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 Oh Hyun-woo and Yoon Sojung
A wearable electrocardiogram measuring device that sends a patient's data to his or her doctor is Korea's first product exempt from regulations under the government's regulatory sandbox program.
Developed by the Korean startup Huinno, the Memowatch was one of several items included in a regulatory sandbox approved by the Ministry of Science and ICT on Feb. 14 in the first meeting of a national committee on new technologies and services.
Huinno had developed the Memowatch in 2015 ahead of Apple but could not release the product on the market because of regulatory issues. The Korean company plans to commercialize the device in Korea after receiving medical equipment certification from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety next month.
Memowatch sends electrocardiogram data from the wearer to a doctor. If an abnormal symptom is detected, the smart device relays the information to the doctor, who then instructs the user to come to the hospital for medical assistance.
The device enables doctors to collect electrocardiogram data on their patients without the latter needing to visit the hospital.
Other items selected for regulatory exemption included a mobile e-billing system for paying public fees and an online bridging service that remotely accepts applications for clinical tests.
Minister of Science and ICT Yoo Young Min said, "We will actively look for more cases to grant regulatory sandbox waivers to as long as they don’t hamper public safety and daily life," adding, "I hope the regulatory sandbox can serve as a stepping stone for innovation in ICT and related services."
The regulatory sandbox exempts or postpones the enforcement of regulations on new technologies or products for a designated time to expedite their launch. The system grants a waiver for a product or service during testing from regulations governing a designated region or grants temporary market access.
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.