EXA Global, under the umbrella of digital entertainment and technology company Havson Group is unveiling Malaysia’s first ever Hyper Reality Experience at Setiawalk EXA Outpost.
Referred by EXA Global as South-East Asia’s first ever Hyper-Reality Family Entertainment Center, players will be able to experience a fully immersive, wireless, free-roaming gaming experience at EXA Outpost. This is made possible thanks to the combination of highly advanced virtual reality technologies like untethered backpack setup and multi-user motion capture system employed by EXA Global.
Richard Lee, the CEO of EXA Global explained that engagement is core to the project designed by the team. The focus is to get players involved in the technology to become part of the story.
“Getting the right module, enhancing the formula, experience and content are key components when creating and building an immersive advanced technology to have people sharing their hyper-reality experience with others,” said Lee.
Upon its launching, EXA Outpost will be featuring an exclusive VR multiplayer sci-fi shooter and space exploration mission, named EXA Dimension 12. Imagine role-playing Starship Troopers or Mass Effect in a fully immersive space dimension, that’s what the EXA Dimension 12 is all about. In the mission, players known as Troopers will first be transported to the Ingress room, where they will receive their EXA gears (guns, backpacks, and other wearables) for the upcoming exploration. Once geared up, players will then be dispatched and transported to the Dimension 12, it is here that the players will ride along a thrilling storyline, receive instructions to investigate unexplored regions, and fight off vicious extra-dimensional monsters with a diversified profile of advanced weaponries.
“Being that part of the story for our players is important to us, as we know experience is something valuable we at EXA Global can offer,” said Lee.
EXA Dimension 12, being fully developed in-house by EXA Global, is a respectable feat demonstrated by the talents of the team. For EXA Global, being able to develop content in-house also means they are not reliant on 3rd party developers for their future VR content. This opens a door to a promising future for EXA Global as they are free to develop any content that falls inline with their business strategy. In fact, this advantageous edge can already be observed as EXA Global has already started working on additional VR contents that revolve around horror and kids-friendly themes to expand their content portfolio.
Moving forward, the company notes that it is planning to open future locations around the world, targeting North America, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Australia, and the neighboring countries surrounding Malaysia. Bigger flagship centers ranging from 10,000 square feet to football size venue will also be opened in future to house a bigger crowd, according to Lee.
Other than looking for rapid market expansion, the company is also looking to upgrade its VR hardware to further improve its hyper-reality experience. In the upcoming future, EXA Global will be developing a full body suit with haptic feedback that is mapped according to traditional Chinese acupuncture points to improve the surrealism of the game. Other wearables like VR gloves and augmented reality (AR) wristband will also be developed alongside the full body suit.
Another noteworthy future expansion for EXA Global is the development of VR eSport. With the rise of eSport in recent years, it is also part of EXA Global’s strategy to tap into this trend and pioneer the VR eSport scene. To achieve this, offering player-vs-player (PvP) experience at its VR centers will be one of the upcoming focuses for EXA Global. Seeing the success of eSports giants like Dota 2 (offering a prize pool of whopping $20,770,460 USD for its tournament) and League of Legend (having an active monthly user base of 100 millions players), the potential of VR as the future mainstream eSport is definitely a huge one.
“As part of the creative and innovative pioneer in digital entertainment and technology Havson Group, between ourselves we aim to create the ultimate immersive Hyper-Reality Studio experience within this region,” said Lee.
Located at SetiaWalk, Puchong, EXA Outpost consists of two rooms whereby one is dedicated to the games while the other is a Hyper Reality Arcade Entertainment Center where players can play VR arcade games. Open for public starting from 3rd of June, for those who wants to take a deep dive into the hyper-reality experience, players can now book for a pair of ticket at a promotional pricing of RM65 on their official website: https://www.exa-global.com/booking.php
Gear up, ladies and gentlemen! EXA GLOBAL – under the umbrella of digital entertainment and technology company Havson Group – is urgently recruiting soldiers for an immediate search and rescue mission of their fellow comrades missing in action while on an exploration to a foreign dimension, and they were hailing all new recruits to gather at the latest hyper-reality Family Entertainment Center (FEC) at SetiaWalk’s EXA Outpost, to be “transported” and save their comrades from danger at their recent launch.
The latest disruptive FEC to invade the gaming scene in Malaysia, EXA Outpost at SetiaWalk is a first-person, hyper-reality immersive experience that puts players right smack dab in the middle of a dimension exploration. EXA Outpost brags the rights to be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, being a quality full-service Hyper-Reality–FECs (Family Entertainment Centers) that will command the approval of the predominantly Malaysian community which it serve.
Mr. Richard Lee, CEO of EXA Global said that engagement is the core to every project being designed by the team – to get their players involved in the technology, to be a part of the story, and experience the game together as a team.
“EXA Outpost is a project of exploration; we invite friends and family to explore, to engage, to defend and return home with an experience where they can share with one another. The moment they book their tickets, we want them to experience the story together as a team,” said Mr. Lee during the launch of EXA Outpost recently.
“Getting the right module, enhancing the formula, experience and content are key components when creating and building an immersive advanced technology to have people sharing their hyper-reality experience with others. Being that part of the story for our players is important to us, as we know experience is something very valuable we at EXA Global can offer.”
A mixture of both physical and hyper-reality attractions that holds a fully immersive, wireless free roaming concept, the gaming content of EXA Outpost are created and developed solely by EXA Global themselves. A Sci-fi shooting game involving multi-players of four in a closed room, troopers will firstly be placed in EXA Outpost’s Ingress room for a briefing on their mission and safety conditions, where they will be suited up with the EXA Gear – player-wearable technology consisting of backpacks, guns, headset, batteries and charging system.
Players will then experience the real highlight of the dimension exploration along with the outer space atmosphere through their ANGKAS system, providing troopers with a more surreal and breathtaking experience. Players will immerse themselves in a surreal movie-like graphic story of being trained as new recruits equivalent to Starship Troopers in a graphically-enhanced Mission Room, receiving orders from a certain Commander Rick and dispatched to explore a foreign dimensional space that will leave players in awe and admire the ‘reality’ of an unexplored realm. Players are instructed to navigate the deep caves of the dimension and investigate the area, encouraging them to explore, engage and experience the whole story and the surreal atmosphere they are transported into, and work together as a team to conquer their mission when encountering large and vicious alien-like monsters.
Mr. Lee emphasized that its innovative facilities will have a positive impact within the Family Entertainment Centers both in Malaysia and on a global scale – having fully analysed and researched the market to effusively enhance the augmented reality solution for both gamers and non-gamers. He went on to add that there are more enhancements and developments to be made to allow their players visiting EXA Outpost have the full immersive experience in letting them feel what EXA Global wants them to feel.
“As part of the creative and innovative pioneer in digital entertainment and technology Havson Group, between ourselves we created the ultimate immersive Hyper-Reality Studio experience within this region.
“With great minds combined, we successfully developed a unique and distinctive system of high quality Hyper-Reality Entertainment Centers and create an exceptional yet incredible experience bringing hyper-reality to a new height,” said Mr. Lee.
Mr. Lee added that Team Building and Communication have always been the pillars embedded in EXA Global’s hyper-reality projects, as they truly believe that hyper-reality can bring people together and providing them that opportunity to let themselves go and immerse in communication to achieve a goal together.
“At EXA Outpost, the “wow” factor is something we want to evoke in people, as the stories we tell and the experience we give, is what each and every person will be bringing home and return for more, as such experience is always crucial in every project we do,” said Mr. Lee.
EXA Outpost also consists of two rooms: dedicated to the games and a Hyper-Reality Arcade Entertainment Centre where patrons can play VR arcade games.
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The facility is managed by Recruit’s R&D headquarters and acts as an incubator to support tenant startups which are classified into community and project members throughout the incubation process.
The classification is made in reference to the maturity of their developing services whereby the startups, after half a year, will have to present and exhibit their incubation outcome since they have moved in.
The Demo Day for the 6th batch was a big pitch event seeing the participation of 21 teams whereby six teams in the regular course and six teams in the virtual reality (VR) course made three-minute pitches presenting their incubation results since joining the program.
Additionally, the remaining nine teams were excluded from examination by judges though they were given the chance to make one-minute pitches which can be voted for the Audience Award.
Judges for the pitch competition included the CEO of Colopl Next – Shintaro Yamagami , the Director of LINE Business Strategy – Shinichiro Isago, the Startup Business Development Manager of Amazon Web Services in Japan – Hiroshi Hata, the Managing Partner of 500 Startups in Japan – Yohei Sawayama, and the Head of Media Technology Lab and Recruit Holdings – Yoichi Aso.
There were 7 prizes in total, that is the choice startup from each individual judge a Special Award as well as an Audience Award. In this event, HoloEyes, a startup aiming to make an information revolution in the medical field using VR has received the Tech Lab Paak award, winning a supplemental prize of pair meal ticket for a hotel dinner.
Founded by Naoji Taniguchi, an engineer and Maki Sugimoto, a surgeon and the Associate Professor of the International University of Health and Welfare Graduate School, HoloEyes is a technology that will help the medical world through the facilitation of medical information sharing of human bodies in the 3DVR form.
In this aspect, HoloEyes has constructed a medical VR database which through the accumulation of various CT scan data will be utilised to construct customised 3D human body models. For instance, if the criteria are the terms male, 60s, prostate cancer, 3D images of matched cases will be output. Then, doctors can utilize these 3D images for diagnosis references of similar cases or training upon surgical operations.
The firm expects a business model providing VR viewers for hospitals and selling collected data after obtaining patients’ consent to medical colleges or pharmaceutical companies.
On the other hand, winners also include MacroSpace which won the 500 Startups Award along with meal tickets worth 30,000 yen, Embody me by Paneo which won the Colopl Next Award and its supplemental prize of Apple store gift cards worth 30,000 yen, as well as Orario which won the LINE Award with a set of uncut boiled snow crab, and Oton Glass who won the AWS Award with 30,000 Amazon gift cards and a lunch ticket for Amazon cafeteria.
Additionally, a Special Award was also awarded to Psychic VR Lab for their STYLY project – a VR shopping platform focusing on fashion with its supplemental gift being a visit right for Microsoft Japan’s Technology Center led by its Director Madoka Sawa. Besides, the Audience Award accompanied by a supplemental prize of the membership of TECH LAB PAAK as a Project Member was given to Orario and Macrospace.
The influence of China in advancing fintech is likely to grow even stronger in 2017 with the establishment of Asia FinTech Fund Of Funds (FOF) which has accumulated a substantial funding of 10 billion yuan (approximately US$1.44 billion) to invest in fintech startups across Asia.
Based in Beijing, the foundation was formed on December 27 and is led by Hong Kong-listed Credit China FinTech Holdings along with a number of other Chinese companies such as Shanghai Xinhua Distribution Group, China Huarong International, Jilin Province Investment Group Corp Ltd and seven other corporate partners.
“In addition to the aforesaid state-owned enterprises and private enterprises, China Cultural Industry Association, New Times Trust Co Ltd, Shenzhen China Create Group, N-Securities Co Ltd, Beijing Yongyu Investment, Tianjing Borong and Juntong Capital are also partners of the fund,” Credit China FinTech said in a statement,
The fund will primarily be used to target financial and tech mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Asia, with investments, focused on fintech fields such as big data, artificial intelligence, mobile payments, supply chain financing, and blockchain technology.
“The fund already has projects in the pipeline, covering big-data driven consumption financing, blockchain infrastructure provision, and AI-based credit service platforms,” according to Xie Sha, the Managing Partner of Asia Fintech FOF.
The investment fund also comes as a signal showing China’s growing status in dominating the financial and technology market in the international platform.
A report released by DBS and consultant EY has also ranked China as the number one fintech destination, overtaking London, New York and Silicon Valley as the world’s “FinTech Hub”.
This result is largely contributed by the developments across multiple hubs, such as Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou in East China’s Zhejiang Province and Shenzhen in South China’s Guangdong Province.
On a similar note, the Asia FinTech FOF, also comes as the second fund of funds (FOF) after the Zhongguancun FOF, which was established in 2015 with an allotted fund of 30 billion yuan (approximately US$ 4.32 billion).
Asia FinTech FOF attempts to establish growth in the fintech industry is another attempt in China’s cap to establish its economic dominance in the Asia-Pacific region- especially if Beijing can compete with Singapore or London in the fintech sector.
“Leveraging on the fund partners’ experiences and competitive advantages in brand recognition, industry resources, and expertise, the Fund aims to invest in innovative FinTech enterprises with potential and help them to be the FinTech leaders with our technical know-how and capital resources,” said Sheng Jia, the Credit China FinTech Executive Director.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media
IdeaSpace Foundation, an early-stage technology incubator and accelerator in the Philippines has formally launched its National Startup Competition for 2017 and has begun accepting innovative technology ideas.
IdeaSpace is a non-profit foundation backed by First Pacific, Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC), Metro Pacific Tollways Corp (MPTC), MPIC hospital group, PLDT, Meralco, Smart Communications, Maynilad, Voyager Innovations, and PayMaya Philippines.
On its fifth year, the 2017 IdeaSpace National Startup Competition will be increasing its finalist quota, accepting 15 startups instead of the usual 10, into the final acceleration process.
The acceptance of more startups is part of IdeaSpace’s efforts to expand and accommodate the local startup ecosystem, which it noted has seen robust growth over the past four years.
“We’ve seen very inspiring stories of startup founders joining IdeaSpace over the years, from husband-and-wife tandems to students looking to make their own mark in the world,” said the Executive Director of IdeaSpace, Diane Eustaquio.
“This year, we’re looking to extend our support to more startup founders with burning passion for starting up their own business and helping the country progress with the help of technology and innovation,” she adds.
All 15 startups that make it to the finals next year will receive an equity fee funding of PHP 500,000, which translates to an approximate amount of US$ 10,000.
Besides, the teams will also receive support for housing, transportation, incorporation, office space, communication, software, classes and training, as well as mentorship from executives under First Pacific companies, the total value of which amounts to more than PHP 1 million.
However, IdeaSpace will not have a stake in their early-stage startups.
Newly appointed IdeaSpace president Butch Meily said the foundation has been extending its capacity into a – full ecosystem support. This is to ensure that most of the startups are guided every step of the way.
“We’ve realized over the years that startups need as much support as they can get in every step of the process, from bringing their ideas to life to launching them into the market, and even to making their startups grow further,” Meily explains.
But aside from incubation and acceleration programs, IdeaSpace has also been an avid supporter of startup community events in the country and overseas, such as the annual Geeks on a Beach conference, the Slingshot MNL programme by the Department of Trade & Industry, as well as the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival.
Since launching in 2012, IdeaSpace has incubated and funded a total of 52 startups, some of which have grown and evolved into large businesses and enterprises such as PinoyTravel and TimeFree Innovations.
Interested individuals or groups may submit their unique startup ideas by logging on to apply.ideaspacefoundation.org. Deadline for submission of ideas is on January 12, 2017.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media