Patent applications for augmented reality applications are active.
While augmented reality is drawing attention as one of the core technologies for leading the post-corona era, patent applications for augmented reality applications are continuously increasing.
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that makes it seem as if something exists in real space by providing real-time images of virtual objects combined into the real world. In the case of augmented reality (AR) being applied to mobile applications, consumers can take pictures of their homes with their smartphone cameras and place furniture and home appliances they want to buy on the screen as well as experience the functions of the products in advance.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the number of patent applications related to augmented reality applications over the past five years has been increasing annually, with 124 in 2015, 152 in 2016, 248 in 2017, 307 in 2018, and 334 in 2019.
Application status for augmented reality applications by year (2015-2019)
Looking at the types of applicants, it was found that 42.7% of received applications were from small and medium-sized enterprises, 31.3% from individuals, 13.6% from large enterprises, 8.3% from universities, and 3.9% from research institutes. Looking at applications by field, content services such as education, travel, and exhibition accounted for the largest proportion of 55.9% of the applications, while 30.2% were in shopping such as marketing and purchasing, and 7.1% in industries such as construction and manufacturing.
Application status of augmented reality application applicants by type (2015-2019)
Application status by augmented reality application field (2015-2019)
The reason why patent applications for augmented reality (AR) apps became active is that as augmented reality (AR) games such as "Pokémon go" became popular worldwide in 2017, companies became interested in the augmented reality (AR) market and focused on discovering new services and technology development in various fields.
In addition, the recent improvement in smartphone performance to the extent that large amounts of video data can be processed quickly due to the development of mobile communication technology, along with the reduction of barriers to development due to the introduction of augmented reality development tools for smartphones by Google and Apple and the resulting easy creation of applications, are also considered to be main reasons behind this increase in patent applications.
The Chief of the Electronic Commerce Examination Division of the Korean Intellectual Property Office said, "Until now, augmented reality technology has been used to a limited extent in some areas such as games and broadcasting, but as demand for non-face-to-face services increases due to Covid 19, the scope of such applications is gradually expanding to real-life areas such as shopping and travel, and patent applications for augmented reality technology are expected to further increase as market competition becomes more serious. Consequently, it is important to develop excellent technology as well as strategies to patent core technology from the early stages of development."