and created a real-life meta-space for store marketing, financial services and comprehensive commercial street diversion for Watsons, Bank of China and a commercial street. In 2023, the company expects to have dozens of applications to implement.
In terms of demand, Weixiang Space believes that the demand of both commercial space owners/managers and public space owners/managers will exist for a long time. For the former, the demand comes from the commercial value that Metaverse can bring to it. First, improve operational efficiency and reduce operating costs. Second, the attraction and transformation of offline natural flow. For the latter, the demand comes from the improvement of space management efficiency and the reduction of space operation and maintenance costs.
From the policy point of view, PG Verse said that it is beneficial to the development of the industry at present. Based on various Metaverse industry development policies issued by the national and local governments, the total market volume of Metaverse has reached a trillion dollar level. Among them, Shanghai alone put forward the goal that Metaverse’s market size will reach 350 billion by 2025.
At the partner level, PG Verse has started strategic cooperation with many hardware manufacturers, such as AR glasses R&D, XR glasses manufacturer Nreal, etc., to integrate more terminal windows to enter the city’s Metaverse. At the same time, the company is also discussing cooperation with virtual IP and virtual digital avatar companies such as Tom Cat.
However, the current development path and prospect of Metaverse is still in the exploratory stages, and the ultimate form of application has not yet been determined. PG Verse explained: “The business cases at this stage benefit from the specific demand of the market for us to a certain extent. In the past few years, our main energy has focused on polishing related technologies, and we have not yet put forward a clear goal of commercial implementation. Later, one of the reasons for deciding to operate independently was to do more exploration in commercialization and the experience-value implementation.” It is reported that PG Verse has generated a profit last year.
In terms of its team, at present, PG Verse’s employees mainly come from WAYZ Technology’s R&D department. Meanwhile, the PG Verse project is still led by Tao Chuang, founder and chairman of Weizhi Technology. Dr. Tao Chuang is an authoritative expert on the topic of international space computing and the national chief research professor of space computing in Canada. He used to be the global head of Microsoft’s Virtual Earth Department and the partner and CEO of PPTV. PG Verse CEO Fan Xiao is a continuous entrepreneur in the fields of Metaverse and AI. He has worked in large institutions such as Accenture, Kunlun Tech and Ipsos. Other core members of the team have experience in large tech firms such as Google, Microsoft, MagicLeap, Tencent and NetEase.