The Psychic VR Lab team spoke about their Spacial XR platform, STYLY, discussed the transformation of air racing into a 5-dimensional motorsports event with AIR RACE X, and shared their vision for the future of Spacial XR Entertainment initiatives.
Psychic VR Lab
Psychic VR Lab Co., Ltd. is a company that provides STYLY, a real metaverse platform capable of creating and distributing content interlinked with urban spaces.
Since our establishment in 2016, we have undertaken numerous XR projects that offer platform services, nurture creators, and utilize real urban spaces and commercial facilities.
We envision a future where, akin to our present-day routine of sending and receiving images and videos, everyone will be able to create and share "spaces" themselves.
Currently, in anticipation of the upcoming era where "space becomes wearable," we are developing a "Spacial XR Entertainment Business" in collaboration with companies and creators who possess various real assets, including real estate, media, and IP.
Through STYLY, we are mediatizing real urban spaces and overlaying various XR layers to allow experiencing space itself, much like switching with a TV remote control.
AIR RACE X
AIR RACE X is the world’s first Spacial XR sport, establishing XR not merely as an auxiliary content to enliven events but as a "sports competition" in its own right. Remarkably, its venue is the central city of Shibuya, where airplanes can never fly.
Pilots, stationed at various global bases, compete in a course modeled after Shibuya's terrain, vying for times in a remote format. In Shibuya, four gates are set, and pilots fly through them at their respective local airstrips, using an RDU measuring device that indicates penalties and gate passings.
By uploading the flight data onto STYLY, races can be realized in the real world through AR. Spectators can experience the race using smartphones or head-mounted displays equipped with STYLY.
The 5-Dimensional Motorsports Event
We describe AIR RACE X as a 5-dimensional motorsports event as this term implies that in addition to the traditional three dimensions, there are no constraints on "location" and "time".
After major sponsors withdrew from the race in 2019, and subsequent impacts of the novel coronavirus, there was no venue for athletes to compete. Moreover, the significant participation costs, a sparse global competitor population, and challenges in nurturing young pilots jeopardized the sport's sustainability. This was revitalized by the advent of AIR RACE X through XR utilization.
In traditional air races, each pilot transports their aircraft to the host country, competing for time one plane at a time. However, AIR RACE X allows athletes in each country to conduct races at their local airstrips. This reduces travel costs and risks such as accidents for spectators.
Authentic, powerful motor sounds are used, utilizing recordings from the actual aircraft, and indispensable live commentary is provided. Additionally, pitting two rival aircraft against each other to compete for time, and vividly showcasing penalty areas through XR, contributes to conveying the excitement inherent in the sport.
The sound of races, live commentary, and the XR experience integrate to create the ultimate user experience.
The STYLY Platform
AIR RACE X is conducted entirely on the STYLY platform. Spectators can watch using smartphones or tablets with STYLY installed, and public viewing venues have been established at various locations in Shibuya, where the race can be watched on large screen monitors. Furthermore, at paid VIP venues, MR headsets can be used to experience aircraft flying past right before your eyes.
STYLY incorporates 3D data of cities worldwide, facilitating the creation and distribution of content that interacts with real spaces. Moreover, as STYLY is compatible with multiple devices, content can be experienced on a wide array of devices, including smartphone AR, AR/MR glasses, web browsers, and VR HMDs. Consequently, content placed on the STYLY platform is compatible with all devices used in AIR RACE X.
Global Integration of 3D City Data in STYLY
Organizers, utilizing STYLY, can conduct their own Spacial XR events in different urban spaces. We are developing a "Spacial XR Entertainment Business" that expands real urban spaces into experiential media using XR technology. Examples range from those we have supported to those freely developed by each business on STYLY.
In Barcelona, for instance, we placed aquarium content in Sagrada Familia, creating a bustling atmosphere.
During the ART BAY TOKYO ART FESTIVAL 2023, held in the Odaiba area of Japan, we divided the 440-hectare waterfront subcenter into five sections and placed art pieces, including XR content, in each area. We successfully attracted approximately 54,000 people who attended our event during the 10-day period from September 15th to September 24th, 2023.
Psychic VR Lab's Future Plans
In the near future, we aim to further accelerate our Spacial XR Entertainment initiatives. For instance, in AIR RACE X, besides the "Real Pilot Category" where pilots physically navigate, we will introduce the "VR Pilot Category". With just a PC and dedicated software, anyone can partake in this new category. Through AIR RACE X, we aspire to discover and nurture the next generation of pilots. Instead of confining ourselves to a metaverse limited to virtual realms, we are focusing on overlaying an abundance of XR layers onto the real world to drive our projects forward.
Furthermore, as platform providers, we endeavor to empower every enterprise to autonomously execute similar projects. All the while, we leverage the creator economy we've cultivated over the years, transferring our skills to these individuals.
By harnessing the capabilities of STYLY, we are committed to shaping an era where everyone can seamlessly integrate and experience spatial dimensions in their daily lives.