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Technology in South Korea

July 23, 2014

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If you couldn’t tell from the enthusiasm in our voices, we find the topic of technology in South Korea really exciting. There’s so much cool stuff here! Now, I’m worried that some of the things we mention here might be common in your countries. Forgive us if they are. We just remember not having these in Canada. It’s been six years since we lived in Canada, though, so maybe some of this stuff is already available there. If so, please let us know!

Otherwise, here are some other cool things that we didn’t talk about!

Built in Rice Dispenser

Ok, so this isn’t really an electronic thing, but it’s pretty badass. Rice is a big part of Korean cuisine. So big, it seems, that a rice dispenser is built into our cabinets. So, there’s a thin little drawer right beside our appliances drawer. I pull the thin drawer out, turn a nob, and exactly one cup of rice comes out into a little box at the bottom, and I pull that box out, then dump that into my rice cooker. IT’S SO BRILLIANT! We don’t eat a lot of rice, so we put other stuff in there, like barley and quinoa instead. But, still, it’s cool

Ceiling Clothes Dryer

Ok, now this thing here is electrical. Here’s the deal: our washing machine is in the room beside our kitchen. Attached to the ceiling is this odd box with a few bars on it. That box has a remote control that does a few things. With that remote control, I can have the bars lowered, since the bars are attached to an accordion contraption, which attaches to the box. So, I lower the bars, then put my wet clothes on hangers, and put those hangers on the bars. Then I push another button on the remote to bring the bars back up to the box. But here’s the cool part: I push another button on the remote, and the box is now a fan that blow-dries the clothing. AMAZING! It’s not hot air that shrinks your clothing or anything. Just a nice fan that blows on your clothes from above. It’s so brilliant! It’s off the ground so you can still walk around. And as soon as it’s done drying, you can simply bring your clothes over to your closet, as they’re already pre-hung. That’s pretty awesome, IMO.

Warning: Tech Ain’t Cheap Here

This was majorly disappointing for me. Before coming to Korea I was under the impression that living in Asia would result in buying cheap electronics for everything, but that’s really not the case in Korea. Tech stuff here is expensive. It’s actually cheaper to buy a Samsung TV in Canada than it is in Korea. Our TV cost us three times more than the TVs we’ve seen at Best Buy.

Now, supposedly the reason why things are so expensive here is because they come with lifetime warrantees or something like that, so if anything ever goes wrong you can just bring your Samsung product to the Samsung shop (and those things are fairly prevalent around here). We still haven’t had to bring anything in, so it’s kinda good that our electronics aren’t faulting, but still kinda bad that we spent so much money on it. Eerrgghhh :(

So, that’s it for this week’s TL;DR. Let us know if you have any cool tech stuff that’s common in your country that you didn’t see in other countries. I’m sure there’s stuff here in Korea that we’ve taken for granted. Let us know if we forgot any!

Otherwise, make sure you click on this pretty button here below for more TL;DR videos! We’re flying out to Sweden tomorrow early morning, so we might not be as active in the comments as we usually are, but we’ve still got videos prepared in advance! Don’t miss out on them, including our important Coffee Shop Opening Party Announcement video tomorrow!

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Technology in South Korea

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  1. Here in Ohio, US we have corn. Also non-functioning stoplights

    6 years ago
  2. We have that parking space indicator technology stuff at the malls in New Jersey BUT they are usually horribly inaccurate. There’s one light to about six spaces and most of the time when you see a green light it is actually a lie and there really aren’t any spaces available. And we don’t have any of that other stuff. So basically we got nothin’.

    6 years ago
  3. 1. Turtlenecks forrreevveeerrrrrrrrr!
    2. “or i gun” the last way you said it:)
    3. I have not really crossed over to animes, manga, manghwa but you definitely made it sound interesting and fun, thanks!

    6 years ago
    • eep- awkward…trying to post on Martina’s tldr thread and got distracted. sorry. (blush)

      6 years ago
      • I’m jealous of the laundry drying system. I have to use my electricity hogging electric dryer 3/4 of the year, but in the summer I have a bunch of wire racks hanging from hooks over the bathtub but it takes a lot of effort to get everything up and down and that remote and fan sounds just awesome!

        6 years ago
  4. Ina

    We in Estonia have the parking lot lights and the large boards which show haw many spots are free and where they are. I don’t know if they also have this in many other countries, but our student ID cards are electronic, so instead of having to buy a bus card(like an oyster card in england) we just have to carry out student ID card(the busses ure free anyway for citizens so yu wont have to pay). And we really don’t have wifi, everyone just has 3G or 4G, I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have it really…. Awesome video, TL:DRs are my favourite! Love ya guys!

    6 years ago
  5. I used to live in a student dorm in Melbourne, Australia. They had door locks could be unlocked with your student card or with a silicon bracelet.

    I never took it off so I never got locked out. Slept, showered and eat in it. If every door could be like that it would be amazing!

    6 years ago
    • English getting bad from all the Dutch I am learning as I now live in the Netherlands! Sorry!

      6 years ago
  6. I was in Korea this summer and one of the things that blew my mind were the car elevators. So freaking amazing! Like…an elevator for your car! Never seen one of those in the US. Another thing was the automatic-replacing-toilet-seat-covers-thing, where you press a button and new toilet covers slide out. I didn’t see this everywhere, only at the airport, but wow, were they cool.

    6 years ago
    • Yes!!!! We have those in the US actually. I live in NYC and they are all over. All the casinos have them as well as rest stops on the highways. You will now find them in most amusement parks as well!

      6 years ago
  7. The coolest thing we have here, are in Target stores. ._. In the frozen food section, the lights inside the freezers are off, and when you walk down the aisle, they turn on one by one. So it’s like, I AM GOD MUWAHAHAHA! But then they turn off behind you one by one and it turns into a scary J-Horror movie like The Grudge…. XD

    6 years ago
  8. Oh my God, when I found out about the code-locked doors, I thought “this is what I need!” Apartment doors in Paris automatically lock when you close them, so if you forget your keys inside, you are screwed. The good thing is that you don’t need keys to go out, but you do need them to get back in… You have to take your keys with you when you’re taking the trash out or putting something away in the storage unit.
    In the old fancy buildings, there is something called “servant’s rooms” (chambres de bonne). They were used by servants in the old times. They are on the last floor (6 or 7) and have their own independent wooden spiral stairs that lead to the kitchen backdoors of the big apartments on the floors below (and no lift, obviously). They’re the cheapest place to live in and are usually for broke-ass students.
    It looks like that http://media.wizzz.sdv.fr/7/1/3/6/5/9/4/2/2/8/original.jpg
    I lived in a place like that for two years. The best thing is, the toilets are shared, which means in the corridor, which means you need to take your room key with you when you pee (and TP). Guess who got locked out a couple of times, in her socks, with no phone or money, and even without my glasses…

    6 years ago
  9. oh my GOODNESS- The subways in Toronto are SO AGGRAVATING I JUST WANT TO PUNCH PUPPIES ARRRGGGGGasdfkj;gsdafas!! The subway system is so short as well.. I mean… It’s not so massive that implementing wifi and all that fancy jazz down there would be hard. I think the city would be much better for it too. :/

    6 years ago
  10. In Argentina, our mall marked each section of the parking garage with a cartoon of an adorable animal. My family never forgot where we parked our car – mostly because I always made them park in the panda section. So cute :)
    Has anyone seen something like this elsewhere?

    6 years ago
    • We have the same concept here in malaysia, except its not animals but fruits.But not all shopping malls have them, mostly we have sections marked with color and numbers coded walls. Which is pretty normal to me haha

      6 years ago
  11. I visited Korea about two months ago but never saw one of those motion-sensor escalators… You guys must live in a swanky part of Seoul lol. The apartment things you mentioned are solely in the high rise apartments, most Korean apartments still use the non-touchscreen, telephone way to answer the door, if they even have that. One of my grandmothers lives in a less affluent area and she still uses a key and lock, although I saw a couple doors with a keypad installed.
    But overall SK is definitely ahead in technology, it has a high standard of living with several DENSE metropolitan areas so life is a lot easier technology-wise there =]

    6 years ago
  12. South Korea is so ahead!!! I had no idea they had such advanced stuff! I live in Virginia and we don’t have any of that, except for the Parking Lot technology (mainly near DC and in Baltimore, Maryland)

    6 years ago
  13. Meg

    America is so behind lol. Ummm well I know we have like home security and maintenance apps on our phones so like you can lock your whole house with your phone if you forget or think you forgot to do it. Or if you think you left lights or water running you can use the app to turn it all off. But it’s really expensive and you have to pay for it with your security company, it’s not included in any house or apartment you get.

    6 years ago
  14. HEYY! About the parking lot technology, where they show you the number of spaces left, there is one in Canada! The Square One shopping mall (in Mississauga), has implemented it recently!

    6 years ago
  15. You guys should visit us in the Middle East pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease

    6 years ago
  16. lol, I’m from Dubai, and here because we have the biggest mall in the world, we can easily forget where we parked your car, so we have cameras that are connected to the red/green lights above the parking slots that you talked about. The cameras connect to a touch monitor you use to find your car. You just enter you cars number in the monitor and it automatically finds your car and it shows you a map of where it is.

    And instead of stopping at the tollbooth, we have Salik (literally mean”Passable”). You just stick a sticker/tag on the car windshield and it will automatically deduct money, we don’t need to stop at all.

    6 years ago
    • I’ve been to Dubai and Korea, and the technology in both is pretty similar. Actually, in the malls of many Middle Eastern countries they advertise tvs by playing k-pop songs. I like it because I can do my grocery shopping while listening to 2ne1. Haha.
      One thing that I saw in South Korea and in the Middle East that I haven’t seen in other countries is doors with a push button to open it. To most westerners these doors look like motion sensor automatic doors, but there will be a metal rectangle on the side. When I was in Korea, I saw a group of my foreign friends standing outside a door waving at it. None of them could have figure out how to open it, lol. I just walked up and pressed the button. The shop keeper must have been so confused.

      6 years ago
  17. Hi Simon and Martina!!!! UUUUU YOU SO NASTY~
    Lets face it, since you now are in this geeky roll its the perfect time to talk about video games coughSIMONcough, I’ve seen that Simon is into Final Fantasy (Me too! HIGH 5!) Come on! I know you want to ;D maybe you can talk about your favorite video games and recommend some awesome ones (like final fantasy X) Now’s your chance!! GAMERS UNITE!

    6 years ago
  18. Well America certainly doesn’t have anything awesome like that, I mean we DO have those automatic vacuums you guys used to always brag about, and I’d be like WAIT NO WAIT WE HAVE THOSE TOOOO! XD
    But one thing that blew my mind was actually something that came on my newest phone, and it’s a universal remote. It might not sound very useful, but oh my God is it good for pulling pranks. You can hook it up to any TV or cable box, too, so you can pretty much use it anywhere, it’s awesome.

    6 years ago
  19. Oh my goood! Simon i have the same hat!! *Nerdyhigh5*

    6 years ago
  20. In Mexico we have those escalators. And the parking lot thing, but not in all of them, just in the newer establishments. I’ve also seen those in Houston. A number with the places available and stuff. And to pay in most places you just have to make a line in some square machines outside stores, and they give you a ticket. But there is also generalised paying system for highways and parking lots, where you just make a deposit of a certain amount of money and put a sticker with some sort of bar code on the top of your car, and a lot of parking lots have sensors in entrances and exits with that system now so you don’t have to do anything at all anymore.

    6 years ago
  21. Question for tl;dr:
    Hello, i live in Puerto Rico and here, cock fights are kind of a big deal. I know that in Asia cock fights are also very active part of the society in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Japan, i was just wondering if it was also i a part of the Korean culture. I hope to travel to korea soon and it would be amazing e to take my dad to an Asian cock fight. If you could make a video explaining if it is or isnt or if its not then how is it viewed by koreans etc. Thank You! It would be a great help.

    6 years ago
  22. I LIVE IN DUBAI!!!!!! what!! what!!! ….but i like the whole elevator and door technology in korea….i hate waiting for elevators!! :(….the escalators here are motion sensor too. and the parkings are the same here…but no typing your plate number and stuff…the computer just reads your car barcode.

    there are no jet packs lol….but our toll gate systems is really awesome, when you get a car, you buy a SALIK tag its like a small bar code on your wind-sheild and everytime you cross a toll gate, it docks the points off your tag and takes coins off your balance. AWESOME. no waiting and looking for change and coins and that kinda stuff…you can recharge it again with your phone later.

    ALSOOO heres the best part…. the taps dont have the handles and stuff…you will never have to touch taps again…they have a little red motion sensor at the botton, so you just wave your hand under the tap and water comes, automatic. and no BAR SOAP STUFF!! thats gross…how do you guys wash your hands with bar soaps that other people touched O___O…there is like a button you push and it squirts liquid soap out.

    there is more but this comment is getting too long!

    6 years ago
  23. In Hungary we don’t have things like this… you open the door with a key, you have to flush the toilet your self, and the elevator… what elevator?? you’re lucky if there is a working elevator in your block of flats (block of flats is more common than apartmans). The parking thing i don’t know… i never used a car before xd. I live in the suburbs of a city and when we have a storm or the sky is cloudy we don’t have internet and we cant’t watch tv. Maybe in the capital city you can find more advanced technology but in general Hungary is really below compared to South Korea. And it s not too environmentally friendly either. In Serbia it s the same. In Vojvodina ( small part of Serbia where a lot of hungarians live) having internet is rare. And smartphones? Im surprised if a vojvodinan person has a got a mobile phone. In Hungary they are pretty common but just like anywhere else some people has this some that.

    6 years ago
  24. I live in Sydney, and I’m starting to see a lot more of the parking thing in some of the bigger malls. We still use paper tickets though :/ Damn, I would love that keypad for my house, haha because I forget my keys way too many times……

    6 years ago