In order to stimulate international collaboration and to bridge companies from Taiwan with professionals in the Southeast Asia market, the XR EXPRESS Taiwan project under the National Development Council (NDC) collaborated with InnoVEX under the Taipei Computer Association (TCA) on 17th December 2020 to host ‘Beyond COVID-19 Limitation: Digital Transformation and Business Opportunities in Southeast Asia’, featuring two digital innovation experts from Malaysia and Indonesia to share their insights on market characteristics, trends, opportunities and how XR technologies can accelerate online business opportunities.
Physical Events on halt due to COVID-19
XR Technologies Creating New Opportunities
Cori Shieh, the Principal Investigator of XR EXPRESS Taiwan and the Honorary President and Honorary Consultant of the Taiwan Association of Virtual and Augmented Reality (TAVAR)
mentioned during her opening speech, that the pandemic causing havoc around the world and corporations has been facing unprecedented challenges. Lots of prospective orders and marketing campaigns have been led to a significant loss due to the suspension of physical events that many industries heavily relied on. However, XR (Extended Reality), a collective of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR), with no time and space constraints, combined with webinar and streaming, is creating a silver lining to the MICE industry to encourage new opportunities.
Cori Shieh also said that virtual exhibition is to apply XR technology to expositions and trades to create an exceedingly interactive virtual environment for attendees, that allows them to feel physical presented in the exhibition and on the booth, and even during in the conversations with other participants. Shieh further indicated, business could be expected to be recovered after the pandemic of COVID-19 by effectively applying XR to combined physical and virtual events.
Malaysia: Consumers Getting Used to Various Online Applications Since the Outbreak
Havene Liew, the President of XR Associates (XRA) in Malaysia, mentioned that Malaysians have immensely accepted online applications since the outbreak began, such as Shopee, Grab, Zoom, Google Meet, e-wallets, online streaming, and so on. Most of the XR solutions are still in prototype or pilot stage, the technology has been proven in specific sectors like industry and safety training, security, and defense. XRA has assisted more than ten local manufacturers and technology suppliers to utilize XR to improve productivity and efficiency. For instance, a practical case that Havene illustrated was one of XRA’s members developing a VR car engine maintenance course for a local automotive college and association with 100 schools.
Liew further stated, 360 VR just becomes mainstream in Malaysia, XRA’s members received many projects including 360 videos and photos, animation, and interactive contents. It can also be found that Malaysia always processes a little bit behind the technology trends compared to other countries. However, with the development of 5G, XR applications have been spotted gradually in the past two years. It is believed that telco will be one of the greatest supporters in XR, as long as the solutions are well integrated with 5G elements.
Indonesia: Best Timing for Investors as Demand for XR in the Social and Entertainment Sectors Reach an All-time High
The founder of OMNIVR, Nico Alyus, stated that virtual exhibition is an interesting alternative during the pandemic. Some of the large and prospective XR projects in Indonesia are postponed due to the outbreak, which brought some XR startups that have excellent skill set and experience losing a big chunk of income. However, it is relatively a perfect timing for investors to enter the market, since the valuations of startups are lower than during their prime time. Furthermore, business opportunities are expected to rise again when the pandemic is overcome.
Alyus also indicated that entering Indonesia market could be tough and expensive. However, by working together with the local XR startups, corporations that strive to expand to Indonesia will immediately receive a proven way to understand the local market including the existing products and pricing strategies. Moreover, XR demand in social and entertainment sectors has been found a huge increasement in Indonesia, which are the applications that OMNIVR is currently running in OMNIX project.
Hybrid O2O M.I.C.E. Events Are Here
Utilize Online Platforms to Save Time and Increase Accuracy
David Chiang, the Public Relations Manager of InnoVEX indicated that in the B2B (business to business) trade events sector, physical events is unlikely to be replaced due to the nature of the complex corporate interactions before confirmation of collaboration. However, COVID-19 can be seen as an accelerant for digital transformation to strengthen a hybrid O2O (online to offline) format of trade events, and the expected quality of the physical events will only be raised. Traditionally, companies attend physical trade events to meet new partners, however, by utilizing XR technologies, online platforms or online professional communities that break the boundaries of time and space as the initial point-of-contact for selection may save on valuable time and resources. Thus, the experience, quality and precision of the physical event may be improved dramatically. David Chiang also recommend under the current circumstances, InnoVEX ONLINE
, COMPUTEX ONLINE Expo
, webinars, online matchmaking and other online professional communities are good resources to utilize to aid the initial selection process before taking the time to schedule a face-to-face meeting where possible.
Cori Shieh, the Principal Investigator of XR EXPRESS Taiwan, further stated, many XR startups in Taiwan are currently offering one-stop service and total solution. These solutions are developed to effectively restart exhibitions by combining virtual and physical applications, which are expected to lead industries to recover after the pandemic of COVID-19.
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