SKT ‘opens virtual zoo’ in Seoul
South Korea’s biggest mobile carrier SK Telecom, on Aug.16 began providing augmented reality images of animals at public parks in Seoul as part of its efforts to boost the popularity of its advanced mobile network.
Those visiting Olympic Park and Yeouido Park can see AR images of animals running around on their Android-based smartphones. The service is currently not available on Apple’s iPhone operating system, the company added.
The virtual images seemingly come to life when users place their smartphones near parks after downloading the “Jump AR” app. Available animal images include cats, dogs, dragons and pandas.
“SKT is seeking to come up with its own AR-based hyperreality service to provide a unique experience and wider benefits,” said Executive Vice President Jeon Jin-soo, who leads the AR development division at SKT.
According to the mobile carrier, which is investing heavily in AR content to popularize its mobile network, the “virtual zoo” service involves advanced technologies that narrow the gap between AR images and reality.
Chief among them is T Real Rendering, which enables the realistic depiction of animals’ features and movements, SKT said. Through hyperrealistic and environmental rendering technologies, AR images can blend in with physical backgrounds.
The virtual zoo service is set to expand across the country. Among those being considered are Boramae Park in Daejeon, Duryu Park in Daegu, and 5. 18 Memorial Park in Gwangju.
By Yeo Jun-suk / The Korea Herald (email@example.com)