[NetBehaviour] South Korea's "Ubiquitous City"
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Oct 17 14:40:09 CEST 2005
*South Korea's "Ubiquitous City"*
In what at first seems to be a throwback to the utopian urban visions of
early 20th century futurism, South Korea is developing a "U-City" from
the ground up, using bleeding-edge "ubiquitous" technology to monitor
everything from citizens' medical records to garbage collection.
New Songdo City, being built on a man-made island 40 miles from Seoul,
will feature pervasive computer technology throughout, driven by RFID
tags and CDMA wireless communication. Although many Western observers
would find the lack of privacy disquieting, Asian countries are more
interested in the technological potential of such environments. Says
John Kim, a Korean-American who is leading the planning for the U-City:
"U-life will become its own brand, its own lifestyle... [A resident's
smart key] can be used to get on the subway, pay a parking meter, see a
movie, borrow a free public bicycle and so on. It'll be anonymous, won't
be linked to your identity, and if lost you can quickly cancel the card
and reset your door lock.
"Residents will enjoy 'full videoconferencing calls between neighbors,
video on demand and wireless access to their digital content and
property from anywhere in Songdo.'"
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