Augmented reality startups in Korea have gotten a boost due to the fact that many businesses have gone online. Companies now have to look to innovative technologies to reach tech-savvy customers. Augmented reality (AR) has gone through many advancements in the last decade. Now, this technology is disrupting industries such as marketing, retail, healthcare, and even education. Many saw the potential with AR due to the success of Pokemon Go in South Korea 5 years ago. Now due to the chaos caused by COVID-19, many people at home are seeing what AR technology can do in regards to online learning, gaming, and shopping.

We covered VR startups in Korea in a separate article so for this article we will focus on startups many involved with augmented reality. AR uses real-world settings while VR is in a completely virtual world. Therefore, AR technology does not require a headset and can be accessed with a smartphone. Many businesses are interested in AR technology due to the fact that it can enhance both the virtual world and the real world. Here are some innovative augmented reality startups in Korea that are making this technology accessible for businesses of all types.

Top Augmented Reality Startups in Korea for 2022

FXGear

Augmented Startups in KoreaThe top AR/VR startup in Korea is the Korean Tech startup FXGear. It is one of the top computer graphics companies in Korea. They started to focus a lot on AR and VR back in 2012. Now more than 90% of their sales come from AR/VR. Their most successful product is FXMirror. It is a mirror that measures a person’s height and body type and displays virtual clothes the users can “try on”. Customers can find FX Mirrors in some Lotte Department Stores locations in Korea.

“While the existing FXMirror automatically supports the virtual fitting of outfits in the size most suitable for users, the new physics-based fitting simulation function enables users to try different sizes virtually, compare the fit of each size and select the best size for them, which will help clothes shopper,” said CEO of FXGear, Choi Kwang-Jin.

China Expansion

FXGear has expanded to China. They are partnering up with Chixing Network Technology and eCommerce site JD.com. JD.com will use FXGear’s mobile virtual fitting service called “Fit N SHOP”. Therefore, consumers can create avatars to try on virtual clothes on the JD.com mobile shopping app. They are looking to install over 10,000 FXMirrors in clothing stores across China. Their focus in 2021 will be to look to expand into Japan and Europe.

FXGear also has its own VR headset called NOON which has been selling well in Canada and the U.S.

LetinAR

LetinAROne of the more popular augmented reality startups in Korea is LetinAR. They developed an optical solution for AR smart glasses and headsets. They are the creators of PinMR lens. It offers a wider virtual screen while at the same time offering more accurately expressing colors. It can also show a clear image without dizziness due to its ability to extend the depth of field. Many global smart glass manufacturers see a lot of potential in PinMR technology. Therefore it is very possible that PinMR will at some point replace the traditional optical solutions that are currently out there.

“Compared with all other AR optic solutions, LetinAR PinMR solution offers superior performance. We expect that PinMR Lens will soon replace the traditional solutions,” said CEO at LetinAR, Jaehyeok Kim.

Once AR headsets become a lot more affordable to the general public, as well as become socially acceptable to wear. The demand for AR optical solutions will increase. There are many companies around the world developing AR glasses for consumer use. This might take several more years before it can break out in the general market. However, it is a high likelihood that AR glasses will be a major driver in the industry. LetinAR raised $5.4 million in its Series-A funding round which a majority of the funding coming from Kakao Ventures. They got their initial seed money from Naver.

CLO Virtual Fashion

CLO Virtual Fashion

CLO Virtual Fashion is a 3D fashion simulation specialist that offers an end-to-end solution through the virtual simulations of garments. They are able to gather big data on designs and trends for their clients. Some of their global clients include Adidas and Hugo Boss. The company now has over 170 employees in offices all around the world. They have raised over $5.4 million to date from their Series A and B rounds.

“Our company has 70 3D designers, with experience in fashion design, tech design, and patternmaking, so they are the first tier of users to test it all out…We like to see our software as a Minecraft of fashion design,” said CEO at CLO, Simon Kim.

AR Smart Mirror

CLO first made waves in South Korea when they launched the AR Smart Mirror. The AR Smart Mirror integrates CLO’s BENEFIT BY CLO 3D avatar creation and their virtual fitting application programming interface. In addition, the AR Smart Mirror incorporates LG’s touch screen signage. As well as, an automatic body scanning technology using a 3D camera that is placed at the top of the mirror. Users simply need to step up to the AR Smart Mirror and it will automatically scan your body. Then it will generate a real-time customized avatar using AI technology. Then the AR Smart Mirror can be your personal virtual fashion assistant. It will suggest the right sizing of the clothes and create a 3D version for the avatar to try on. Therefore users will be able to check the fit in real-time.

“We are honored to partner with LG in introducing AR Smart Mirror to the world for the first time. As the world’s leading company in 3D garment simulation, CLO Virtual Fashion will continue to innovate, leading the field of fashion tech,” said CTO of BENEFIT BY CLO, Sean Jeon.

The AR Smart Mirror Platform

With the AR Smart Mirror Platform, customers will be able to buy their clothes online. Furthermore, the platform will also provide valuable data about garments, designs, and the latest trends.

RECON Labs

ReconlabsOne of the hottest augmented reality startups in Korea has to be RECON Labs who has gotten investments from both Naver and Kakao. The startups aim to revolutionize the AR commerce market by reducing the cost and time for companies looking to 3D model their products. They can reduce the 3D modeling price to around $40 while shortening the modeling time to around 2 hours for a single product. Their solution is called AseeO can extract around 100 photos from a video that offers a 360-degree view of a product. It can then automatically generate a 3D model for AR conversion. In addition, RECON Labs can provide AR services through web browsers instead of apps which can save companies thousands of dollars in app development fees. To date, the startup has been able to raise $450,000 in seed funding.

Visual Camp

Visual CampKorean AR startups – Visual Camp specializes in eye-tracking technology. Eye-tracking or “gaze analysis” can be used in many fields such as smartphones, VR/AR head-mounted displays, retail, driving, and other online services. Visual Camp supplies VR/AR mobile eye-tracking software and looks to become the first creators of mobile eye-tracking technology. Not only VR eye trackers but they also have the lightest portable eye-tracker which can be embedded into a remote computer or laptop. Therefore, their eye-tracking technology can be applied to many industries such as health, education, gaming, and automotive.

Visual Camp has been working closely with a Korean automaker to incorporate its eye-tracking technology. The company has won both the V-Award at the VR Expo 2019 and the Prime Minister Award at the Korea Multimedia Technology Awards for their eye-tracking technology. Visual Camp is one of the companies supported by the K-ICT Born2Global Center. In addition, they launched a visual analysis solution called True Gaze which they hope to take to China and the U.S. markets.

“The real value of eye-tracking technology comes from analyzing gaze data. We will expand distribution to major countries such as China, Japan, and Europe after its launch in Korea and develop it into the best analytical solution widely used in the global market. We will not only enhance its quality on the VR base but expand its market by combining the technology with various devices such as mobile phones,” said the president of Visual Camp, Seok Yun-chan.

BluePrintLAB

Blue Print Lab

BluePrintLAB is a software development startup that specializes in AR to enhance the eyewear buying experience. They utilize 3D facial scanning to create user experiences that are both useful and fun. Therefore they are able to create virtual try-on experiences through smartphones as well as offer recommendations and custom-made 3D printed eyewear. Their real-time 3D facial scanning and AR technology along with their 3D rendered eyewear products allow customers to quickly try on multiple frames themselves. Furthermore, customers can get recommendations based on their facial features. BluePrintLAB was the winner of the 2019 IT Chosun AI Grand Prize of Korea and graduated from the IBK Changgong’s Accelerator program.