While the idea of a reunited Korea is one that never dies, it’s also one that seems rather unlikely in the short term. Well thanks to the work of augmented reality artist Mark Skwarek, tourists and South Korean nationals are afforded a glimpse of what was, and someday may be.
Mark’s Layar-powered Korean Unification Project “tries to heal the scars left by years of conflict in the Korean peninsula by removing the Korean Demilitarized Zone [DMZ] and returning it to its natural state before Korea was divided.” Smartphone and tablet users can go to one of two (for now) viewing locations and fire up the application for a look around. They’ll be treated to images of a landscape that, thanks to its use of erasAR, erases the signs of separation (think barriers, walls, weapons, the works) between the two countries.
That it only works at a few locations along the North/South border is lamentable, but it’s a truly novel idea. I imagine (or at least hope) that it will get a lot of mileage out of the younger set, not because of any particular political leanings but because it illustrates a part of history that otherwise wouldn’t have existed outside of textbooks. At the very least, I hope it inspires some intrepid youth to write some decent alternate history fiction.
In case you aren’t due to fly out to South Korea any time soon, here’s a video that should approximate the experience: