|Models use head-mounted displays (HMD) and hand-held controller units to play virtual reality game, 'Crazy World VR." Courtesy of SK Telecom|
By Kim Hyun-bin
SK Telecom, KT and LG U Plus have upped the ante and competition in the virtual reality (VR) segment by integrating their 5G technologies to a wide array of fields including ultra-high definition video streaming, and medical and educational content.
The move comes to better secure more 5G subscribers after the commercialization of their 5G networks last year.
SKT and KT have recently unveiled new VR services. The country's leading mobile telecom company SKT has signed partnerships with a venture game company, medical institutions and VR production companies to diversify its VR content; while KT has introduced the world's first 8K VR streaming service.
SKT and Pixelity Games Inc. jointly developed "Crazy World VR" that is currently undergoing beta testing through April 9.
Characters from popular online games by Nexon, the country's leading game company, will be licensed to appear in the new service. Up to 50 people can play simultaneously, enjoying four mini games and diverse content seamlessly in real-time, all from a single location.
SKT is expected to provide VR movies sourced via famous film festivals through its "Jump VR" platform, 12 medically related pieces including "Mindfulness Exercise," and a language education application, "SPEAKIT."
"Mindfulness Exercise," a VR video program that has been jointly developed with a team of psychiatry specialists at Yongin Severance Hospital, aims to reduce work related stress for users in their 30s to 40s through the VR experience. Users wear a head-mounted display (HMD) and are guided to meditate with beautiful natural scenery accompanied by soothing music and commentary.
In cooperation with Marvrus, SKT released "SPEAKIT," which provides a learning environment based on videos of real life situations. The users wear an HMD and will be able to carry on conversations, where characters respond differently depending on the user's input. SPEAKIT will offer 112 episodes.
Through SKT's "Jump VR" people can experience 20 movies from famous film festivals including the Venice International Film Festival and Sundance in 360 degree VR.
"To expand and pioneer the VR service market, we are cooperating with various companies from development through to marketing," said Jeon Jin-soo, head of the 5GX service business division at SKT.
In March, KT plans to unveil the world's first 8K VR streaming services, which utilizes KT's advanced 5G network and Silicon Valley startup AlcaCruz Inc.'s streaming system.
KT also joined hands with VR content creator AVA Entertainment aiming to produce 100 8K VR videos ranging from diverse K-pop content to exploring Korea's traditional culture, by the end of this year.
LGU+ have been offering VR versions of its hit educational comic book series "Why?" while the company signed a partnership deal with Google last year to better collaborate on VR content creation and global distribution.
Last month, the company expanded its partnership with Google to produce augmented reality (AR) content.