DEF CON teamed up with Chinese internet giant Baidu to hold the China Party, which was hosted in XRSpace Manova World on 20 March
➨ The China Party was the first DEF CON event to be held in virtual reality and featured live music as well as talks from a range of guest speakers, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak
➨ Hosting the DEF CON China Party came as XRSpace continues to roll out its new headset and social and communication virtual reality platform in China, South Korea and Europe
➨ Manova launched in partnership with Chungwa Telecom in Taiwan in July 2020 and a rollout programme through Baidu and China Telecom is ongoing in China
The China branch of DEF CON, one of the world’s largest hacker conventions, held a spring party in XRSpace Manova World last week.
The China Party was the first DEF CON event to be held in virtual reality and featured live music as well as talks from a range of guest speakers, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
DEF CON teamed up with Chinese internet giant Baidu to hold the party, which was hosted in parallel with a smaller in-person event in Beijing.
Jeff Moss, founder of DEF CON, expressed his support for the event format, saying that it combined the concept of the party with the spirit of the annual convention to bring hackers or ‘geeks’ together as avatars and contemplate the future of technology.
Baidu vice president Ma Jie highlighted the meaning behind the event and DEF CON’s importance as a meeting place for the community it represents.
During his talk, Wozniak gave his view on immersive technologies as they currently stand, saying that virtual reality has a particular effect on emotions that he favours. “It does more than words can do for you, it’s the feeling.”
He continued: “I love being live at a sports game or a concert. In these Covid times, we get these concerts online and they seem sort of dull, but if I could get a virtual reality appearance there, that would be great.”
Although Wozniak wasn’t drawn on what hardware Apple is developing—the latest rumours suggest a virtual and mixed reality headset—he did discuss the evolution of computing platforms.
He compared them to the automobile, which hasn’t really changed in 150 years as a basic concept. He pointed out that smartphones and other handheld devices could turn out to be the mass market’s preference for a long time to come.
Wozniak did add that virtual reality in particular is on a good development track, and a new internet is likely to appear in the virtual space.
XRSpace Manova World awaits
Four hundred Deutsche Telekom customers got their hands on a 5G- and 4G-enabled Manova late last year, so they could test and analyse the headset alongside Manova World, which is billed as a Facebook Horizon-like virtual reality space.
In Europe, the WiFi-only 64GB XRSpace Manova headset is available comes in two editions.
The consumer version costs €499, while the business headset is available for €599.
XRSpace told VRWorldTech last year that the more expensive business edition comes with an extended warranty and owners will be able access the startup’s support team in Taiwan.
Manova launched in partnership with Chungwa Telecom in Taiwan in July 2020 and a rollout programme through Baidu and China Telecom is ongoing in China.
Images: DEF CON and XRSpace