SEOUL -- K-pop boy band BIGBANG member Seungri, well known for his successful business skills, will launch a virtual reality (VR) theme park in Singapore next week. The singer is operating a dance academy and a Japanese noodle restaurant franchise.
"Seungri will launch a VR them park franchise by opening the first store in Singapore on November 15," Kim Yuri, Social Network public relations manager, told Aju News Monday adding the 27-year-old BIGBANG member has become the president of the company's VR franchise division last week.
Social Network is a Seoul-based technology company which specializes in VR and augmented reality (AR). The company has created popular AR smartphone apps for children using well-known cartoon characters like Pororo and Larva.
After opening his first VR theme park in Singapore, Seungri will open additional VR fun parks in Seoul, Mexico, Las Vegas, and China. "We plan to open eight VR theme parks around the world this year," Kim said.
VR theme parks, also known as VR arcades, gained South Korean consumers' attention about two years ago when technology companies such as Sony, Oculus and HTS released VR devices for computers and game consoles. Many found VR theme parks useful and more cost-effective as VR devices were expensive and needed a lot of space to enjoy.
Inside a VR theme park, visitors wear VR headsets and other gaming gears such as a rifle-shaped controller to play single-player games or engage in an online team battle with friends. Normally visitors are allocated to small rooms but some large-sized VR theme parks offer huge gymnasium-like spaces to provide freedom of movement.
Currently, there are hundreds of VR arcades in operation throughout South Korea. The global VR arcade market is led by Bandai Namco, a world famous toy and game maker, which operates a global VR theme park franchise using popular characters from Dragon Ball and other cartoons.
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