DingTalk, the workplace app developed by Alibaba Group Holding. Plans to launch new AR glasses so users can conduct virtual meetings, in the tech giant’s latest move to stake out a claim in the metaverse.
The AR glasses will include self-adjusted optical features, eliminating the need for nearsighted people to wear extra glasses. On Wednesday, state-owned media Beijing News reported Ye Jun, president of DingTalk and a vice-president of Alibaba, as stating.
Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.
The platform’s strategy to establishing the metaverse, according to Ye, is the new headgear. Which integrates enhancements over DingTalk’s prior AR products and makes the workspace more “immersive”. Moreover the glasses’ official release date has yet to be determined.
In 2020, DingTalk will introduce its first AR glasses in conjunction with Beijing-based AR start-up Nreal. They showcased the DingTalk software. Which allows users to hold conference calls using a headset in a “3D virtual meeting room”. On DingTalk’s Taobao shop, the device costs 13,999 yuan (US$2,202).
Last September, Nreal received a new round of funding from Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital. And Nio Capital, the venture capital arm of Chinese electric car maker NIO.
DingTalk, whose user base surpassed 500 million in October. Additionally intends to leverage the new devices to bring real-world professional operations into the metaverse.
DingTalk will become the connection point between the digital world and the physical world
The move is Alibaba’s latest step toward establishing a foothold in the metaverse, which many perceive as the next generation of the internet and a hot new tech idea.
Over the last year, the e-commerce behemoth has boosted its investment in the AR business. In addition with at least US$1 billion pumped into AR and VR-related start-ups, including Magic Leap of the United States.
Alibaba’s own scientific and technology school Damo Academy, is delving into the sector as well, in addition to outside collaboration and investment.
Its XR Lab, which focuses on AR and VR research and development, has created a system that can scan an offline store and turn it into a virtual counterpart that can be seen on a mobile device, replete with product information and even virtual storekeepers.