By Lee Hana
A national project to develop self-driving ships powered by a smart and autonomous system incorporating artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), big data and sensors has set sail.
An autonomous ship can navigate waters with little or no human participation, with built-in AI that decides on the safest routes based on photographic scans of the ship's surroundings using on-board cameras.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries on June 17 announced the launch of a joint working group for a systematic push for this project. Operated by both ministries, the project will incur a budget of KRW 160 billion to launch a self-driving vessel by 2025.
The plan is to develop ocean liners with Level 3 autonomous features, which the International Maritime Organization defines as vessels controlled remotely with a minimum number of crews, with the ability to predict and diagnose obstacles. Coastal ships will be developed with the goal of achieving Level 2 autonomous features that include remote control with crew on board.
Industry experts estimate that the global market for self-navigating ships, including vessels, equipment and materials, will reach USD 155 billion by 2025.
"Our goal is to take 50% of the related market's share by 2030, when self-driving ships are commercialized. After the project is completed in 2025, we will spare no effort to develop the technology needed for a completely autonomous ship with Level 4 features," said Kang Gyeong-seong, director-general for industrial policy at the Trade Ministry.
By Hyunjin Choi
Lululab Inc. has stated that it was named as an Honoree of CES Innovation Awards for two consecutive years. The award winning product is LUMINI Home and the category is Health & Wellness.
It was designated as an Honoree highly recognized in that Lumini Home provides the user’s personalized skin data so that people can have a simple skincare routine at home based on Artificial Intelligence and Big Data.
“We are extremely pleased for the innovative value of LUMINI to be recognized on the global stage for two years in a row,” said Lululab Inc. CEO Yongjoon Choe. “LUMINI Home is an at-home skin-care gadget that improves skin condition at ease with systematic skin management.”
Lululab Inc. was spun off from C-Lab of Samsung Electronics which is an in-house venture incubation program and has been a member company of Born2Global Centre since 2018. The beauty device, LUMINI, is comprised of a handheld facial scanning device and an analyzing software. A single photo by the AI-based device analyzes skin status and offers consultation within 10 seconds. The result on the skin condition is shown according to several criteria including wrinkles, pores, skin troubles and melisma. With detailed information on the users’ skin status, it accordingly suggests the most tailored beauty products and therapy by using ‘Skin Big Data’.
By Jung Joori and Kim Minji
Photos = SK Telecom
At 8:30 a.m., an office worker reserves a seat at her office through her smartphone. She chooses to sit apart from others to finish a project proposal. Arriving at the office, she needs no ID card to get in because of a facial recognition system that controls entry.
At 9 a.m., she sits in her reserved seat and connects her smartphone to a docking pad. The project proposal she was on working last night comes up on the monitor.
At 2 p.m., she orders a coffee using a robot barista at a cafeteria with her smartphone, which sends out an alert when the coffee is ready. She picks it up by entering a personal identification number.
At 4 p.m., she holds a virtual meeting with a coworker on a business trip in Paris using augmented reality (AR) glasses. They exchange ideas on the project proposal.
These are scenes Korea.net observed on Feb. 24 in a demonstration of a 5G smart office hosted by one of Korea’s top telecom companies. In December last year, the country became the world’s first to launch 5G service and achieved another global first in March this year by commercializing 5G for smartphones.
Cameras and large screens were installed around each gate in the lobby. Artificial intelligence (AI) cameras recognized employee faces based on 3,000 characteristics such as skin tone, face shape and hair, so they could enter without ID cards or fingerprint recognition. Intelligent surveillance cameras also controlled the office door.
At the office, all laptops and PCs were replaced with smartphone docking pads. Staff could bring up data saved in cloud servers by plugging their smartphones into docking systems under a system called virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This technology hosts a virtualized desktop on a centralized server that allows data to be stored and later brought up on a user’s desktop. Thanks to the incredibly high speed of 5G, 300 employees can simultaneously use the system without disconnection or delay.
The office had about 2,400 internet of things sensors, collecting bulk data through 5G in real time. They were installed in task force rooms, bathrooms, parking lots and even on the doorknobs of meeting rooms to check the usage of space or electricity. All data from the office were analyzed to provide the best working environment.
An Soyeon, a manager at Smart Work CoE who works in a smart office, said, "The biggest difference is that I can choose where and how to work. The combination of AI and 5G has greatly boosted work efficiency."
The wider application of 5G is expected to greatly boost efficiency and productivity at smart homes, factories and farms thanks to the mobile technology's blazing speed, massive bandwidth and super low latency.
By Min Yea-Ji and Yoon Sojung
Photos = Cheong Wa Dae
Korea’s smart city of the future will allow residents to save up to 124 hours a year, including 60 hours on the road, 20 hours in administrative transactions and five hours waiting for medical consultation at hospitals.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Feb. 13 gave a presentation on the Busan Smart City Innovative Strategy at the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) in Korea’s largest port city. Targeting the cities of Busan and Sejong, the plan will have construction begin this year and the cities opened from late 2021.
Sejong aims to boost living convenience through the introduction of mobility services such as transportation sharing and autonomous driving, while reducing the number of motor vehicles.
Sejong city will have smart mobility roads featuring the expanded use of self-driving and transportation-sharing vehicles, electric cars and bicycles, while limiting the use of gas-powered personal cars. Smart traffic lights and crosswalks will also enhance pedestrian safety.
Sejong will also offer advanced health care services like the delivery of first-aid kits via emergency drones, transmission of patient data through video links within ambulances and customized medical services depending on a patient’s condition.
Residents of the smart city in Busan can enjoy a more efficient and safer lifestyle thanks to the inclusion of robots in their daily routines. The robots will help people park cars, serve as personal assistants backed by artificial intelligence, help with logistical distribution and offer medical services at rehabilitation centers for the disabled.
President Moon Jae-in attended the presentation and looked around the surrounding booths, saying, "(A smart city) is the place where our lives will become safer and more enriched."
"An integrated safety management system utilizing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies will make it possible to immediately notify the general public of information on disasters such as earthquakes and fire and dispatch fire trucks within five minutes," he added.
"The urban crime rate can be reduced by 25 percent and traffic accidents by 50 percent."
For smoother operation of smart city construction and related projects, the government announced improvements to related regulations and the possible introduction of a "regulatory sandbox" for smart cities.
The smart city project is part of Korea’s aggressive effort to take the global lead in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In January last year, the country set up the world’s first pilot complex of smart city apartments at the national level and enacted related laws.
By Xu Aiying and Lee Hana
The government on Jan. 16 announced plans to boost innovative growth by fueling the hydrogen economy as well as through projects in big data and artificial intelligence (AI).
In a meeting at Seoul's Yangjae Innovation Hub to discuss innovative growth strategies for 2019, Minister of Economy and Finance Hong Nam-ki said the supply of hydrogen-powered cars will jump from 2,000 vehicles last year to around 80,000 by 2022.
"Our goal is to become the biggest shareholder of the world markets for hydrogen- and fuel cell-powered vehicles. We have strategies for production, storage, transportation and application to achieve this very goal," he said, adding that the final outline will come on Jan. 17 at a hydrogen economy conference attended by President Moon Jae-in.
Hong also announced projects for big data and AI, saying plans for around 100 big data centers, 10 big data platforms and a comprehensive AI hub to provide support for related services are in the works.
"We hope to emerge as a leader in these two sectors. Our goal is to turn big data into a KRW 3 trillion industry by 2023 and develop 10 AI-based unicorn companies with 10,000 employees working in both fields," he said.
The government will also provide more support to 12 sectors including manufacturing, services and emerging industries to boost innovation.
Other measures the minister mentioned included raising the competitiveness of the car, shipbuilding, display panel and petrochemical industries, reforming regulations in tourism, social welfare, gaming, digital content and distribution, and restructuring the tax systems for factories and complexes in next-generation industries, futuristic cars, financial technology and biohealth.