South Korea’s large conglomerate Halla Group, which runs auto parts, construction, property development and education businesses through several subsidiaries, is set to make inroads into the world’s smart glasses market that the global tech giant Google Inc. has failed to prosper with its own version yet.
According to a high-rank official from the group Sunday, its automotive parts making subsidiary Halla MTIS Co. is developing smart glasses with an aim to mass- produce them in next two or three years.
Smart glasses are wearable devices enabled by a marriage of information technology (IT) to augmented reality (AR). Users can easily control applications from navigation, camera and e-mail to social media that appear on screen of the wearable glass-type device with voice command.
Google was the world’s first to venture into the smart glasses with its Google Glass in 2014, which eventually failed to hit the market with no definite launch plan. The flop is attributable to its uncomfortable, bulky design that comes with a camera to be worn on a face and the hefty price tag.
Learning from Google’s mistakes, Halla MTIS will focus to develop its smart glasses that are more fashionable and affordable, said the company official. The Korean firm plans to launch the glasses with a price tag that is similar to that of a budget smartphone.
Halla MTIS is also confident that it will be able to catch up with leading players in the global smartphone market by incorporating Korea’s cutting-edge communication and the fifth-generation (5G) network communication technology, the official said.
The group’s decision to enter the smart glass market comes after its earlier announcement to develop driverless car technology through its another auto parts making unit Mando Corp. The group is seeking new growth engines that would help it transform into a futuristic technology-oriented company.
By Park Chang-young
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]