A look at state-of-art technology in Korea

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t-money seoul metro cards, cool korean technology

State of the Art Technology in Korea:  T-money cards that are sold in Seoul

 

People ask me what I love about living in Korea. One of the things I’m always amazed by is the state of the art technology in Korea, making life feel efficient, easy and pretty darned cool.

State-of-the-art technology in Korea

1. T-money and rechargeable transportation cards

In big cities, much of Korea’s transportation system runs on rechargeable smart cards and smart devices, which take the place of cash.  You can reload money onto your card by placing it down on the card reader; but the technology is powerful and highly sensitive. Rather than search for a card at the bottom of a bag, I’ve seen frazzled ladies in a rush slap their entire purse on the sensor and have it still read

daegu metro card, korean metro cards

Daegu metro card machines add money onto the cards when you place the card on the plate. (See the T-money cards on photo above)

 

How it works:  Touch chips are embedded inside and are readable by card-reading machines. These cards are used primarily for transportation – buses and metros- but in Seoul, which runs under the T-money system, you can use them in some taxis and convenience stores, as well. Supposedly, this touch chip technology are in watches, portable memory sticks, rings, and bands, even cellphones.

Way to go, Korea! Rechargeable devices are more economical and eco-friendly!

2. Bank checkbooks that get written and balanced at the ATM

Gone are the days when you had to manually keep record of your bankbook and spending. This is by far one my of favorite conveniences. In Korea, just insert your bankbook into the ATM machine and not only can you use it to withdraw money from the ATM, but it will update your bankbook with your banking transactions. In fact, when your bankbook page is full, the machine will even flip to the next page to continue updating it for you.  Seriously, this saves me a lot of handwriting!

korea atm machines, banking in korea, using the Korean atm machines, banking technology in korea, card readers in korea, cool technology in korea

Sticking my bank book into the ATM machine to withdraw money and to get my bank book updated with all my latest transactions

3. Satellite TV and CCTV.

I mentioned this in my last post, but I’ll mention it again…

In Korea, it’s easier to  ask– What doesn’t have satellite TV? Taxis, express buses, restaurants, my cellphone and my dentist’s office all have them.

satellite tv in dentist chairWatching TV as I sit in my dentist’s chair and wait.

cctv is everywhere in korea, surveillance technology in korea

cctv is everywhere in korea, even on highways!

 

CCTV surveillance is also just as ubiquitous as TVs, so much so, I thought I’d mention it again. While literally everything in the public gets surveillance (even the highways), the culture doesn’t pervert its use (at least not as far as we know).  Big Brother system helps to effectively reduce crime around the nation. Thus, Korea is one of the safest countries as far as crime and violence goes!

4. Controlled toilets

heat controlled toilet seats, high technology toilets in Asia, luxury toilets in Korea, cool technology in korea

Korea bounces between its porcelain hole in the ground and it’s western bowl and when winter chilling your bum (there’s no heating in public places), both are highly unpleasant. Every once in a while however, in hotels or the limelight of Seoul chic, I’d find a heated toilet with bedee and uh, air drying action.  It’s got remote buttons to control heating, bedee and a small handful of tricks that I’ve not used.

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5. Electronic vacancy signs in bathrooms.

technology in koreaPhoto is taken in Busan’s train station.

Is the bathroom stall occupied or vacant? The electronic sign will light up to let you know. While this isn’t widespread across Korea, you’ll occasionally find them in alongside highways at popular rest stop hubs, in bathrooms where there are many stalls..

6.  K-pop!

The Korean wave is heating up and finding global fans with speed. When I see Korean pop videos it blows my mind! K-pop is the look, style and flash-n-sparkle that inspires Korean youth, these days. Fun, sexy, innocent, bold and futuristic, K-pop will seduce you with high-beam costumes, high-octane power dance moves and lavish glitz! Just click ‘Play’, dial the volume up a notch and prepare to be dazzled!

2pm hand's up video, kpop boy bands, popular kpop boy band 2pmFrom  2PM‘s  video “Hands Up”

2pm hand's up video, kpop boy bands, popular kpop boy band 2pm

wonder girls nobody music video, cool kpop girl groups in korea, wondergirlsFrom  Wondergirls‘ video “Nobody”

tara roly polyTara’s video “Roly Poly”

big bang love story, kpop boy bands, popular kpop boy band big bangBig Bang

7. Korea’s got Mc Donalds 24 hour delivery

Hokey entry, I know. But when I first saw this I literally freaked. I was raised with Ronald and the golden arches. Still, even to this day, I don’t know of McD’s in the U.S or in Asia that is 24 hour and has delivery service!  If Korea’s got it, Dang! That’s pretty state-of-the-art to me!mc donalds delivery, mc donalds in korea, mc donalds in seoul

mc donalds delivery, mc donalds delivery in seoul, mc donalds in korea

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What do you think about the state-of-the-art technology in Korea ? What have you experienced that made you feel it was state-of-the-art?

 

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26 Comments. Leave new

Singapore has the atm thing (you can withdeposit/withdraw/transfer $, update bank book, pay bills, recharge money cards), and rechargeable transportation cards (which also allows commuters to “tap” through gates at the train station or on buses from many years back… I think a decade back or more. 24-hour food delivery via online sites or mobile apps is common too. McDonald’s, supermarkets, drugstores and some popular retails stores allow payment by tapping the credit card on a device. It’s kind of like a cashless society. High tech toilets are uncommon, probably due to maintenance cost and lack of need.

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