3i Inc., an industry-leading immersive experience company specializing in metaverse technology, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and a member of Born2global Centre, completed an investment of nearly $24M (₩28B Won). The round included $20M from new financial and strategic investors and $4M from existing investors.
SV Investment led the round, with other participants including Korean Development Bank, LB Investment, DS Asset, YG Investment, Intops Investment, Enlight Ventures, NBH Capital, and Korea Asset Investment Securities.
Founded in 2017, 3i has 34 technology patents and includes two brands: Pivo and Beamo. Pivo is a platform business sitting at the intersection of hardware, software, and content focused on empowering everyday creators around the world with its Pivo Pod, a portable AI-powered smart pod, and suite of mobile apps that extend the capabilities of any smartphone and simplify rich content creation.
Beamo is an enterprise-grade digital twin solution for mission-critical businesses and sites. Beamo creates a dynamic digital twin that allows enterprises to conduct remote inspections, maintain equipment remotely, collaborate with remote teams and provide the most immersive navigation of mission-critical assets.
"3i is a company which is growing dramatically in B2B digital twin solutions using AI and AR/VR technologies and B2C video content creation platform", said Joo-wan Jeong, Director at SV Investment. He added, "I made this investment because I believe 3i will be able to grow into the only global player that possesses both technology and content in the integrated metaverse".
3i plans to use the funds raised to develop new products and expand its metaverse platform business. Additionally, 3i plans to invest significantly in scaling out the company with multiple open roles in recruiting, marketing, customer success, design and engineering, as well as key investments in the 3i brand experience in the market over the next year.
Ken Kim, CEO of 3i said, "The metaverse is the next-generation platform, where soon, all media flows are expected to move. Our products and solutions help enterprises and content creators leap onto the metaverse much more easily, seamlessly, and quickly than ever before, changing the way the physical world interacts with the digital world".
Kitten Planet was established in April 2017 as a spin-off from Samsung Electronics. Brush Monster, its mobile application platform for toothbrushing education using augmented reality (AR) and game elements, is operated via a smart toothbrush and membership program that is linked to the app and is currently used in Korea and in over 200,000 households abroad for children's proper brushing habits and dental hygiene care.
In this round of investments worth about $4.3M (5B KRW), Inlight Ventures, an existing investment company, was newly joined by Green Cross Medical Science (GS MS), a specialist in diagnostic reagents and medical devices. With this investment, Kitten Planet and Brush Monster will aim to expand domestic and overseas reach and provide digital dental care services for all ages.
Kitten Planet CEO Choi Jong-ho said, “Kitten Planet is a digital dental care platform company that makes digital products focused on improving oral health and connecting home and dentistry. We plan on accelerating the innovation of treatment-oriented dental care.
According to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service's statistics on frequent diseases and medical practices, gingivitis, and periodontal diseases ranked number one for two consecutive years, 2019 and 2020, with the number of affected patients at 16,372,879. The number of patients with dental caries was 6.19 million, ranking fourth after venous bronchitis and high blood pressure, and 4 out of 10 children under the age of 9 visited the dentist due to tooth decay.
Alchera, an AI image recognition startup and a member company of Born2Global Centre, has revealed its strategy and vision just before being listed on the KOSDAQ market as of December 21.
Alchera provides a complete solution that covers collecting and editing of large-capacity image data, deep learning, AI engine optimization, and creation of dedicated solutions. The solution has secured an unrivaled position among major domestic customers as it excels in facial recognition, augmented reality (AR), anomaly detection, and data business.
Alchera's core competitiveness lies in its source technology for artificial intelligence facial recognition and anomaly detection. Alchera's AI can recognize not only human expressions but also subtle abnormal signs of objects with an accuracy of 99% or more. Instant recognition is also available.
The company has achieved grade A standards in both a technical evaluation by eCredible Co., Ltd., a specialized rating service provider, and an evaluation by Korea Enterprise Data Co., Ltd. Alchera's technological excellence has been shown when their technology was successfully applied to Shinhan Face Pay, known as Korea's first facial recognition payment system
Image recognition technology is being used in various industrial fields. Since this was first applied to the Snow Camera in 2016, it has been applied to Incheon International Airport's Automated Immigration System, the Passport Information Comprehensive Administration System of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the passport counterfeit detection system of the Korean financial industry, and the fire monitoring system of KEPCO. The company achieved a high level of market recognition as a result of its successfully established references.
Alchera recently launched a facial recognition-based entry control system with its own algorithm called Alchera ACS that has aggressively entered domestic and international markets. Following the KC and CE certifications, the system is waiting for certification from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
Young-kyoo Hwang, CTO of Alchera, said, "In the non-face-to-face era and a trend of non-contact service, AI image recognition technology is attracting attention as an optimization solution in various areas including payment and public services, financial industry, medical services, entry control, and security services. The company expects a steep increase in sales in the future due to Alchera's source technology being a strong barrier to entry for overseas competitors who have yet to produce a similar product." He added, "The listing on the KOSDAQ is expected to be a turning point for Alchera to leap higher". He also mentioned, "We will do our best to transform into a global AI image recognition company that leads trends in various industries thanks to our overwhelmingly innovative technology."
By Lee Kyoung Mi and Lee Jihae
Photos = Yonhap News
President Moon Jae-in on Aug. 18 called education "a core investment field for a new future" and said he hopes for changes in the people's daily life through the "Green Smart School" project under the Korean New Deal.
He said this in a morning videoconference with municipal and provincial superintendents of education after visiting Changdeok Girls' Middle School in Seoul to experience smart education. Changdeok is classified as a green smart school.
The project is one of the ten key tasks of the Korean New Deal announced on July 14 by President Moon. The plan is to turn schools nationwide with aging buildings into high-tech learning facilities based on digital and eco-friendly technology.
The president's visit reflected his intent to set up an educational environment that enables integrated education offline and online anytime and anywhere.
President Moon said online and offline courses were successfully implemented through the nation's first online opening of the school year amid COVID-19 and a thorough quarantine system, thanking schools, students and parents for such success.
The project will receive funding of KRW 18.5 trillion by 2025 to make groundbreaking improvements to an estimated 2,835 schools with old facilities. The government expects the project to create 150,000 jobs and play a pivotal role in reducing CO2 emissions.
By Kim Hwaya
Photos•Video = SK Telecom
An augmented reality (AR) image of a wyvern, a mythical dragon-like creature, on March 23 suddenly appeared on the opening day of the 2019 Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) season at Incheon's SK Happy Dream Park, home of the defending league champions SK Wyverns.
An image of the team's mascot was shown on the world's largest LED baseball scoreboard at the stadium. In addition, the flying creature put on an interactive performance when fans pressed the cheer button on a smartphone app. Fans who watched the event on TV or their smartphones could also see this high-tech spectacle.
For the wyvern's performance, SK used its self-developed AR and virtual reality (VR) technologies such as eSpace, a hyperspace platform for replicating the real world in cyberspace, and T real Platform, which enables AR content to be freely created and shared. The use of the latest 5G wireless technology also allowed large-scale AR streaming.
An SK source said, "Media content service has grown more important recently, and we've come up with a service for baseball games," adding, "SK Telecom thus planned this event to provide a unique experience to spectators using AR and VR technologies."
This year, SK, through its so-called Massive AR Service, seeks to present the same AR content to large audiences as well as a similar service at big stadiums or concert halls.
By Min Yea-Ji and Kim Young Shin
Photos = KT
Korea, the world’s first country to launch the 5G cellular network for business clients last year, is preparing to kick start 5G service for consumers in March.
Since January, KT has conducted test runs of 5G buses in Seoul’s Gwanghwamun area and near Gangnam Station in southern Seoul. The buses provide hands-on experience in the next-generation service to be launched.
Korea.net took a ride on a 5G bus in central Seoul to see what was inside.
Hopping on the bus, the first thing coming into sight is a 5G mobile hotspot router installed inside. The device receives the signal from 5G mobile base stations in Gwanghwamun and the Gangnam Station area in Seoul and rebroadcasts it into a Wi-Fi signal, transforming the bus into a 5G area.
Next to each seat are virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display gear, a remote control and a smartphone. A simulator app is installed on the phone to aid the VR program offered on the bus; the app takes up just 256MB. In an LTE-environment, an app bigger than 100GB must be operated on a smartphone. In a 5G environment, however, the program can be operated merely with the 256MB app complemented by real-time data streaming. This demonstrates the ultra-high speed of the next-generation network of 20Gbps, which is up to 20 times faster than LTE, meaning speed that is at least 10 times faster for users.
In the past, songs were downloaded and played on MP3 players but faster internet speed led to music streaming services. Movies and TV shows, which also required downloading media files on devices, can now be watched via streaming sites. The 5G next-generation network can further boost VR and video games through its uber-fast speed.
The 5G service is often mentioned together with VR and augmented reality (AR) as they require a tremendous amount of data processing for operation.
The head-mounted gear on the bus takes the passenger to a basketball game. It feels as if the user is an invisible courtside spectator. The players on the court dribble the ball, pass right by to shoot the ball and block defenders. Watching the game on the court is so real that the user can feel dizzy.
The VR program also offers the 360-degree, first-person shooting game "Special Force," movies, entertainment and golf lessons with no lag.
As the first country to commercialize LTE in 2011, Korea is expected to reassert its world-leading and cutting-edge information and communications technology with 5G's commercial release to consumers from March this year.
Enjoy wild and vivid experience with VR/AR content!
We introduce the REALGAM GAUNTLET (B2G '18) that allows user to feel and experience each moment of the virtual world through wrist wearable device combined with VR/AR robot arm.