Mr Negachev, Russian technology is lagging behind and lacks innovation, writes some Western media …
Negachev: (laughing) You start the interview with a provocative statement, but that is fine. Russian technology and business is one of the most innovative, and leading in many fields. A good example is our own project VRT World. We developed a blockchain platform that will unite virtual reality (VR) developers from all over the world and give them access to technological solutions required to create their own products. This is unique – try to find something similar in the West. But we are going to open so-called “VR-parks” in Europe and Asia very soon where people can experience the newest VR developments. In December, we are opening the first VR park in Moscow. In it, VR fans will have access to a wide variety of VR products.
Almost all technology businesses are using VR also in the West …
Negachev: I am not speaking about sitting on the couch with a huge VR mask and waving the hands around. We speak about a new development – the Full Body Tracking VR technology. The distinct feature of our technology is that the reverse kinematics algorithm traces the movement of not one, but several players at the same time. Moreover, the algorithm autonomously calculates the trajectory of limb movements and joint rotations consistent with human anatomy. That means: We can simultaneously immerse an entire team into virtual reality and emulate any scenario — a complete illusion of falling from height, being in a spacecraft cabin or even zero gravity — by combining Full Body Tracking VR with a vertical wind tunnel. And all this is done with a maximum accuracy of movements, down to the millimeter.
It is about computer games?
Negachev: Games are a part of it. But VR technology provides much more, not just in the field of entertainment. One doesn’t necessarily have to run around in a futurist world with a laser gun or grenade thrower to benefit from VR. Architects can literally invite their clients for a tour in a building before the construction works even started, police and military service men will be able to train in different environments and scenarios in groups. Historians can reconstruct and walk through ancient places in VR. There will be full VR Olympics for cyber athletes. VR is much more than just a technology, and I am proud that we are the leading group.
What’s the purpose of the blockchain platform VRT World?
Negachev: The VR market is actively growing. SuperData Research reports that the VR industry will be worth $4.9 billion by the end of 2017 with Dell Technologies predicting that it’ll reach $30 billion by 2020. But the market is poorly organized: players conduct disparate policies and pursue their own goals. As a result, the increasing demand for high-quality VR content has yet to be met. The lack of content is also caused by the time-intensiveness and complexity of its production that requires expensive equipment. The blockchain platform will unite VR developers from all over the world by providing them SDK and API access to create their own products. Developers will be able to test and monetize their games at offline venues in different countries — the VR parks. Developers will also be able to monetize their projects by looking for customers in the internal marketplace of the ecosystem. Blockchain will guarantee an honest, transparent, and automatic distribution of funds and the protection of their intellectual property rights. Purchasing a piece of content will automatically generate a smart contract for license checks or royalty distribution. The platform will also have a support fund for promising developers.