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New AR- and VR-based services will see the light soon thanks to KT, South Korea’s second-largest mobile operator, beginning with a mobile shopping service.

AR Market will allow shoppers to view the products on their smartphones in 360˚, giving the impression to be in a physical store. In a statement, Koh Yoon-Jeon, head of KT’s Future Business Development unit, said the service is the first step towards a broader AR and VR utility which will allow the operator to offer services covering the education, health and industry sectors.

“AR is a technology with a great potential that can be applied to various areas of service,” he said, adding that KT aims to establish a leading position “in immersive media services” using AR and VR.

KT tested the AR market at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February. Its TV-based sales unit was launched in July via K Shopping Mobile App with special product promotions.

The operator plans to continue developing immersive shopping services since it decided to accelerate its activities by the end of 2017. It has launched two VRIGHT VR theme parks in Seoul this year in partnership with GS Retail, a major retail operator in South Korea. KT also plans to commercialize its VR entertainment business in 2019, both locally and abroad.

If you think KT is the only operator planning to create a platform joining e-commerce and traditional shopping to give clients 3D product views, you’re wrong.

Early July, Reliance Industries, parent company of India-based mobile operator Reliance Jio, announced that it will be working on developing immersive shopping experiences using AR and holographic technologies.

At the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting, chairman Mukesh Ambani shared his vision to create a hybrid, online-to-offline commerce platform by introducing Reliance Retail’s physical stores to Jio’s digital marketplace.

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