Korea Style: An innovative force to be reckoned with

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American cable news channel CNN reports on a number of innovative points where Korea exceeds and it could mean some exciting innovations happening around the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.

Koreans live in a very “wired culture” where 78.5% of the entire population use smartphones (among 18-24 year olds 97.7%) and they can boast of a worldwide high 82.7% Internet penetration. Media will depend on great connectivity to get the news out about all the happenings during the Games.

Messenger apps like Kakao Talk and Naver line are two top favorites however in Korea you can now use your smart phone to pay at shopping points and watch real TV channels as well as use it to order groceries at the world’s first virtual supermarket.

One of the world’s best known automobile brands, Hyundai, plans to roll out a car in 2015 that starts from your smartphone.

Olympic TOP Sponsor and electronics giant Samsung has created the first curved phone that is already out in Korea and as well is working on a new “bended’ version as well. McDonald’s, another Olympics TOP Sponsor, already delivers its menu in Seoul 24/7 in the Korean capital city.

The largest telecom company in the country, SK Telecom, has also sponsored a future technology museum, the “Telecom Ubiquitous Museum” known as T.um.

According to data from the Bank of Korea in 2011, the nation’s citizens are the highest users of credit cards using at least 129.7 transactions per year beating the Americans at 77.9 and the Canadians at 89.6. Merchants are obligated to accept credit cards and cabs are plastic friendly as well.

Koreans are also workaholics according to 2012 data from South Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance, South Koreans work 44.6 hours per week, compared with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 32.8. They also have a very high education level according to OECD with 98% of the population completing secondary education and 63% with a college education.

Not only do they work hard but they play hard as well and business networking over drinks is very popular. Korean liquor is quite well known according to The Millionaires’ Club, a British based catalog that ranks brands, liquors and spirits on million case brands, who has coined Korea’s Jinro soju as the world’s best-selling brand of liquor in 2011 on their 2012 list.

Back in the traditional sports arena, lady golfers from Korea are also taking the rankings by storm. Rolex Rankings has four of them in the top ten, 149 players in top 500 and the nation ranks as the top country with the most players of 40 in top 100.

All in all the PyeongChang 2018 Games should have a serious dose of Korean high tech know-how and prove to be a trendsetter.

*This post was written by Laura Walden of sportsfeatures.com

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