Korea is home to a turbulent and, at times, brutal history. The division between the North and the South has long fed upon the disdain each side holds for the other. In such a baneful atmosphere, it is difficult to envision a reunified Korea. With augmented reality, however, such a fate can be experience in our lifetime. A new AR app from the Korean Unification Project offers a glimpse of a nation once torn asunder by relentless conflict, drawn together again under the banner of unity.
The app comes from Mark Skwarek, a new media artist whose projects have been featured in the New York Times and Wired. The application is powered by the Layar augmented reality browsing platform. Users of the app can go to two locations in South Korea to see a landscape unmarred by the walls of division separating the two nations. This is accomplished through the use of erasAR, AR technology also developed by Skwarek.
Currently, few locations along the South/North border are recognized by the app. There are plans to expand this coverage, but such an endeavor may take several months. The younger generation may find the app particularly alluring as the reunification movement’s gains traction among younger folk.
This is the first time AR technology has been used to erase political boundaries, opening up a new venue through which app developers and media artists can present a new perspective of the world.