Kakao turns golf entertainment wing into sports digital culture company

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 8, 2021, 16:01 Updated : March 8, 2021, 16:02

[Courtesy of Kakao VX]

SEOUL --  South Korea's web service giant Kakao will turn its golf-related unit, Kakao VX, into a new company that will lead digital transformation in healthcare and every sports sector using artificial intelligence and augmented reality. The move comes amid a prolonged slump that has battered indoor sports facilities since a COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.

"We will lead the 'sports digital culture' which utilizes games and information technology," Kakao VX head Moon Tae-sik said in a statement on March 8. Kakao VX, launched in 2012 as a screen golf company, operates a mobile AI-based golf booking service. In 2019, the company released a smart home training app that works as a virtual health trainer, using AI and AR technology.

Kakao VX said it would converge the know-how and technology of subsidiaries affiliated with the parent group which operates dozens of web services that range from webcomics to blockchain through subsidiaries, interlinking services and technologies to maximize efficiency and profit. Kakao Talk, the country's favorite smartphone messenger app, was interlinked with an online shopping service to create a one-stop chat-and-shop service.

The popularity of field golf soared in 2020 due to a COVID-19 pandemic as people shun indoor sports games such as carom, table tennis and screen golf. There are more than 7,000 screen golf cafes equipped with multiple simulators.
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