The Korea Culture & Content Agency (KOCCA) has set the development of mobile augmented reality (AR) technology as one of its technology support projects for 2009, and has chosen the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) as its technology partner.
Meanwhile, the KIST's Imaging Media Research Center has been conducting research on mobile AR-based virtual tour technology since last month. It is poised to finish it by 2012. Under a joint plan with the KOCCA, KIST will develop mobile AR technology in four stages, in which a total of 12 billion won (US$9.65 million) will be injected over the next four years. The KOCCA will invest 8.5 billion won (US$6.83 million) and the KIST about 3.5 billion won (US$2.81 million).
The United States accounts for 34 percent, or 897 cases, of worldwide AR-related patents, followed by Japan which holds 880 such patents. As Korea holds 639 AR patents, more than twice the rights that European nations hold, this country is expected to find plenty of new markets if it concentrates on developing AR technology.