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Keontaek Lee (Ph.D, Barun ICT Research Center, Yonsei Univ.)

Accompanying the explosive popularity of games such as Pokemon Go, Augmented reality (AR) has led to a growing interest in its potential and future it can bring about in the future. AR is a technology enriching the real world with overlaying digital information and media, such as 3D models and videos in real-time.


The success of Pokemon Go suggests that there will be an influx of AR applications, such as games of similar forms, that will lead to an upsurge in AR users. However, considerations of user safety in an AR setting remain an unresolved issue. There are already reports of injuries to Pokemon Go players due to their lack of attention to their surroundings.


As the number of AR applications and their users increase, it is evident that this will result in additional injuries and créate new safety hazards. An AR environment requires safety measures for its users.


The majority of injuries occur when users, overly focused on an AR application, are unaware of their physical surroundings. Incidents where Pokemon Go players have fallen from a cliff or been hit by a car at an intersection are examples of this phenomenon. When users focus on an AR application, their smartphones receive their undivided attention. Therefore, to effectively alert users to dangers, smartphones need to detect safety hazards nearby and deliver alert messages to the user. This brings up the question of how smartphones can detect safety hazards.


Dr. Keontaek Lee (Barun ICT Research Center, Yonsei Univ.) has created an application using transmissions from Bluetooth beacons installed at pedestrian crossings, stairs, construction sites, and danger zones to warn users. The app continues to operate while other apps are used and provides warning alarms, vibrating alerts, and pop-up message to notify users of nearby safety hazards. Smartphones are an effective way to alert users of nearby safety hazards to prevent the risk of injuries and assist in unexpected situations. The app is undergoing further development to incorporate GP navigation and maps to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of the warnings.


** A Bluetooth beacon device periodically sends Bluetooth transmissions. With a range of 70m, transmissions, easily detected by smartphones, can approximate the distance to the beacon. In addition, because Bluetooth beacons are small and light, they are easy to install and remove and, operating at low energy, have a battery life of up to two years.



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