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Korea readies cutting-edge technologies for Winter Olympics

The Republic of Korea plans to debut advanced technologies, some of which have never been used elsewhere, during next year's Pyeong Chang Winter Olympic Games, the event organiser has confirmed.

Fifth generation mobile networks (5G) are set to be operated in service for the first time globally during the international sporting event, Pyeong Chang ICT Olympic Preparation Team Director, Mr Jeong Ho Choi told foreign media recently.

A reporter from Vietnam tries out a virtual skiing application at the Korea 360 Virtual Tour Centre in Seoul.

The journalists from Indonesia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Uzbekistan and Vietnam were on a press tour from July 2-8 invited and organised by the Korean Culture and Information Service, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea.

The 5G pilot networks are to be built in Olympic Winter Games venues, Incheon International Airport, Seoul, and other areas that garner much traffic and audience attention, with wifi for the general public to also be offered. Main sports such as ski jumping and snowboarding will be filmed with 360-degree virtual reality (VR) cameras and will be broadcast via 5G mobile communications at 20 times the rate of 4G. Cameras installed throughout competition arenas will enable spectators to enjoy real-time on-site event images and athlete tracking and location-based image experiences via the VR cameras.

“And also during the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, people can enjoy the UHD (Ultra-High Definition Broadcasting), which is making it more realistic for people who are watching the competition at home through their television, so they feel like they are in front of the competition,” the video presentation said.

Internet of Things (IoT) services will also be provided in and around Olympic stadiums and venues, according to Mr Jeong Ho.

The basic idea of the IoT is to connect all objects to the Internet and give them the ability to identify themselves to other devices and people to exchange data for improved efficiency and convenience, according to the Korea Herald .

Artificial intelligence (AI) application-based interpretation and translation service between Korean and eight languages (English, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Arabic) is set to be introduced to ease communication for foreigners and local people.

Athletes and visitors can expect to experience a broad range of advanced ICT technologies and products being prepared for the 2018 Winter Games, which the R.O.K. government describes as ‘K-ICT PyeongChang Olympics'. IoT district will be established where related technologies and products are brought to one place to enable members of the public to experience advanced technologies.

“We want to take the opportunity of the Pyeong Chang 2018 Olympic Winter Games to showcase Korean ICT technologies,” Mr Jeong Ho said.

About 100 countries will be participating in the games, scheduled to take place from February 9-25, 2018 in venues in Pyeongchang, Gangneung and Jeongseon.

Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has joined hands with local high-tech companies to use the country's first Winter Olympics as an opportunity to publicise the country's technological prowess, the Korea Herald reported.

Te news comes as KT, a Korean broadband internet and mobile carrier and one of the local tech companies working on the Olympics project had originally planned to launch a full-fledged commercial service of the 5G network in 2020 but has decided to delay the release by about a year, according to the Korea Herald .



By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update July 13, 2017)

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