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LG U+ to let K-pop fans get close to the action

Oct 19,2018
Fans will soon be able to get up close and personal with their favorite K-pop stars, at least visually, without leaving the comfort of their own homes.

LG U+ is launching its “U+ Idol Live” app on Saturday on Android phones in a bid to pull in fans of Korean artists. The app will offer immersive content using virtual reality and augmented reality technology in the near future when the next-generation 5G network, about 20 times faster than the current 4G, is commercialized.

Initially, the app will enable fans to watch performances that are being aired on music broadcast programs from four different angles - front, sides and back - and also allow them to follow a specific member of the group through the whole performance, unlike regular broadcasts that constantly shift camera shots to show all members in turn.

To offer such services, LG U+ had to set up a total of 15 extra cameras on stage for music programs, the company said. Eleven cameras are used to capture videos of specific members throughout the performance. Four others are used to shoot the whole stage from different angles.

“Fans won’t have to blame music program producers for not catching their favorite members in a specific performance,” a spokesperson from LG U+ said. “We’re trying to turn the app into a portal for idol group concert videos.”

According to Koo Tae-hyoung, director of the mobile data service unit, the company is preparing for a system so that fans can also upload their own videos of K-pop stars on the app.

By the end of this year, there will be 3-D VR content of performances. The mobile carrier says the video will make fans feel like they are actually at concerts with the new VR service. When 5G is here, probably by March next year according to the Ministry of Science and ICT, the quality of VR content will be greatly upgraded. The mobile carrier has been fostering immersive media content as its major weapon against competitors in the 5G era, but its earlier focus was on sports games.

Its previous two apps enabled users to watch baseball games and golf tournaments from various angles. The company explained that the new app targets users under the age of 20, while the previous apps appealed to an older audience.

“We hope to take the leadership in the 5G era by focusing on entertainment content targeting consumers in their teens and 20s,” said Park Jong-wook, vice president of mobile service division at LG U+.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]