[pre-IFA] Korean tech firms to lead niche market of AR, VR

By Kim Da-sol
  • Published : Apr 22, 2018 - 15:39
  • Updated : Apr 22, 2018 - 15:39

ROME -- South Korean companies will take the lead in the development of augmented and virtual reality technology although it may still be a niche market, an executive at a German consumer market research institute said during a preview of IFA, held in Rome, Saturday.

“While Korea has emerged as a digitally mature country, we see Koreans willing to spend money for premium devices, like gadgets for VR contents. If you look at AR, VR and also artificial intelligence, I think these are the technologies where Korea can be at the forefront,” said Gerard Tan, a director at GfK Asia.

According to GfK’s statistics, global AR and VR contents application market was valued at $3.2 billion as of last year, marking 72 percent growth on-year. 

Gerard Tan, APAC director at GfK, speaks during 2018 IFA Global Press Conference in Rome, Saturday. IFA

While such a market is currently not a mass market, with generally high smartphone penetration rate in Asia Pacific market, there is room for increased sales, another GfK official said.

“Although I can see growth on VR glasses, it is still a niche market. AR or VR systems, however, might not only be used for consumers but also at hospitals and everyday life in the future. It will grow further, moving beyond gaming industry,” said Jurgen Boyny, global consumer electronics director at GfK.

Such develop will also allow people to shop virtually.

According to GfK survey, Asia Pacific’s digital gadgets market is currently predominantly driven by China and India, following a high smartphone penetration rate among shoppers there.

About 90 percent of shoppers in China used a smartphone to shop last year, followed by 76 percent in Indonesia, the survey showed, while the number was just 44 percent in EU.

With trends allowing consumers to shop whenever and wherever they go, tech savvy consumers in the region will continue to rapidly expand the consumer base, Tan said.

“The bottom line is that there are over 4.5 billion people in the Asian market -- about 60 percent of world’s population -- while five out of top 10 world’s fastest growing economies in this area. By 2030, two-thirds of the Global middle class will be living in Asia,” Tan said.

By Kim Da-sol, The Korea Herald correspondent  (