SEOUL, June 12 (Korea Bizwire) – Ideas for the future once presented by Google Inc. through its various experiments are turning into realities in 2020.
Glasses using augmented reality (AR) technology, first introduced by the U.S. tech giant in 2012 with Google Glass, which failed to catch on and was widely seen as ahead of its time, are scheduled to hit the markets this year.
Some experts argue that AR glasses, combined with 5G communication and AR technology, will replace smartphones in the future.
South Korean mobile carrier LG Uplus Corp., jointly with Chinese startup Nreal, will introduce Nreal Light for launch during the third quarter this year.
“Nreal Light is the world’s first AR glass commercialized through B2C transactions,” the company explained.
Nreal Light weighs only 88 grams, and enables users to see through the transparent glasses, unlike virtual reality (VR) devices. It is equipped with a USB port that can be connected to a smartphone, and it doesn’t contain a battery.
LG Uplus on Monday opened experience chambers for visitors to try out the new AR glass in 24 different locations across the country. Visitors can try out watching high-resolution multimedia content with Nreal Light.
Samsung Electronics Co. also submitted patents for AR glass technology for navigation in the U.S. and South Korea.
This AR glass prompts navigation information within the driver’s line of sight, getting rid of the inconvenience of having to turn their heads to look at a navigation device.
Navigation information is fixated within the driver’s sight even when he/she looks around. The AR glass will enable users to access not only mapping services, but also a variety of other services.
SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s top mobile phone operator, is working with Magic Leap, one of the leading AR glass developers in the U.S., to create an AR platform coupled with 5G technology.
The company also acquired distribution rights for all AR devices made by Magic Leap coming to South Korea. SK Telecom plans to team up with with multiple smart glass manufacturers.
The AR industry is looking at the year 2020 as the official birth year of AR glasses, which is expected to replace smartphones in the near future.
Rediscovery of everyday lives through AR glass is expected to generate new cultures and businesses that were never seen before.
Digi-Capital, a market analytics firm, forecast that the AR market will reach the size of US$90 billion by 2022.
“As high-speed, low-latency 5G technology begins to be commercialized, AR glasses, which were once ridiculed, now have a sturdier foundation to grow upon,” an industry source said.
“With the spread of ‘untact’ trends, a variety of content and services are being introduced in AR. The future looks bright for the AR industry.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)