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Digital Korea: Convergence of Broadband Internet, 3G Cell Phones, Multiplayer Gaming, Digital TV, Virtual Reality, Electronic Cash, Telematics, Robotics, E-Government and the Intelligent Home
by:Tomi Ahonen, Jim O'Reilly
Digital Korea is a study of the most advanced country for digital convergence, South Korea. Much of what we see in South Korea today sounds like science fiction - but forms the solid reality of life in South Korea today. Thus, it is a great source of ideas and insights which we can learn from. The book discusses a country where every household...
Digital Korea is a study of the most advanced country for digital convergence, South Korea. Much of what we see in South Korea today sounds like science fiction - but forms the solid reality of life in South Korea today. Thus, it is a great source of ideas and insights which we can learn from. The book discusses a country where every household internet connection has already been upgraded to broadband; where 100 mbit/s speeds are already sold and gigabit speeds already coming; where every phone sold is a cameraphone; where three out of every four mobile subscriptions is a 3G connection; where cars and PCs and mobile phones now ship with in-built digital TVs; where 42% of the population maintain a blogsite and four out of ten have created an avatar of themselves; where over half of the population pay with cellphones and 25% of the total South Korean population have participated inside a multiplayer online game, in fact inside the same multiplayer online game. The stories from South Korea are each more amazing than the last. 50,000 citizen journalists write the national Ohmy News newspaper. While Second Life fascinates western media for its 2 million users, South Korean Cyworld has 20 million users. While we tend to view the 8 million active users of the World of Warcraft as a milestone in massively multiplayer online games, South Korean Lineage already has 14 million active gamers. And perhaps most telling of all - the South Korean government is convinced every Korean home will have a household robot within ten years. Household robots? Not just cleaning our homes and providing security, but reading bedtime stories to our kids and helping them with their homework too. Digital Korea includes chapters on all these issues and more with the state-of-the-art latest products and services described in detail. This is one of the first attempts to understand the current state of digital convergence, ubiquitous computing and the information society that is South Korea. The book is called simply 'Digital Korea', but its subtitle is long as the stories in the book are so wide-reaching: Convergences of broadband internet, 3G cellphones, multiplayer gaming, digital TV, virtual reality, electronic cash, telematics, robotics, e-government and the intelligent home. The research for the book took a long time as so many different fields had to be covered. But the resulting book is now the most up-to-date view of that exact point where science fiction meets science fact. What happens when virtual reality meet the real world, with wireless reach and broadband speed? The book is packed with statistics and case studies and Tomi's famous "Pearls". As an interesting method, they have also often placed two rival statistics side-by-side, such as "In 2006 in USA 10% of music sales was digital" accourding to IFPI, and next to it on the opposing page "in 2006 in South Korea 57% of music sales was digital" also according to IFPI. This kind of comparisons help illustrate just how much of a lead South Korea has been able to pull.
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