Nankai’s “Xing Zhe Wu Jiang Entrepreneurship Team” can bring you back to the Ancient World

       Two students from College of Tourism and Service Management were experiencing 3D technology through VR Devices

Helmets, armors, flames, war horses… On the computer screen, a young general in a silver white armor, holding a long spike on a war horse, flies from his position. “Thanks to the VR device, putting on the head screen, and manipulating the joystick, people can be brought back to the ancient battlefields to lead an army.” Sun Mengjia, undergraduate (2016) of Nankai University’s College of Tourism and Service Management, introduced and demonstrated the whole set of VR devices, which includes a screen, a head screen, a hand shank, an eyes mask, and so on. The whole value reaches up to a million RMB. The devices were donated by Hu Xiaolu, an alumni (2001) of the College, and now responsible of Tianjin VRVISION Company. Hu Xiaolu said that the initial expectation of the donation was to “help younger students to combine the VR technology with tourism industry, making an attempt for innovative start-ups.” Sun Mengjia, a first-grade student, and other students were deeply attracted by the course and persisted in studying. After a semester, they established “Xing Zhe Wu Jiang VR and Tourism Workshop”.

After one-term training courses, Sun and the other students who joined the team are now perfectly able to operate the devices. They also handed in the first “homework” of the team: they comprehensively created a virtual model of the College building using 3D Max technology.

Now there are five students in the team, and they all are first-grade students of the College. They also used their spare time to finish the program, and were responsible for maps, photos, PS, models, post-shading, and so on. Wu Weishu, the student in charge of “technology”, said: “How many bricks on a wall? How long is a standard window? These are the data we need to restore according to reality.” After an initial attempt, the team did not only skillfully learned how to use the technology, but the members also started to be more confident about the future of the start-up.

“Xing Zhe Wu Jiang Team” found that, according to the investigation related to VR companies, VR’s main interest is the group composed by young teachers and university students. “Our program takes place in the Haihe River Educational Park, where many universities and more than 100 thousand students are located. However, compared to the large number of students, Haihe River Educational Park lacks of comprehensive leisure and entertainment facilities for its limited construction: at the moment the facilities can hardly satisfy the requirements of universities’ teachers and students.” Sun stressed that the application of VR technology can also make up the shortage of “maps in full view of the campus”. “While we are developing our own innovative start-up, we also hope we can promote the construction of university’s ‘smart campus’, strengthening its processes of informatization and digitalization.”

“We are running a wechat account. We take advantage of the Internet platform to promote the VR frontier information related to the university, and also regularly release information about VR activities. At the same time, we also constantly collect users’ experiences and requirements to improve basic models and man-machine interaction.” Though the team has just started working, they already have a clear plan for the future: on the basis of the user base from prior operations, the team will develop online products related to APP and HTML5. The team will also take advantage of promotional platforms with stronger influence out of the campus, like websites, television or radio, to further expand users’ number. The team will establish user database by using wechat accounts, apps, websites, and offline interviews, collecting and asking suggestions and advice after users’ experiences. Doing like this they will have the chance to constantly enrich and improve the contents according to users’ expectations.

Sun introduced: “If our program will prove successful, in the future we may cooperate with tourism spots to produce virtual models and special projects for the tourists, increasing the potential attraction of the spots. We may also cooperate with real estate agencies to construct virtual models for their estates and houses. We also hope we can contact exhibitors of international fairs to build online virtual-realistic interactive exhibition halls. Meanwhile, we can also combine the virtual environment of scenic spots and companies, using them as backgrounds to develop online games or VR games. We can also add the features of every individual user in the games by charging a small amount of money.”

Hu Xiaolu, who has is own start-up, encouraged the young students: “No matter how big an enterprise is, its management and operations cannot be totally smooth. Management modes cannot be unchanged forever, especially in a competitive situation. If you want to make achievements, you must have a psychological preparation for failure and restart.” 

Reported by Ma Chao
Photographs by Wu Junhui
Translated by Shi Yuchen
Proofread by Letizia Vallini

Nankai University

No.38 Tongyan Road, Jinnan District, Tianjin , P.R. China 300350

No.94 Weijin Road,  Nankai District, Tianjin, P.R.China  300071