August 30, 2023

One thing many people know about South Korea – except for K-Pop and K-Drama of course – are huge tech companies like Samsung, LG, Kakao or many more. Korea has seamlessly integrated innovation and technology into everyday life. From crazy fast internet speeds to the newest smartphones… Let me explain you what technologies I use or see almost every day now in South Korea, showcasing the impressive blend of tradition and modernity that defines this captivating country.

1 Internet

In South Korea, internet connectivity isn’t a luxury – it’s a way of life. The nation boasts one of the world’s fastest and most reliable internet infrastructures, making it possible for me to easily stream high-definition videos, meet others in video conferences, and access all online services wherever I am. Without frustrating delays or buffering issues I can watch videos even in the subway, while taking a train or bus through the Korean Countryside or when I’m in the basement of a building.

2 Door Locks

I know it sounds so lame.. but those digital door locks in South Korea changed my world. It’s so easy and convenient: I don’t have to carry around a key or look for it in my bag when coming home. There is no risk of losing it or locking myself out. And I can easily check who’s at the door with the camera and speaker.

And more and more modern apartments come with a smart home option: Connected to your phone you can check the door when you’re not home, adjust the lighting, control the thermostat and much more. Though those things aren’t that common yet in the majority of buildings 😉

3 Cashless

Say goodbye to looking for loose change in your wallet – cashless payments have revolutionized the way I shop and dine in Korea. I can pay with credit card or online transfer almost anywhere even in the small food stall on the street. Next to Samsung Pay and KakaoPay, even ApplePay is now more and more common. Whether I’m buying a cup of traditional Korean tea at a local café or picking up groceries at a bustling market, a simple scan of my phone or card is now all it takes to complete the payment.

4 Video Screens

Wherever you go you’ll find big screens with faces of people you might know from TV, K-Pop or Movies, Advertisement, News, Weather Forecasts, AirPollution Levels and even travel tips like in many big train stations.

5 Transportation

Navigating through Korea’s capitol city Seoul has never been easier, thanks to the advanced public transportation systems. My daily commute is a breeze, with high-speed trains, buses, and subways offering efficient and eco-friendly options while being connected to the internet the whole time. The T-money card, a contactless smart card, is my daily companion, allowing me to not just easily take the subway or bus, to transfer between different modes of transport or explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Seoul, I can also use it as a payment method in Taxis and most convenience stores.

6 Unmanned Stores

As a European one of the most surprising things, I saw in Korea is the concept of unmanned stores. Convenience Stores, Ramen Restaurants, Pet food, Ice cream, fresh meat or vegetable stores are often seen without any employee.

Instead they use a lot of CCTV Cameras, Digital Kiosks and Special Sensors allow me to enter, browse, and purchase items without any human interaction. Absolute heaven for introverts or days of low social energy. And even normally manned stores use those digital kiosks a lot these days, making it easy to order in English.

7 Robots

I often see videos on Instagram or TikTok praising Korea as a country filled with robots. Even though those videos usually are extremely exaggerated, there are indeed more and more places where you can find robots. An Airport robot showing you the way to the closest rest room or taking a selfie with you, Assistant robots in some crazy busy restaurants to help the stressed waitress/waiter or even coffee making robots in some touristy or usually crowded areas. It’s not a daily thing to see yet, but definitely growing rapidly.

8 Everything is connected

In the heart of my tech-infused daily routine living in Korea lies the all-encompassing digital ecosystem offered by Kakao (and Naver). They’re integrated into nearly every aspect of life:

Communication, Navigation, Payment, Social Networking, Identification, Taxi Hailing, Shopping, Reservations, Coupon Systems, Blogging and so much more..

Not to forget about Ryan.. Not really technology related but always worth a mention. 😀

South Korea’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements has truly transformed the way I interact with the world around me since moving here in 2021.. I am so used to all those things that it felt a bit like Traveling back in time, when I visited Germany 😀

Let me know what else you experienced and saw during your stay in Korea!

August 30, 2023

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Since I moved to South Korea in 2021 I not just studied the language, but also travelled through the country. Now I share my recommendations, tips and favorite places here and on many other platforms.

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