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PCB suppliers are optimistic about Metaverse wearable business opportunities


What is Metaverse?

The Metaverse is a virtual world that is linked and created by technological means, mapping and interacting with the real world, and a digital living space with a new social system.

The metaverse is essentially a process of virtualizing and digitizing the real world, requiring a lot of changes in content production, economic systems, user experience, and physical world content. However, the development of the metaverse is gradual, and it is formed by the continuous convergence and evolution of many tools and platforms under the support of shared infrastructure, standards and protocols.

It provides immersive experience based on extended reality technology, generates a mirror image of the real world based on digital twin technology, builds an economic system based on blockchain technology, closely integrates the virtual world with the real world in economic system, social system and identity system, and allows each user to produce content and edit the world.

The term was coined in the 1992 science fiction novel Avalanche, which depicts a vast virtual reality world in which people are controlled by digital avatars and compete with each other to improve their status, in what is, until now, a futuristic world. The most recognized source of ideas about the “metaverse” is Professor Vernor Vinge, an American mathematician and computer expert. In his 1981 novel Real Names, he creatively conceived of a virtual world that could be accessed and experienced through brain-computer interfaces.


A brief introduction to wearable devices

Wearable technology is an innovative technology first proposed by MIT Media Lab in the 1960s. Using this technology, multimedia, sensors and wireless communication technology can be embedded in people’s clothing, and support a variety of interaction methods such as gesture and eye movement operation, mainly explore and create directly wearable intelligent devices. With the rapid development of computer hardware and software and Internet technology, the forms of wearable intelligent devices have begun to diversify, and gradually show broad application potential in industry, medical health, military, education, entertainment and other fields.

The smart wearable device industry involves a wide range of technologies, including sensing technology, display technology, chip technology, operating system, wireless communication technology, data computing and processing technology, battery life improvement technology, data interaction technology,etc.

Human-computer interaction output interface or feedback includes text display, data analysis, voice feedback, dynamic or virtual images, etc., all of these output interface presentation must be analyzed through the content computing system, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality. AR combined with VR Mixed Reality, stereo projection and other reality content calculation and environmental perception analysis, as well as various measurement analysis calculation, such as blood pressure, blood oxygen, heart rate, pulse, body temperature, etc.

In addition, cloud computing, big data and other related data processing technologies can timely and accurately send the data collected by smart wearable devices to the background. Through effective statistical analysis of the collected data, reasonable suggestions can be provided to users.

Intelligent wearable device is a general term for wearable devices, such as watches, bracelets, glasses, clothing, etc., that are intelligently designed and developed by applying wearable technology to daily wear. Wearable intelligent devices have a history of development for many years. Ideas and prototypes appeared in the 1960s, while devices with the form of wearable intelligent devices appeared in the 1970s and 1980s

PCB in wearable devices

The research institute estimates that the global AR/VR product shipments will reach 50.5 million units in 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 35.1% from 2022 to 2026. At present, AR/VR smart wearable devices are the only entrance into the metaverse, which is a comprehensive application of internet access, communication, image transmission, computing and other functions. PCB covers multiple endpoints of the metaverse, and it is expected that the flexible PCB, HDI PCB, combined rigid flex board, and ABF carrier board are among the beneficiaries.

Although Meta-universe related AR/VR smart wearable devices are still not popular, many technology giants or component manufacturers actively enter the market, such as Meta, Sony, hTC, Microsoft, etc. Some PCB suppliers also believe that Meta-universe wearable devices will be a good source of growth momentum next year.

According to IEK, AR/VR wearers include screens, lenses, SoC chip modules, motherboards, sensors, and I/O interfaces. Among them, in order to reduce the discomfort of wearing, the components will be connected by the flexible board to reduce the weight of the device, and in order to effectively save the space of the device and improve the wiring density to support the complex component combination, HDI PCB is the best plan for the motherboard.


PCB manufacturer Zhending once pointed out that the Metacuniverse mainly covers three blocks, the AR/VR wearable device of the client, 5G / 6G/low orbit satellite of the communication network, and the server and storage device of high-speed computing HPC. However, it can be found that Zhending has been involved in the products that have been marketed or will be marketed. Meta-universe related revenue has established a base scale in 2021, and is expected to grow at a double-digit rate from 2022 to 2025.

In terms of manufacturing process, Zhending analysis, flexible board has always been the key role of consumer electronics, despite thin and short in the product, but also to accommodate large capacity battery and high-frequency transmission demand,flexible board is very important. When it comes to metaverse wear, this kind of device also has the demand of miniaturization and lightweight, and the available space is limited. Therefore, the flexible board is still the best solution, and it is expected that the flexible board will also develop synchronously to be miniaturization and multilayered.

Huatong, a major HDI manufacturer, is the main supplier of HDI board for Oculus wearable device. The company once pointed out that the intelligent wearable of the metauniverse has the real-time transmission requirements of images, sounds and signals, and needs to deal with more and more complex functions, while the motherboard should be thin and highly integrated in limited space. For example, HDI Anylayer must be used in high-gauge XR wearable devices, which is Huatong’s strong point all the time. If the future metaverse market can explode as expected, the expected growth momentum will be worth looking forward to



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