SK Telecom expands its VR business by opening a new 5G Virtual Social World
Via SK Telecom
Nov 19, 2019
SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) announced today its comprehensive plans aimed at expanding its VR business and ecosystem. To lead the popularization of VR services, the company today launched an innovative 5G-based VR service named ‘Virtual Social World.’ Virtual Social World is a VR service that allows multiple users to engage in diverse activities and create contents in a virtual space. For instance, users can create and decorate their own avatars, and watch VR movies or raise pets within their own rooms called ‘My Room.’
Users can also socialize with others in seven different VR spaces such as club, café, concert hall and office. And while experiencing these services, they can enjoy voice/text chatting, make friends and communities, and play mini games with their friends. All the activities can be shared through their status updates on SNS accounts.
SK Telecom plans to continuously expand virtual spaces and business models for Virtual Social World through open collaboration. For instance, virtual spaces will be expanded to popular tourist attractions and shopping malls, and will be combined with diverse business models like shopping in virtual world.
Users of Oculus Go or Gear VR can enjoy Virtual Social World through Jump VR app, which can be downloaded from Oculus Store for free, starting from November 19. In the first half of 2020, SK Telecom plans to provide the service in many different languages for international users, while offering a version for smartphone users to play Virtual Social World without a VR device. Going forward, the company plans to shape Virtual Social World into a cross platform that enables users to access the virtual space through any IT device including AR glasses.
SK Telecom has been developing diverse technologies for Virtual Social World since five years ago. It has developed ‘T real platform,’ a development platform for creating a virtual space; ‘avatar ___framework’ that creates and controls avatars; ‘telepresence’ that synchronizes activities of multiple users in real-time at ultra-low latency; and ‘immersive rendering technology’ to realize realistic virtual spaces. The company has already applied for 92 patents in this area.
Moreover, to accelerate the spread of Virtual Social World, SK Telecom has signed a partnership with Facebook to launch Oculus Go, a portable, all-in-one VR headset that removes the need for smartphones or PCs, in Korea. The company is offering a bundled deal, which includes Oculus Go and VR contents, at KRW 226,800.
Moreover, SK Telecom has signed a partnership with Facebook to sell Oculus Go, a portable, all-in-one VR headset that removes the need for smartphones or PCs, through SK Telecom in Korea. The company is offering a bundled deal, which includes Oculus Go and VR contents, at KRW 226,800.
Customers can purchase Oculus Go from mobile T World app or T World retail store, and conveniently receive customer support through SK Telecom.
At the same time, the company is working closely with diverse game companies and content developers to secure a wider range of VR services and expand the global VR service ecosystem.
The company signed a strategic partnership with Kakao VX, a virtual experience service development company, on November 18. Through the partnership, SK Telecom will introduce Kakao Friends characters to Virtual Social World. The two companies also plan to launch ‘Friends VR World,’ a game that offers an immersive experience by allowing users to play games with Kakao Friends characters in VR space, within this year. SK Telecom also plans to launch the game in the global market.
The company is also developing VR games that utilize Nexon’s popular game characters such as Kartrider, Crazy Arcade and Bubble Fighter. Users can play a variety of mini games such as tennis and archery from the first-person point of view.
Moreover, SK Telecom will launch an updated version of Speakit, a VR-based English learning app, through cooperation with MARVRUS. Users will be able to learn English more effectively and in a personalized manner through over 100 different learning contents and AI-based level tests.
Going forward, SK Telecom will strengthen its technology and service cooperation with developers and start-ups based on Jump VR and ‘T real platform’, a development platform that includes avatar and 3D rendering technologies. The company plans to expand the VR ecosystem by holding contests and hackathons.
SK Telecom said that it expects the number of monthly users of its Jump VR service to increase dramatically from this year’s 100,000 to 1 million in 2020.
“SK Telecom is working closely with platform companies and content developers of both home and abroad to build a virtual world for users throughout the globe,” said Jeon Jin-soo, Vice President and Head of 5GX Service Business Division of SK Telecom. “Through Virtual Social World, we will provide our customers with a hyper-immersive experience optimized for the 5G era, while opening up new VR markets with our partners.”
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