With the recent peak of interest in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) following the hugely popular Pokemon GO, KAIST has officially begun its research into the aforesaid technologies. Held at the KAIST Institute Building (KI) on September 1, the opening ceremony of the Augmented Reality Lab gathered over 50 researchers and developers of the field. The lab, headed by Professor Woon-taek Woo, aims to join capable researchers and industries in an effort to form a synergetic effect in research.
AR is a type of technology that allows a viewing of the world modified by digital visuals, sounds, or GPS data. On the other hand, VR offers a completely different view of the world, as the real world is replaced with a simulated one. AR originates from Tom Caudell’s application in aircraft maintenance, in which he showed both real and virtual images.
Professor Woo’s AR Lab will focus his research on Big Data gathered from the Internet of Things (IoT) and Linked Open Data, which will ultimately serve to provide personalized content and experience through an AR platform. More specifically, the research team will concentrate on fields such as cultural inheritance, edutainment, commerce, and smart cities. Possible developments include extensions in physical ability through 3D reciprocal action, intellectual capacity through the integration of artificial intelligence, and social capacity through social agents capable of understanding users. Along these research areas, the team also plans on creating an AR platform, in which a multitude of diverse content will be available, and further constructing an ecosystem of Contents (C) – Platform (P) – Network (N) – Device (D).
Following the opening ceremony, a series of lectures celebrating this establishment will also be hosted. Prominent leaders and researchers of the field, including CTO of SK Jin- sung Choi, will lecture on the issues, applications, and future of AR.
Professor Woo stated, “Once we integrate AR with IoT, Big Data, and artificial intelligence, it will grow to a type of development that will lead the next commercial revolution. Rather than developing more content solely for AR, our lab will break the barrier between the virtual and real worlds to create a new type of social media.”