It's already become quite common for Western technologists to head over to South Korea to see what's catching on there. It's often seen as a window into the future of technology in other parts of the world -- once they get a bit more broadband. However, it looks like some in South Korea are realizing they now need to raise the bar. Everyone knows what's been successful there. So rather than just introducing the next generation of technologies (which they are working on), they're actually working on fully planned out cities where high tech is completely ubiquitous. The story reads like a concept from a sci-fi movie, where everything is automated -- and everyone is watched and monitored all the time. As the article notes, while people have talked about such things in the west (and many of the technologies were designed outside of Korea), there are fewer concerns about privacy issues there. It's definitely an interesting idea, and will be worth watching what comes out of it -- but one thing to be worried about is that the entire thing sounds too "planned" from a top-down perspective. While that may work in some areas (building broadband networks, for example), it's tough to successfully understand and predict the perfect set of technologies needed for every aspect of a city's functioning. It's the type of thing where if they get one thing wrong, it could make the entire place undesirable for residents -- and could make it into a costly failure.
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