13 March 2007

New Songdo City, a living lab on ubiquitous computing in Korea

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New Songdo City
It’s situated about 40 miles from Seoul, on 1,500 acres of man-made island off the Inchon coast. When completed in 2014, it is intended to become a living laboratory, a shining microcosm of technologically enhanced life in the new millennium. Think of it as Korea’s version of Disney’s Tomorrow Land; a place where imagination and IT intersect, backed by a huge investment of cash. It will be clean, modern, and efficient. A place where everything is tracked, every action recorded, every service personalized, and every transaction automated. But unlike Tomorrow Land, people won’t just visit, they will actually live and work there. Welcome to the model surveillance society, welcome to Songdo, welcome to the future.

New Songdo City is the daughter of two cultures, with American and Korean companies collaborating to build the infrastructure and provide the technological muscle. The Koreans will invest $25 billion to raise the city, which will become a testing ground for new technologies.

According to its website, “New Songdo City is a city designed around one thing: the people who will live and work here. People who will experience an unparalleled quality of life as technology, resources and innovation all come together to create the ideal environment.”

The author of the article concludes: “The residents of Songdo may find that the price of leading a digital lifestyle is privacy. There is a very thin line between pervasive computing and invasive computing, and an unexpected consequence of the Songdo experiment may be to help clarify that boundary.”

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(via Institute for the Future)

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