(LOS ANGELES) – The South Korean creator of a futuristic “4D” theme park that sparked interest in countries around the world has committed suicide at a hotel in West Hollywood, officials told ABC News on Tuesday.
Eun-Seok Chey, 39, was CEO of d’strict, a New York and Seoul-based creative agency. Chey has been in the industry spotlight for his state-of-the-art digital software design and engineering. His company is a pioneer in technologies such as media façade and the use of holograms to create a virtual stage.
The Los Angeles County Coroner confirmed to ABC News that Chey had hanged himself on Feb. 17, but the company announced on its Facebook page that the cause of death was a heart attack.
One of the last interviews he gave was to ABC News at Ilsan, near Seoul, where he built an indoor theme park dubbed “4D Live Park” where visitors’ avatars roam through a world of games and adventures. The 2.85 acres of techno thrills is a compilation of future state-of-the art virtual technologies.
“We call it 4D because it’s backed by 3D video screens, plus interaction. Here, you are not just an audience going through one ride to another. You are part of what you see. In short, you are experiencing mixed augmented reality,” Chey said.
Mixed augmented reality refers to the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce a new visualized environment using computer generated input such as video or graphics.
D’strict will announce next month its first overseas Live Park facility in China, to be opened by the end of 2013. The company recently secured a project in Singapore and was also in talks with governments and investors in the U.S., Dubai, Singapore, and Macao.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Camille Verdier, Steve Visser and Margot Haddad, CNN
Georgia McCafferty and Junko Ogura, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN