By Kim Young Deok and Yoon Sojung
Video = Seongdong-gu District Office
High-tech bus stops that can protect commuters from viruses and fine dust and shelter them from snow and rain have been launched in Seoul for the first time.
Seongdong-gu District Office on Aug. 10 said the ten "smart shelter" indoor bus stops within the district are covered with transparent tempered glass.
People can wait for their buses while enjoying cool and clean air inside a shelter, which is equipped with air conditioning and heating and an infrared air sterilizer.
The smart CCTV installed at the stop displays the arrival times of buses. An artificial intelligence system also prevents and reports crimes or accidents by sensing situations such as unusual behavior or screams in the surrounding area and alerting police or fire stations in the district.
All of a shelter's functions can be controlled 24 hours a day by Seongdong-gu's Smart City Comprehensive Control Center through the Internet of Things. The shelter can generate its own electricity through solar panels on the ceiling.
The district said, "This state-of-the-art shelter is unlike any others in existence for protecting against fine dust or cold wind in winter," adding, "This is an optimal service space for anyone regardless of gender or age to experience a smart daily routine."
By Hyunjin Choi
“5G will be prevalent throughout the globe like electricity with the connectivity of billions of devices,” said James Cathey, the senior vice president and president of Global Business for Qualcomm Technologies Inc. He made a speech on the 5G Future at the 20th World Knowledge Forum. He stated that 5G will create an unprecedented disruptive industry with the most powerful impact that other communication technologies have never shown.
“In the new age, 5G breaks down the barriers to innovation. People will come across the newest technologies ever such as 4K video streaming, virtual reality, autonomous vehicles and so forth.
Pathbreaking innovation is possible with 5G. People will witness how powerful it is to disrupt all the existing industries,” added James Cathey.
He also mentioned the economic effect that 5G can bring to the world. The economic contributions of 3G and 4G are around USD 10 bn and USD 3 tn respectively. However, 5G is expected to bring USD 12 tn of the economic effect to the world and create 20 million jobs.
In his speech, he pointed out the successful 5G launching in Korea. Korea is the world-first 5G commercialized country with 3 million 5G subscribers.
Another guest speaker, Lee Junehee, the Samsung senior vice president leading Technology Strategy team within Mobile Communications Business, emphasized on the 5G partnership.
“Since the initiation of 5G, Samsung is leading the 5G market through partnerships with prestigious global companies including Qualcomm. In this hyper-connectivity era, a vast range of collaborations are important no matter how big or small the companies are,” said Mr. Lee.
Mr. Lee claimed more than 2 million people worldwide are using 5G networks with Samsung 5G smartphones, boasting Samsung is the leading company in the 5G smartphone market. According to him, the subscriber number is expected to be doubled by the end of the year. Samsung has released 5 kinds of 5G smartphones including GalaxyS 10, GalaxyNote 10, GalaxyA 90 etc. Mr. Lee noted Samsung will provide a quality 5G service to consumers through collaboration with various companies.
Mr. Cathey anticipated the 5G era will be the most winning opportunity ever to the startups. He said it is the time when small yet strong companies can harness new technologies and innovation.
“Startups had hard time in the 3G and 4G age since they needed SW and engineers for technology development. In the age of 5G, however, tremendous infrastructure and supply chains are available for startups, making this time a big chance for them,” claimed Mr. Cathey.
The 20th World Knowledge Forum, Asia’s biggest debate and knowledge forum, was held on September 25th - 27th at Jangchung Arena and the Sillar Hotel in Korea. A media giant, Maekyung Media Group launched the forum with a mission to transform Korea into a knowledge driven nation, decreasing knowledge gaps by sharing ideas. Under the theme of “Perspicacity towards Prosperity for All”, more than 250 leaders around the world shared their insights from technology to socio-political issues.
By Yoon Sojung
President Moon Jae-in on Sept. 18 expressed his administration's willingness to help Saudi Arabia rebuild its oil facilities that were damaged by a drone attack.
In a telephone conversation with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman earlier that day, he said, "It is deeply regrettable that oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia were badly damaged by drone attacks," adding, "I would like to extend my sympathy to the Saudi Arabian crown prince and the Saudi Arabian people."
Blasting the attack as a "threat to the security of Korea as well as the whole world," President Moon said, "The international community should respond to such an attack in a determined manner."
"Korea wishes a speedy recovery of the destroyed facilities, and we are willing to work together in the recovery process."
The Saudi crown prince expressed his gratitude to President Moon for criticizing the latest attack, emphasizing the role of the international community. Bin Salman also urged his country's allies to make joint responses through cooperation and requested Seoul's help in Riyadh's plan to create an air defense system to prevent such an attack, something that President Moon agreed to work closely together on.
Both leaders also lauded the bolstering of bilateral cooperation in sectors such as construction, infrastructure, national defense and the defense industry since their summit in June this year in Seoul.
By Jeon Han and Lee Hana
"Toward a future of peace and prosperity" is the slogan of the 34th conference for general directors of the Organization for Cooperation between Railways (OSJD) slated from April 8-12 in Seoul. Korea will host the annual event for the first time after earning full membership last year.
Based in Warsaw, Poland, the OSJD is a multilateral organization that brings together public rail operators across Eurasia to improve the coordination of rail transportation in the region. Its conference is considered the United Nations General Assembly for continental railways.
This year's event is expected to attract more than 300 general directors and representatives from rail operators in 27 countries including Russia, China, Mongolia, Poland and Kazakhstan. They will share their respective countries' results last year in five areas such as freight volume, number of passengers and in-car facilities and discuss expanding multilateral cooperation.
"As this will be our first time hosting this international conference since becoming an OSJD member, we will definitely put our best foot forward," said Korail CEO Son Byung-seok. "We will treat the conference as a prime opportunity to showcase to global rail leaders our rail technology, potential and vision for Eurasia's continental railroads."
By Yoon Sojung
Photo = Kim Sunjoo
Seoul | March 22, 2019
The world’s first ambassador of technology, Casper Klynge of Denmark, on March 22 emphasized bilateral cooperation between Korea and his country in sectors related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
"Korea is second to none in the internet of things (IoT) and 5G. Both Korea and Denmark can benefit from tech diplomacy," he said at Seoul Square in the capital’s Jung-gu District.
In 2016, Denmark became the first country to create the post of tech ambassador and also coined the term "techplomacy." This was to stress the significance of setting new global standards for technological development by companies and governments and setting ethical standards in technology.
In the discussion "Can Techplomacy Work for Korea in the 4th Industrial Revolution," Klynge said, “Today, technology is the power that controls not only an individual’s life but also policies of government."
"Various issues rooted from technology development have far wider effects that a government cannot handle alone, and that is why techplomacy is needed."
The diplomat said he is optimistic about the cooperation potential of techplomacy between Seoul and Copenhagen thanks to their close relationship. This was his second visit to Seoul, following his first after his appointment as tech ambassador in 2017.
Calling cybersecurity and smart city development as promising sectors in techplomacy, Klynge said, "Korea and Denmark will have negotiations in cooperation of the cybersecurity sector within the next two weeks, and a very constructive outcome can be made."
"Part of techplomacy includes sharing ethical and social responsibility of technology among governments and companies," he added, mentioning issues in technological development such as data protection and cybersecurity.
"Techplomacy will bring benefits to Korea and Denmark and many other countries especially in boosting human rights, gender equality, IoT and the smart city sector."
By Jung Joori and Kim Hwaya
Seoul Metropolitan Government has unveiled an ambitious blueprint to turn the nation's capital into a leading smart city through the use of big data and information and communications technology (ICT).
The city government on March 13 announced that it will pursue 18 strategic projects slated for completion by 2022 in public administration, traffic systems, public safety, the environment, social welfare and the economy.
To provide new and better services for residents, municipal authorities plan to combine core technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including the internet of things (IoT) and big data, with ICT and city administration data.
A combined 50,000 IoT sensors will be installed throughout Seoul by 2022 to collect information on fine dust and help shape policy toward nighttime saftey.
To improve the traffic system, a shared parking service using IoT sensors will check parking availability, allowing users to make reservations and pay parking fees through a smartphone app. This system will see pilot operations begin this year at 500 spaces, and will be expanded to 3,000 by 2022.
For raising public safety, 17,820 intelligent closed-circuit TV cameras will be equipped throughout the capital by 2021. Using big data and artificial intelligence, the cameras will constantly check for incidents such as physical altercations or arson and alert police or firefighters of dangerous situations in real time.
Another innovation set to debut in 2021 in Seoul is 3-D virtual reality technology to digitally recreate the city's overall environment and predict urban change.
For the silver generation, a pilot welfare service from this year will monitor 1,000 senior citizens living alone with IoT plugs that check power consumption. The number will be increased to 4,000 elderly by 2022.
By Min Yea-Ji and Kim Young Shin
Photos = KT
Korea, the world’s first country to launch the 5G cellular network for business clients last year, is preparing to kick start 5G service for consumers in March.
Since January, KT has conducted test runs of 5G buses in Seoul’s Gwanghwamun area and near Gangnam Station in southern Seoul. The buses provide hands-on experience in the next-generation service to be launched.
Korea.net took a ride on a 5G bus in central Seoul to see what was inside.
Hopping on the bus, the first thing coming into sight is a 5G mobile hotspot router installed inside. The device receives the signal from 5G mobile base stations in Gwanghwamun and the Gangnam Station area in Seoul and rebroadcasts it into a Wi-Fi signal, transforming the bus into a 5G area.
Next to each seat are virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display gear, a remote control and a smartphone. A simulator app is installed on the phone to aid the VR program offered on the bus; the app takes up just 256MB. In an LTE-environment, an app bigger than 100GB must be operated on a smartphone. In a 5G environment, however, the program can be operated merely with the 256MB app complemented by real-time data streaming. This demonstrates the ultra-high speed of the next-generation network of 20Gbps, which is up to 20 times faster than LTE, meaning speed that is at least 10 times faster for users.
In the past, songs were downloaded and played on MP3 players but faster internet speed led to music streaming services. Movies and TV shows, which also required downloading media files on devices, can now be watched via streaming sites. The 5G next-generation network can further boost VR and video games through its uber-fast speed.
The 5G service is often mentioned together with VR and augmented reality (AR) as they require a tremendous amount of data processing for operation.
The head-mounted gear on the bus takes the passenger to a basketball game. It feels as if the user is an invisible courtside spectator. The players on the court dribble the ball, pass right by to shoot the ball and block defenders. Watching the game on the court is so real that the user can feel dizzy.
The VR program also offers the 360-degree, first-person shooting game "Special Force," movies, entertainment and golf lessons with no lag.
As the first country to commercialize LTE in 2011, Korea is expected to reassert its world-leading and cutting-edge information and communications technology with 5G's commercial release to consumers from March this year.
By Jung Joo-ri and Yoon Sojung
President Moon Jae-in on Jan. 10 announced the policy direction of his administration on employment, labor issues and regulatory innovation in a Q&A session that was part of his New Year’s news conference at Cheong Wa Dae.
Reflecting on his first 20 months in office, the chief executive said the lackluster employment index was the biggest regret of his term, saying, "How to solve the issue is the most pressing task of my administration."
He said the chronically poor performance of manufacturing resulted in the sluggish employment market.
Proposing innovation as the key to solving the issue, he said, "Innovation in the manufacturing sector such as applying smart technologies will heighten the industry’s competitiveness."
President Moon added that the government will strive to support venture startups and entrepreneurs to produce new growth momentum.
On labor policy, he said, "Improving the lives of employees is crucial for reducing and removing economic inequality."
"My administration has put a lot of effort toward raising employee wages, shortening work hours and transforming irregular workers into regular ones."
Switching to regulatory innovation, President Moon urged all sides to have an open heart.
"In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, many changes are taking place in the economy and society but it seems some people are sticking to outdated values," he said.
"I hope all of us can have a more open heart to meet the changes of the times and show a more flexible mindset to have conversations with others."
President Moon also announced more government support to foster startups, suggesting that junior and senior workers work together to take advantage of new ideas from younger staff and the experience of veteran employees simultaneously.
A visitor tries out life in a smart city through some VR gear at the Busan Eco-Delta City booth,
at the DMC Hi-Tech Industry Center in Seoul on July 16. (Yonhap News)
By Kim Eun-young and Kim Young Shin
John Doe, a resident of the "smart city" of Sejong City, commutes to work in an autonomous car. Thanks to new AI systems that analyze traffic and navigate through the fastest route possible, his trip is stress-free and relaxing. As he arrives at work, a drone delivers a few books and some tomatoes that were grown at a "smart farm" and which were bought with his Sejong Coin digital currency.
Jane Doe, living in the "smart city" of Busan, paid almost nothing for her electricity bill last month, despite the freezing weather, thanks to eco-friendly energy sources. Also, she no longer buys drinking water because she can drink purified, clean tap water straight from the city water supply system.
These are two of the Moon Jae-in administration’s blue prints for "smart cities," urban areas that enhance major government services in the city with state-of-the-art IT.
The Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on July 16 announced plans for pilot projects that will build new "smart city" developments in the cities of Sejong City and Busan by 2021.
According to the plan, a 2.74-square-kilometer development in Sejong City’s block No. 5-1, a little smaller than the size of Yeouido island in Seoul, will become a car-sharing zone. Inside that zone, residents will commute using shared self-driving cars or on bicycles. They will also make payments using digital currencies that make use of blockchain technologies. Finally, the new development will also feature drones and robots that will deliver parcels and even offer first aid.
Busan’s new Eco-Delta City, a 2.19-square-kilometer development, will become an eco-friendly neighborhood that uses water from the Nakdonggang River and the Pyeonggangcheon Stream for energy and for drinking. The water will be used to generate hydrothermal energy, which will help residents save on their electricity bills, and the neighborhood will have water treatment facilities that are adapted to high-rise buildings and their water supply needs.
“We aim to boost the quality of life for the citizens by applying cutting-edge technology to the urban landscape,” said the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. “We will successfully launch such 'smart cities' and share our experiences operating them with the global community.”
Detailed action plans for the pilot projects will be established by December after getting feedback from the public and private entities.
By Kim Eun-young and Sohn JiAe
A tunnel the size of a soccer field -- approximately 7,192 square meters -- is set to be complete along the Dongbu Expressway, and it will be both sound-proof and also generate its own solar energy.
As a tunnel that is both soundproofing and power generating, it’s a world first of its kind.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced on April 17 that the 479-meter tunnel will be completed by the end of year as part of its expansion project for the highway.
Its full generation capacity amounts to 993.6 kW per day, generating almost 830,000 kWh, the amount that 331 households can use in a whole year. Houses nearby are free from traffic noise, as well.
On top of that, the tunnel will absorb about 147 tons of carbon dioxide per year -- the same as about 26,250 trees -- contributing greatly to improving air quality in the region, said the city.
The metropolitan government also plans to increase its solar energy generating facilities across the capital region in an effort to improve the urban environment, as well as to reduce green-house gas emissions