SEOUL, Oct. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – The South Korean government and tech giants said Tuesday they will work together to create a variety of cultural and entertainment content using virtual reality (VR) technology to foster the new growth engine.
Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Ltd. have been working on VR gadgets to link them with smartphones, but the market is still at an early stage due to lack of content consumers can use on their headsets.
To embrace the nascent technology, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korea Creative Content Agency, the two giants as well three other companies signed a memorandum of understanding calling for expanded cooperation in the field.
Among the companies involved in the agreement include mobile carrier KT Corp., Facebook Korea and Everland, the nation’s largest theme park operator.
“For South Korea to get ahead in the global VR industry, cooperation between software and hardware as well as start-up entrepreneurs and large enterprises is important,” Vice Culture Minister Jung Kwan-joo said. “I hope this agreement could help pave the way for such moves.”
The ministry said it will inject 6 billion won (US$5.4 million) of extra budget this year and assign 5.2 billion won next year to create VR contents jointly with the companies in such areas as culture, entertainment, travel and sports.
The ministry plans to create a couple of VR contents experience zones in major cities and six VR distribution centers in the United States, China and Japan to help smaller companies make inroads overseas.
It will also select start-up companies to tie them up with the major electronics companies to develop content that can be used on the latest VR devices and applications.
The content development measure is part of the government’s broader plan to invest some 400 billion won over the next five years to develop the emerging tech sector.
The world’s VR hardware and software market is expected to rise to $2.2 billion this year with a figure projected to reach $80 billion in 2025, according to global investment giant Goldman Sachs.