South Korea: a Fertile Ground for Immersive Tech Innovations

Factoring in the country’s advanced ICT infrastructure, pervasive high-speed internet connectivity, and the highest smart device penetration rate in the world (about 98%) –  South Korea is one of the most fertile grounds at global scale for developments in digital technologies. In this scenario, a new trend is making its way in South Korea as the direct evolution of immersive technologies applied to a variety of industries: the “metaverse”.

A New Trend on the Rise: the Metaverse

The metaverse as a concept is still relatively new and fuzzy.
Typically summarized as “a convergence of our physical and digital lives, enabled by technologies like AR and VR and other components such as blockchain, 5G, edge computing, and many others” (Hackl), the “metaverse” leverages different immersive technologies ranging from Augmented Reality (AR), to Virtual Reality (VR) devices and Mixed/Extended Reality (MR/XR) tools. The rising popularity of the metaverse among global tech giants is particularly evident. Facebook rebranded as Meta, Inc., a clear indication of the company’s direction, while other corporates such as Microsoft, Apple, and the Korean conglomerate Kakao are also investing in their own metaverse.
The Korean scaleup ecosystem is at the forefront of this new global challenge. With a thriving local metaverse community boasting about 110 scaleups and 200-300 startups on the rise, South Korea appears to be well positioned to become a global haven for experimentation in immersive technologies.

More than “Just Entertainment”

Beyond digital media, metaverse-like immersive technologies can be applied to a variety of industry verticals. Here are some of the most exciting trends coming from South Korea.

In HealthTech, diagnostics can be performed by digitizing patients, and VR simulations extend training possibilities for physicians.
SportTech may expand its indoor fitness options by digitizing athletes or by providing immersive, mixed reality experiences.
HR Tech may revolutionize the workplace by implementing new remote/hybrid working environments including virtual offices and non-face-to-face advanced technologies (including holograms).
The E-Commerce sector may be disrupted by digitizing real world products, or by shifting the mall experience to a virtual environment.

More insights available in our Tech Scaleup South Korea 2022 Report, available for free at research.mindthebridge.com

The Strong Korean Corporate and Government Support for the Metaverse

Being the first country in the world that has the “creation of unicorn companies” in its KPIs, South Korea is well-known for the hindsight of its government and corporate world. The local government and some of the country’s largest conglomerates are clearly betting on the new “metaverse” trend, building their own immersive tech worlds. In 2018, the South Korean internet conglomerate Naver launched Zepeto, a metaverse platform that allows users to create their own avatars, spaces, and experience life in the virtual world. Launched in 2022 at the CES, Samsung’s “My House” immersive, virtual home experience is designed to increase the company’s brand value among Millennials and Zoomers – and it is apparently working well, with 4 million cumulative visitors in just three weeks after its launch.

In the context of the master plan “Seoul Vision 2030”, the city plans to build its own “Metaverse Seoul” platform, which will include a virtual mayor office, virtual general civil services, and virtual tourism special zones.

During our last Scaleup Summit in Seoul we met some of the most thriving and exciting innovations playing in this field, as part of our selected immersive tech startups and scaleups. Check here below for more information or watch the Live Opening again, just in case you missed it. 

Datataking

Dataking connects people to create new value. Their platform 360hexaworld is a Metaverse World that allows anyone to create their own NFTs contents. Players can build and monetize their gaming experiences using NFTs. They were part of the MTB Startup Program.

3i Inc.

Developer of global software and hardware innovation powerhouse designed to transform the way the physical world interacts with the digital world. The company’s platform leverages Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence technology to provide services like onsite documentation, 3D mapping, and scaling, site survey, augmented collaboration, and indoor navigation, it recognizes the diverse need to create and communicate and make sure that they are not limited by the capabilities of the technology at hand, enabling clients to get indoor navigation and oversight using comput

STUDIO VR CO.,LTD

The Studio VR family is made up of classical music lovers who believe in the future of a new visual platform.

Spass Co., Ltd.

Spass offers an AI-based Shock Prediction System for Critical Patients. They envision to create a world in which technology saves lives.

Emotionwave Inc.

Emotionwave is an AI media company that creates Art and Technology combined culture for the new generation. “AIMPLE”, last product launched by Emotionwave, allow AIMPLE, is an applied systems and algorithms suitable for music creation and digital musician activities suitable for Metaverse Web3.0.

MetaCamp Inc.

Through the metaverse service platform ‘There’, Metacamp will primarily narrow the educational gap, and realize a standardized educational opportunity through non-face-to-face education and by developing advanced digital technologies with the goal of becoming a ‘digital-based innovation-sharing’ university.

Zion Network, Inc.

Zion Network is an ICT company specialized in creating customized content using AR, VR and Realistic Media.

The company has applied augmented reality and virtual reality to businesses, museums and local governments, focusing on providing customized content.

Zion developed “HAIO” – the clinic room technology – VR Nursing based on joint recognition and voice recognition

NETSTREAM CO., LTD.

Netstream develops a web metaverse virtual exhibition service in a real-time rendering method and provides intuitive user convenience to decorate and operate their own gallery, enabling businesses to make and implement and control their own metaverse.

Widebrain

Widebrain provides the best metaverse space services based on the XR Space Engine. Easy to build and operate, intuitive virtual space creation platform.

WITH PLUS CO.,LTD.

Studio W offers animation design and production, character license, new media, advertisement as well as production based on the previous experiences of producing various television animation.

LINKDOTZ Inc.

LinkDotz is a mobile app studio that develops apps for iOS devices. Their services include a video chat app and a geo-location based place & events discovery platform.

FrontRow Global Limited

FrontRow AI is the leading destination for music industry users to discover industry trends, investments, and news about global companies—from new artists to the global top labels, currently we build +50,000 music industry database. They built a unique and scalable approach to data collection leveraging a strong community of contributors, the largest music partner network, and in-house data teams armed with powerful machine learning.

JJAANN Company

JJAANN Company is an online metaverse platform that provides not just the technology to connect but fun content for everyone to enjoy. The company created a “social drinking” metaverse, where people can meet, party and enjoy entertaining activities from everywhere, at anytime.

XrisP

XrisP is a market leading multi-platform digital entertainment company that plans, produces, & serves ICT-converged products (digital content, metaverse, VR experience). The project NORICUBE offers an interactive, real-life experience to children using a convergence of XR immersive technology such as MR & AR, and holograms.

TIM Solution

TIM Solution offers a comprehensive Digital Twin solution that optimizes resources and work process. They provide 3D visualization of manufacturing sites and construction yards, using cutting-edge gaming technology and linking that to the information systems of the organization. Multiple computing platforms are supported.

SALIN

Salin Co., Ltd. is a media solution company which provides VR/AR Media Platform. Since 2016, they have been developing EpicLive, a VR/AR platform enabling Operator to provide real-time TV, Live performances, Live sports and VODs through VR/AR devices.

Marvrus

MARVRUS is a metaverse company specializing in XR/VR content, metaverse-as-a-service offerings, and proprietary metaverse platforms that integrate the MARVRUS emotion AI technology. Their core product is called MEEMZ, a pioneering metaverse-based education platform for children that provides users with an emotion-based user experience.

PnC Solution

P&C Solution is specialized in AR Glasses, XR Simulator, AI and Metaverse Platform development company. They provide the best one-stop solutions including Hardware and Software for future business with the best technology and services to our customers.

Haegin

Haegin is a serial startup company with experience in mobile game success, and that has launched five games globally since its establishment in 2017. Their goal is to make a positive impression with games, and to be respected and loved among players around the world.

Ejune

Ejune System is a leading manufacturing and SI-specialized company based in Korea. It is currently growing into an ICT-specialized company by expanding to areas such as 4D/VR platform, robot system, and IT consulting.