Yoon Kyeong-lim, VP of KT’s Future Convergence Business Office, said, “KT is creating an edge cloud environment for leading the VR/AR ecosystem, and I think that it will soon be able to provide services that link content, devices, and solution providers.” She also said, “We have set up a small but meaningful start of the new business in the VR experience space in Sinchon, Seoul, and will continue to invest in core technologies to lead the ecosystem. I would like a lot of attention.”
|▲ KT held ‘5G Era KT VR/AR Business Direction’ press conference.|
KT has developed technologies of immersive media business by operating a hologram exclusive 'K-live' and a immersive media convergence experience center 'K-live X', and presenting ‘360 degrees VR’ and ‘Interactive TimeSlice’ through VR live broadcast with 5G testbed network at Jeonju/Suwon World Cup Stadium. Based on these efforts, KT set a vision of expanding the domestic immersive media market to around KRW 200 billion to KRW 1 trillion by 2020, which is three years later. Therefore, KT announced its ‘VR/AR ecosystem activation plan’ at the press conference in order to realize the vision.
According to the announcement, KT will jointly invest with GS Retail based on its 5G network technology and ICT capabilities and will open ‘VRIGHT’, an urban VR theme park in Sinchon, Seoul in early March. 'VRIGHT' will show about 50 kinds of VR contents including ‘Flying Jet’ and 'Special Force VR: UNIVERSAL WAR', which revived DragonFly's FPS game 'Special Force', as a VR game. By 2020, it plans to expand its immersive media experience space business to 200 locations, in the form of headquarters and franchises.
In addition, KT plans to promote a win-win strategy with existing VR game rooms through the development of immersive media platform and content provision. To this end, it will also prepare a plan to offer content and platform that solve the problems of excessive deliberation needed to set up a VR game room at an appropriate price. Besides, ‘Personal VR Theater’ service including Head Mounted Display(HMD) will be released within the year so that consumers can conveniently watch a VR video at home and enjoy a differentiated customer experience.
KT stated that it plans to achieve annual sales of KRW 100 billion by 2020 through its own platforms such as aforementioned 'VRIGHT' as well as other businesses such as content and personal VR theaters.
|▲ KT presents an urban VR theme park, ‘VRIGHT’ business.|
Meanwhile, KT will also invest in contents such as the creation of VR/AR dedicated funds to expand the base of immersive media content that is lacking in Korea. By securing copyright of well-known global content as well as cooperation with domestic operators for creating immersive media contents of various genres such as video, game, and webtoon, KT will contribute to the activation of the ecosystem.
KT plans to launch VR Alliance, in which terminal makers, game and content companies, and IT enterprises participate, for constructing ecosystem across the immersive media value-chain. Moreover, it will collaborate with KT’s media companies SkyLife and KTH to actively invest for upgrading content platform infrastructure. In the second half of the year, it will also establish a cooperative relationship with related organizations such as government and associations in order to revitalize the market through deregulation of VR-related regulations and restrictions.
Yoon-jeon Koh, head of KT’s Future Business Development Unit, emphasized, “We will continue to promote the VR/AR service and content business, which is considered to be one of the core technologies of the 5G era, to expand the domestic immersive media market to over KRW 1 trillion by 2020 and foster it as a 5G killer content that customers can enjoy.”