The Electronics Telecommunications and Research Institute (ETRI), located in Daejeon, South Korea’s 5th largest city, is advancing 3D technology with a huge injection of funding. The institute has just announced a 3D scanning smartphone application involving technology three years in the making. $5.7 million was invested in ETRI during the research period mostly by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, with a $1.5 million received from private funds.

The Expo bridge in Daejeon, South Korea Photo by: Michael Mellinger on flickr

The landmark Expo bridge in Daejeon, South Korea Photo by: Michael Mellinger on flickr

An official from the Korean Ministry of Science explained the ambition behind the project as:

We hope the new technology serves as a platform that leads the global trend of 3D content production, and further expands the popularity of augmented reality.

The ETRI

Korea’s ETRI was established in 1976 and is located in Daedeok Science Town in Daejeon, South Korea. The institute houses roughly 2000 employees with the vast majority being researchers. Amongst its achievements, the ETRI counts a 3D multi-color hologram which can be viewed from all angles. While the hologram is only three inches in size, development of this process could have big implications to the 3D design industry. As we know from 3D printed prototypes, a physical object is better than looking at a screen.

The 3D hologram developed by ETRI researchers. Photo via Engadget.

The 3D hologram developed by ETRI researchers. Photo via Engadget.

ETRI have also been looking into the properties of graphene as a integrated safety precaution for clothing, and has recently released a video on Youtube highlighting a cloud-based computer service under the name of GLORY CSS (See below. Commentary is in Korean, but the visuals used handy illustrate the platform’s capabilities)

 

Video via etri9401

The smartphone app

The Institute have successfully claimed four international patents for their new application which is designed to create 3D content on a smartphone. Officials from ETRI have suggested that the technology could even be applied to 3D printing, similar to other apps such as Microsoft’s 3D Builder app, and 3D Creationist.

Though the app is at present a small part of undoubtedly bigger things for the ETRI, it’s clear to see that South Korea is quickly becoming a hub of technological innovation. And with such support from the government developments ought to be made pretty fast.

Featured image of ETRI researchers with their 3D hologram. Photo via ET news. 

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