IoT test cities will be technology proving grounds

The government plans to designate two cities where local and foreign companies developing businesses related to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can test products and services and get consumer feedback. Under the plan, the central and regional governments will establish a fund to establish super-fast telecom networks and basic data transfer infrastructures. The cities will test smart health care devices and a digitized public administration system. The testing will last three years.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) announced Thursday it will allocate 12.6 billion won ($11.5 million) this year for the project, 7.5 billion won for the smart health care project and 5.1 billion for the smart public administration project. The ministry will begin accepting project applications from city governments today. The IoT test-bed project is part of the government’s effort to help private sector IT companies, and it will be a first step toward studying the impact of IoT devices on the legal system.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

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EU Research & Innovation Day

The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea and the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea are co-organising the 1st EU Research and Innovation Day in the Conrad Hotel, Seoul, Korea on 25 March, 2015.  In this event, all EU Member States and their major research and innovation organisations will also participate and share information with Korean counterparts about their policies, programmes and success stories. There will be ample opportunities for networking with present and future partners. Please join our event and experience the excellence of European research and innovation!

EU Research Day

For more information, click here.

For registration, click here.

State power companies get cybersecurity orders

2015_02_cybersecurityThe Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) says state-run power companies will spend a total of 79 billion won ($71 million) on cybersecurity this year, an increase of 18 billion won. Minister Yoon Sang-jick on Thursday afternoon met with CEOs of 17 state-run energy companies, including the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation (KHNP) and Korea Power Exchange.

Kepco, the nation’s sole power distributor, will get 28.4 billion won and KHNP 11.5 billion won. Each of the other companies will receive up to 4 billion won. The budget will be mostly spent on hiring security experts, maintaining internal network infrastructure and expanding maintenance teams. All 17 power companies will have to structure their internal network in five systems, from the current three.

The current system is broken down into a regular network that can access the Internet, an intranet that mainly deals with document processing, and an exclusive network to control the power plant. From now on, the intranet will have an additional system for confidential technical documents like power plant blueprints. The power plant control system will also be split into two networks to beef up security.

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

 

LG Display to add US$915 million to OLED panel line

2015_01_LGLG Display Co., a global panel maker, plans to spend an additional 1 trillion won (US$915 million) this year on its large-sized organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel production line in South Korea to meet growing demand, industry sources said Wednesday. LG Display has already spent 800 billion won on the OLED panel production line, which produces panels for TVs, the sources said. LG Display is told to have commenced production at the production line starting November 2014, but the detailed capacity has not yet been revealed.

The company aims to expand its monthly production of the eighth-generation OLED input sheets to 26,000 units at the line in Paju, just west of Seoul. When combined with its existing line, LG Display’s combined monthly production of OLED input sheets will reach 34,000 units, the sources said.

LG earlier said it will target the high-end TV market on the back of 77, 65 and 55-inch Ultra OLED models. The OLED technology, more advanced than LCD since it produces light without the backlight unit (BLU), is seen as the company’s future growth engine.

For full article, see Yonhap News.

Samsung establishes product innovation team

Samsung Electronics has established a team to work on hi-tech innovative business projects, officials said Monday. Its core mission includes projects on virtual reality, robotic telepresence, drones and robots, three-dimensional (3D) printing and unmanned vehicles.”The team will explore how technologies could help people’s daily life for a better future,” an official said.
Samsung mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun will lead the team inside the mobile division.

The team, which has no direct links with the company structure and divisions, will operate independently. “Given the significance of the team, members will have more authority and independence because the main purpose of the team isn’t to develop single devices for any imminent results, but to develop solutions to go with Samsung’s manufacturing capabilities,” the official said.

For full article, see Korea Times.

Smartwatch war expected to intensify

2015_02_smartwatches
From top to bottom: Samsung Gear S, LG G Watch R, Apple Watch

The competition among Samsung, LG, Apple and other smartwatch makers is expected to intensify this year, industry watchers and analysts said Sunday. Samsung Electronics plans to unveil a new, round smartwatch, codenamed “Orbis,” at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 which takes place in Barcelona, Spain, next month. Consumers have already applauded the circular displays of the Moto 360 from Motorola and the G Watch R from LG Electronics, so it is no surprise that Samsung has been working on its own round watch, industry insiders said.

So far, Samsung’s 3 wrist watches ― the Gear, Gear 2, and Gear S ― were square-shaped, under the strict concept of smart device rather than traditional wrist watch. Orbis is a Latin word that has many meanings including circle. The project name gives a hint that the company’s next model will be circular.

For full article, see Korea Times.

SKT, KT, LG U+ to invest US$ 6 billion in 5G, IoT

2015_02_korean telecomsThree Korean mobile carriers will make a full-scale investment this year in facilities for next-generation technologies for 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and GiGA Internet. According to industry sources on Feb. 5, three carriers announced that they will make a nearly 6.5 trillion won (US$6.0 billion) investment in facilities this year during their briefings on results for Q4 2014. SK Telecom is planning to do 2 trillion won (US$1.8 billion), KT 2.7 trillion won (US$2.5 billion), and LG U+ 1.7 trillion won (US$1.5 billion). Although KT’s investment in 2015 is expected to go up 7 percent from the previous year, the number for SKT and LG U+ is a year-on-year decline of 6.8 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

The total investments by the three carriers are projected to decrease this year, as they were around 7 trillion won in the past. The phenomenon is due to the fact that they do not heavily invest in LTE facilities anymore, following a rapid increase in investment over the last four years. In other words, competition between mobile carriers to build LTE networks nationwide, which started in 2011, is coming to an end.

For full article, see Business Korea.

Computers can now imagine narration and dialogue based on video

A video segment inspires this computer program to create a sentence of narration based on what happens.
A video segment inspires this computer program to create a sentence of narration based on what happens.

Korean research team announced on Feb. 3 that they have successfully developed an imaginative computer program that can acquire information contained in videos and make up words or dialogue suitable for each scene shown on the screen. A research team headed by Jang Byung-tak, professor of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Seoul National University, entered the 1,232 minute long Korean animation Pororo into the computer program. They found that the program was able to teach itself to recognize scenes, lines, stories, and characters using associative memory that resembles a human brain’s neural network.

After entering specific scenes, the program can create dialogues appropriate for each character. The dialogues may differ from the original ones. It is also possible to see different versions created depending on whether 100 minutes or 10,000 minutes of the cartoon are entered into the program. The phenomenon is attributable to the possibility that the nature of characters may change as time goes by.

For full article, see Business Korea.

Samsung to mass-produce healthcare device chips

2013_08_samsung_officeA senior executive at Samsung Electronics said Wednesday that it plans to mass-produce chips to be used in various healthcare devices within the next three years. “Samsung is in the process of developing chips to be used in wearable devices. We aim to mass-produce such chips in the next two or three years,” said E.S. Jung, executive vice president of the firm’s semiconductor research center. He made the remarks in a keynote speech at the SEMICON Korea conference in the COEX Convention Center, southern Seoul.He said memory chips will play critical role in the Internet of Things (IoT) as every single product from leading manufacturers will be connected.

Samsung Electronics has said that all its appliances will be connected by 2020.
“Samsung is looking toward wearable memory chips,” Jung said. The company is betting on healthcare, and is collaborating with IBM, Microsoft and SAP to put their health platforms on Samsung devices. Jung said semiconductors are the basis of its healthcare products.

For full article, see Korea Times.