China’s Rokid rival to Apple’s Imaginative and prescient Professional raises $70 million

Chinese language AR glasses and software program firm Rokid introduced it raised $70 million in a funding spherical led by the federal government of Hefei metropolis. Seen right here, an indication for the corporate’s augmented actuality helmet.

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BEIJING — Chinese language augmented actuality glasses and software program firm Rokid this week introduced it raised 500 million yuan ($70 million) in a funding spherical led by the federal government of Hefei metropolis.

Hefei, which has additionally backed electric car startup Nio, is a hub for autos and semiconductor manufacturing close to Shanghai.

Augmented actuality (AR) know-how permits digital photos to be imposed over the actual world. Apple’s Imaginative and prescient Professional digital actuality headset, set for launch on Feb. 2, additionally allows users to see the real world utilizing what the corporate calls “spatial computing” know-how.

Rokid sells AR glasses for shoppers. However its cope with Hefei will concentrate on utilizing AR for factories, Rokid founder and CEO Misa Zhu advised CNBC in a telephone interview Wednesday.

AR glasses will help with gear security checks, whereas lowering the time employees must spend on coaching, he mentioned, claiming Rokid already has greater than 60% market share in industries resembling power in China.

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Zhu mentioned that since companies care extra in regards to the product’s capabilities than the worth, it permits Rokid to check new AR know-how with industrial prospects earlier than discovering methods to decrease its price and roll it out to shoppers.

Rokid’s cooperation settlement with Hefei metropolis will set up an “industrial metaverse headquarters, an ecosystem center and a research and development center,” local state media said in Chinese language, translated by CNBC.

Whereas firms have diversified their provide chains away from China resulting from geopolitics and labor prices, Beijing has mentioned it needs to construct up home capabilities in superior manufacturing.

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Rokid mentioned it plans to make extra tech bulletins within the coming weeks. The corporate additionally expects vital potential from the incorporation of synthetic intelligence.

“AI plus AR is going to changes people’s lives in the next five to 10 years,” Zhu advised CNBC in Mandarin. “AI will help you to better gather and organize data, and [AR] can be used to display it more naturally.”