In this post, I will be talking about new technologies that you can see in South Korea.
Not many people know that South Korea is the 12 largest economy in the world. It is also the 9th largest trading nation with a trading volume of over $1 trillion. The country is known for its technological advancements; in the 2018 Winter Olympic, Korea was termed as the most technologically advanced nation.
Moreover, South Korea is a top producer in displays, semiconductors, and mobile phones. The country also ranked first for 6 consecutive years in innovation. Because of this, the country was testing grounds for various technological trends like augmented reality (AR), mobility, virtual reality (VR), blockchain, and artificial intelligence (AI).
The tech giants like LG and Samsung have been working with local startups to incorporate these technologies.
Here are some of the top tech trends in South Korea.
5G Wireless Networks
South Korea was one of the first countries to launch 5G wireless networks. The country offers faster connectivity for autonomous driving, smart machines, and media consumption. The major telecommunication companies have invested in expanding their 5G services. The users of 5G subscribers have reached a total of 6.34 million.
The SK Telecom’s 45% subscribers are 5G customers, LG U+ has 24.7% while KT has 30.3% users. The local operators have established nearly 115,000 5G stations throughout the country. Moreover, the Korean telecommunication companies will be working on commercializing the mmWave 5G network in the coming years.
The mmWave 5G network will be available for business to business initially. Over the years, the service will be available for business to the consumer sector. Since the expenditure is high, it will be introduced by 2022.
One of the technological trends you can find in South Korea is robots. Koreans are crazy about robots. For quite some time now, they have been using hoverboards, drones, robot coffee makers, and vacuums. However, the use of robots was limited.
Incheon International Airport is using robots to help passengers. The robots developed by LG Electronics will help passengers in basic activities like finding their lounge or gate. These robots look like real robots having a screen that displays information. With the help of cameras and laser sensors, the robots can navigate. Also, robots are capable of processing language and recognize their voice.
In the 2018 Winter Olympics, Korea presented robot technology to the world. This country has the largest number of robots merely because of the automotive industries and companies like Hyundai.
In the near future, it is anticipated the robots will be widely used in homes, workplaces, and for events. The use of robots for daily chores will make human lives less hectic and hassle-free.
Internet of Things (IoT)
We are living in a digital world where IoT is all around us. Since South Korea is a technologically advanced nation, it has been using smart clocks, toys, appliances, and much more for a long time. Soon, the country will be using toilets and refrigerators that will be connected to the internet.
According to a report, more than 6 million people subscribed to IoT in 2017. The services include PC tablets, wearables, vehicle controlling, remote controlling, mobile payment solutions, etc. It is predicted that the IoT market will become a $1.5 trillion industry.
Currently, the main focus of IoT is a smart home. Several big mobile companies are working with construction companies to make smart homes throughout Korea. SK Telecom has assisted in building 70 smart homes that are connected with through voice assistant called NUGU.
Besides, KT has collaborated with Samsung and LG to work on smart appliances that will be connected to the web using voice assistant, GiGA. In the future, more of such partnerships will be formed to make Korea smart.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Another technology trend in South Korea is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Without a doubt, AI is available across the globe, though it is still work in progress. The companies that don’t incorporate AI will not be able to stay in the competition for long.
South Korea has come a long way since the Korean War. It is a technological hub thanks to advancement and innovation. In 2018, the building of the first AI industrial town was started, and it was expected to be completed by 2019.
Under this plan, a National AI Research Institute, and AI Campus will be created. These will help in training people to have essential skills when it comes to AI technologies. Also, these institutes will assist the AI startup ecosystem.
It was predicted that it will create over 5,000 new jobs and up to 1,000 AI startups. Companies like LG and Samsung will add this tech into various products, from lighting to refrigerators. This means all the products produced in the coming will have AI technology in some form. Not only this, but a huge amount of money is being spent on R&D in AI.
Furthermore, tensions with North Korea are increasing. This means that the country will be trying to incorporate AI in weapons. The integration of AI will help the military to make better decisions. The AI weapons will help in analyzing weather data, geographic data, and mapping. Also, it can help in tracking the enemy and collect more information. This will be a great way to take the right course of action.
Blockchain is another technology that got popularity in 2017 after bitcoin went crazy. In recent times, everyone is talking about it across the globe. For those who don’t know, blockchain is about decentralization and securing information. Through blockchain technology, more power is given to people.
Thanks to this advancement, many Korean startups are being innovative. Korbit is a great example. This company enables you to convert cash into cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. There are several companies working on using blockchain technology for improving data information and trading digital currencies. With the help of a strong blockchain network, many Korean startups can go global.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Pokemon Go was a huge success in Korea but incorporating AR and VR technologies in industries a lot more complex than it seems. Using VR/AR technology to create a vast impact on society is quite challenging. This is because the VR headsets are extremely heavy and not everyone owns one.
Despite being fun, VR technology is not has been used to its full potential. Fortunately, many developers are moving towards VR/AR and are working on VR/AR related apps. In present times, more focus will be on software rather than hardware.
The companies in Korea are focusing on enhancing user experience using AR. When it comes to VR, the country is years away from fully embracing it. Currently, VR is widely used for rides at Lotte World.
There are companies working towards making VR content for movies and games. Soon, there will be VR theaters with 4 screens that can accommodate 8 people.
Since 2015, the Cloud Computing Development and User Protection Act of Korea has been established. Both, public organizations and government have been using cloud computing for improving business to business links. Thanks to this technology, industries have adopted a cloud-first strategy. This is because cloud-based solutions have made processes and operations easy across all the industries. It was predicted that the cloud market will expand nearly 18.2% in the coming 4 years.
One of the best technological trends in South Korea is a smart car. Many automakers like Renault Samsung, GM Korea, Hyundai, KIA, and others are working on making a driverless car. Hyundai has been ahead of the competition when it comes to smart car developments. The company promised to complete its autonomous car by the end of 2020. For this project, Hyundai is closely working with Cisco, Apple, and Google.
The main technologies used for the car include AI, mapping, sensing, communication infrastructures such as V2X and infotainment.
Healthcare and AI
A few years ago, AI was incorporated into the healthcare industry. For a long time, technology has helped us overcome major problems. We moved out of the dark ages because of technology. With the help of technology, we have eradicated diseases that have been around since forever.
Still, we have a long way to go.
AI technology will make it easy for providing healthcare services to patients. For instance, companies are working on incorporating AI for making it hassle-free to deliver drugs to clients. It is a wonderful way to improve communications between suppliers and customers.
The customers can get personalized information from specialists while medical specialists can get direct feedback from the customers. The government is encouraging companies to come up with innovative solutions such as using AI in medical image analysis.
Using Technology to Fight COVID-19
The outbreak of COVID-19 is a personal tragedy that has caused a lot of people to suffer. The whole world is trying to combat this pandemic. Some countries have a troubling and tough time combating COVID-19 while some countries like South Korea restricted the spread of coronavirus quickly.
Technology has a huge role to play in controlling COVID-19. From diagnostic apps to telecommuting solutions. After the outbreak of coronavirus, the government adopted transparency and openness to contain the spread. The country used cutting edge technology for coming up with an effective means of response.
Using the mobile phone location information, data mining of CCTV footage, credit card usage, and other technologies for tracking the movements of infected people. The government also used apps to provide information to the public like places to avoid. Besides this, apps were developed for self-diagnosis and easily connect them to the monitoring staff.
Gambling and Technology
Since the beginning, gambling has been illegal in South Korea. The government has strict regulations and laws regarding gambling. However, the only forms of gambling and betting allowed are such as lotteries, cycling, horseracing, and boat racing.
There are brick and mortar casinos in South Korea, but all the casinos expect one, is off-limits for natives. If a native goes into the casino, they will face a 3-year prison sentence. Not only this but if a native Korean is caught gambling abroad, they will be prosecuted upon returning to South Korea.
So, this means South Korean are not allowed to enjoy gambling. There is only one casino that allows natives to gamble. It is quite expensive and hard to reach. The strict laws and regulations have increased the online gambling market.
Though online gambling is illegal for natives, there are not many rules and regulations for online gambling. The government is still working on making policies for online gambling.
There are plenty of sites that allow South Koreans to gamble. Since the government keeps blocking gambling sites, natives use international companies and VPNs. Through VPNs, the South Koreans or anyone can play with games on gambling sites using a masked and different location.
Due to Coronavirus, the gambling industry is expected to expand to $66.7 billion from $58.9 billion. It is predicted that the gambling market will reach $92.9 billion because of COVID-19.
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What technology do you think is beneficial? Share your views with us in the comments below!