Xiaomi’s rival Smartisan gets ready for a place in VR

Screen shot from Smartisan's Sina Weibo page
Screen shot from Smartisan’s Sina Weibo page

The rival of Xiaomi, smartphone maker Smartisan is marching into VR development, one of its recent posts on Sina Weibo said.

On Thursday, Smartisan posted a recruitment notice for VR development positions on Weibo. Available posts include software engineers, 3D artists and designers.

This is not the first message revealing Smartisan’s plans for expansion into VR. Noitom, a Chinese company aiming to redefine the motion capture paradigm, told Chinese media at the 2016 GeekPark Innovation Festival that its partners for VR R&D include Alpha Animation, Lenovo, and Smartisan, reported tech media platform 36kr.com in January.

Smartisan, which means “smartphone artisan”, was founded in 2012 and valuated at RMB 470M (USD 72.43M) a year later.

Luo Yonghao, the CEO of Smartisan, has repeatedly said in public that the smartphone may lose its glory to another high-end terminal in the near future, and that since Smartisan is working on a replacement, VR games could be a fair starting point.

Smartisan is not the only one trying to catch up with VR technology. In China, Xiaomi officially announced it will start VR development this January. Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei, told press at the MWC in February that they are making VR technology. Other Chinese tech giants including Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Baofeng Technology, and LeEco have also started development in the VR industry.

Internationally, Facebook, Sony, Samsung, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are the major players in VR. The HTC Vive was introduced at the MWC2015 last March and will be officially launched this April.

(Top photo from zol.com.cn)

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