Hong Kong – Tailor Insight, the fintech market research organization, recently released a research report “WIMI Hologram Cloud’s Annual Revenue in 2020 Increased by 140% Year-On-Year, Which Is Expected to Further Expand Its Market Share”. When watching a Hollywood blockbuster, there is a scene that we are very familiar with. The protagonist in the film waves his hand, and a three-dimensional virtual display will appear in front of him. The content on the screen can be switched at will. In many museums, concerts, or fashion shows, people often see similar three-dimensional images, and the effect is vivid and shocking. Many people call this “holographic projection”. It seems that the scenes in Hollywood blockbusters have now been realized. Is this really the case?
As an emerging industry, the global holographic AR market has huge growth potential. It has attracted a large amount of investment since 2016 and has made a huge contribution to the growth of the industry. Several organizations, including research and development, are investing heavily in technology to develop solutions for businesses and consumer groups. Over the years, the holographic augmented reality market has been widely used in several fields, such as games, media, and marketing. Its application scope in different industries such as advertising, entertainment, education, and retail continues to expand, and it is expected to drive demand during the forecast period.
In 2021, there is also a highly anticipated global “breaking news” in the AR/VR field, that is, Apple’s AR glasses Apple Glass may be released as early as the second half of the year. Various signs indicate that AR/VR will occupy a place among the investment hotspots of China’s primary capital market in 2021.
Since the development of the global AR/VR industry, it has gone through a conceptual period, a boom period, and a trough period. After 2019, the industry’s growth curve has crossed the downward turning point, and AR/VR has begun to return to the public’s vision. At present, the industry is in the dawn of the next wave of high-speed growth. The systematic driving force of this upward trend is mainly due to the rapid development of basic layer technology and infrastructure as the bottom support of the AR/VR industry in the past few years, mainly including 5G commercial, AI, cloud computing, edge computing, etc.
As a great invention, AR has attracted many high-tech companies to gather here. On April 29, Beijing time, WIMI Hologram Cloud (WIMI.US), one of China’s leading holographic cloud platforms, submitted a 20F report to the US SEC, disclosing the company’s 2020 annual report and the latest shareholding structure as of December 31, 2020. The financial report shows that the company’s revenue was 766 million yuan (CNY, the same below), compared with 319 million yuan in the same period last year, with an increase of 140% year-on-year.
1. Company introduction
According to some public information, WIMI focuses on holographic cloud services, mainly in vehicle-mounted AR holographic HUD, 3D holographic pulse LiDAR, head-mounted light field holographic equipment, holographic semiconductor, holographic cloud software, holographic car navigation, and other professional fields, covering multiple links of AR technology, including holographic vehicle-mounted AR technology, 3D holographic pulse LiDAR technology, holographic vision semiconductor technology, holographic software development, holographic AR advertising technology, holographic AR entertainment technology, holographic ARSDK payment, interactive holographic communication, and so on. It is a holographic cloud comprehensive technical solution provider.
2. The operating income of WIMI Hologram Cloud
Total revenue in 2020 significantly increased year-on-year by 446.8 million yuan, an increase of 140.0% year-on-year, from CNY 319.2 million in 2019 to CNY 766 million ($117.4 million). Research and development expenses increased significantly from 18.4 million yuan in 2019 to 85 million yuan ($13 million), a year-on-year increase of 362.8%.
The main reason for the substantial increase in R&D expenses was that WIMI hired more IT engineers to engage in the research and development of advanced AR holography and related projects, which led to an increase in salary. In addition, through the development of outsourcing technology, WIMI also focuses on the applied research and development of holographic AR technology in semiconductor, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data 5G, and other fields. The purpose of WIMI’s substantial increase in R&D investment is to rapidly improve the capabilities of holographic AR technology in order to maintain the company’s leading competitive advantage in the AR holographic industry.
Since its establishment in 2015, WIMI has been providing AR-based holographic services and products to meet customer needs, focusing on providing customers and end-users with innovative and immersive interactive holographic AR experiences. Since July 2020, the company has begun to develop its semiconductor business and provide corporate customers with comprehensive solutions for computer chip products, central processing algorithms, related services, as well as software and semiconductor businesses. In 2020, the company’s holographic AR business and semiconductor business will generate approximately 44% and approximately 56.0% of revenue, respectively.
3. Holographic cloud ecology is gradually taking shape
WIMI Hologram Cloud has established a huge technology research and development ecosystem in the holographic AR industry, through investment and mergers and acquisitions. According to Sullivan’s data survey, the global holographic AR market will develop rapidly. From 2020 to 2025, the annual growth rate of AR software and content will be 68.7%, and the annual growth rate of AR hardware will be 67.9%. As a listed company in the holographic AR industry, WIMI has a high global popularity. In 2020, through investment, as well as mergers and acquisitions of many R&D companies in the holographic AR industry, WIMI will obtain industry gathering and support, forming a powerful holographic AR technology research and development ecosystem, and building a holographic AR value industry chain with high expansion potential.
After the launch of 5G, the first scene application will accelerate the development of VR/AR, and the growth rate of the Chinese market will be higher than that of the global market. Therefore, with the blessing of 5G, the communication transmission shortcomings of immersive game scenes such as VR/AR will be compensated, and it is expected that the commercial use of VR/AR of immersive games will accelerate. According to the research of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, the global virtual reality industry scale is close to 100 billion yuan, and the compound annual growth rate of 2017-2022 is expected to exceed 70%. According to the forecast of Greenlight, the global virtual reality industry scale will exceed 200 billion yuan in 2020. Among them, the VR market is 160 billion yuan, and the AR market is 45 billion yuan. In addition, for the Chinese market, according to IDC’s latest “IDC Global Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide”, by 2023, China’s AR/VR market spending will reach $65.21 billion, which is higher than the 2019 forecast ($6.53 billion). At the same time, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2018 to 2023 will reach 84.6%, which is higher than the 78.3% growth rate of the global market.
The impact of 5G in the future will go far beyond the scope of the technology industry and affect all levels of society. Automotive electronics, communications electronics, and industrial/medical electronics will be the fastest-growing application markets in 2020 and the next three years. Automotive electronics, VR/AR, and Internet of Things electronics will be the priority industries that benefit from 5G.
With the continuous maturity of technology and the decline of unit material cost, or the emergence of better alternative projection materials, after this, as a comprehensive supplier that not only can research and develop, as well as provide overall solutions and related services, but also provide one-stop solutions for hardware integration and display content production, it may come to the fore and obtain substantial benefits.
As a display technology that can help mankind solve some space problems, its application fields, and foreseeable development prospects are unimaginable. Although there are still a series of problems, there is no doubt that the holographic projection industry has great market prospects.
As a revolutionary technology with subversive significance, we can foresee that holographic projection technology has very huge and revolutionary application value in many aspects. It can be used in three-dimensional movies, television, exhibitions, microscopy, interferometry, projection lithography, military reconnaissance surveillance, underwater detection, metal internal detection, preservation of precious historical relics, artworks, entertainment venues, bars, karaoke lounges, and many other places in which it can be widely used.
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