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[Herald Design Forum 2017] The new normal: Imagining wine recommendations in augmented reality

George Popescu, Jung Sung-gi, Gen Terao talk about new ways of thinking in design

Nov. 7, 2017 - 21:31 By Rumy Doo
Imagine that when you finish a glass of wine, small text and images instantly pop up on the table, recommending a variety of different wines for you to try next. The selections would take into consideration your preference, pairing with your dish, and so on.

This is the type of augmented reality envisioned by tech software company Lampix, founded and headed by Romanian entrepreneur George Popescu.

The Lampix software, still in development to be commercialized, projects various types of information onto tables.

“We’re all familiar with smart surfaces, like the screen of a smartphone,” Popescu said at the Herald Design Forum’s third session, titled “The Design 4.0: New Normal Design Economy,” held at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. 

George Popescu speaks at The Herald Design Forum at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

“But there are many types of surfaces -- kitchen tables, desks, coffee tables, store counters -- which are not smart, yet.”

The Lampix software aims to use a projector to display images onto such surfaces.

“You could purchase a coffee, and augmented reality would recommend similar aromas to fit your taste on the tabletop,” said Popescu.

The CEO imagines a plethora of commercial potential for the software. “It could be used to enhance customer experience. Currently, physical stores are struggling. Their strength is that you can experience the product with your hands, but there is little feedback and connectivity.”

Lampix software could be incorporated into clothing stores, recommending matching accessories and so on, Popescu pointed out. The same type of content accessible on the internet would become available in physical spaces, he said.

Urging new ways of thinking

Sung Jung-ki speaks at The Herald Design Forum at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Sung Jung-gi wants to encourage people to rethink their actions through his thoughtful designs.

One of Sung’s designs was a mineral water bottle with a cap shaped like the handle of a water faucet.

“I wanted to restore faith in tap water, while simultaneously calling for government efforts toward better quality tap water,” Sung said at the Herald Design Forum.

Sung is the creative director and product designer of design company Daylight Asia’s headquarters in Seoul.

The industrial designer was the first Korean designer of Ideo, a US-based international design and consulting firm, before taking a post at Lunar from 2006 to 2013.

Another product designed by Sung was a trash can with a webbed cap.

“Only smaller pieces of trash can be thrown away through the cap’s holes,” Sung explained. “It causes inconvenience, but it calls for people to become conscious of the waste they produce.”

Following free spirit in design

Terao Gen speaks at The Herald Design Forum at The Shilla Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Musician-turned-designer Gen Terao detailed his life story, tracing the twists and turns in his journey to founding product design company Balmuda in 2003.

“Throughout the past 13 years, our company has enjoyed exponential growth,” said Terao. “Growing up, I was always told, if you’ve done something once, you can do it again. I often ask myself, if I were to go back in time, would I be able to do all this again?”

Prior to entering the design industry, the award-winning designer pursued a music career as a member of a band. After the group’s disbanding in 2001, Terao taught himself skills in product design and manufacturing.

Balmuda was first brought to public attention following the launch of Green Fan in 2010. Balmuda’s signature toaster oven, the first product in the company’s Hello Kitchen! Series, won the gold prize at the Good Design Awards in 2015.

Terao’s business philosophy is based on instincts, trust in the self and the pursuit of a better quality of life.

“It’s impossible to prove that something is impossible. In this strong belief I have been running my business.

“Even the best businesses cannot provide a better life for people. Life is an accumulation of experiences. What is experience? In the end, it is the accumulation of all your senses.”

Terao urged aspiring creators to stay truthful to their own personal tastes.

“There are creators in this room and people who want to be creators. There are things that are unquantifiable. How can you evaluate them? With preference -- whether you like it or not. So trust in yourself -- believe in your own tastes.”

By Rumy Doo (