Chinese investments into both computer vision and augmented reality (AR) have increased by $3.9bn in 2018, according to data collected by Digi-Capital, a Silicon Valley-based AR/VR/XR analytics adviser. In the same 12-month period, North American investments into the same technologies fell by more $1.5bn.
The data reflects the differing approaches of the two regions toward the technology over the last two years. In the US and Europe, venture capitalists (VCs) have relied much more on short-term success as their key indicator of long-term success. This mentality, Digi-Capital argues, has led to a steady decline in deal volume through 2018.
On the other hand, Digi-Capital's analytics platform found that Chinese investors didn't take the sideline approach US investors did. Instead, Asian VC's invested long-term in startups with clear visions of their tech's future, with their confidence in said investments rising with time.
Despite North American investments into computer vision and AR being triple that of Asian investments towards the end of 2017, North American quarterly investments have since fallen by more than 90%. So, while US investors have been waiting for technology to prove itself to have market traction before they invest, Chinese VC's are aiming to back their domestic startups into maturity.
Digi-Capital went on to claim that the results may have drastic consequences for the ability of US companies to compete with Asian AR and computer vision firms in the coming future.