A whiff of the Jetsons at KT exhibit

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A whiff of the Jetsons at KT exhibit

“Hey Gil-dong, have you been studying all night? You look exhausted.”
“Your hair’s a mess. Look at yourself through the phone.”
Such a conversation can take place if friends are using cellular phones with monitors They’re not available at streetside cell phone outlets yet, but they can be tested at KT Corp.’s exhibit of futuristic technology in Bundang, Gyeonggi province.
The company’s IMT-2000 mobile phone lets visitors exchange images by phone. This, along with a host of other high-tech gadgets that KT promises to put on the market in the near future, is on display here.
“Foreign businessmen who want to get a handle on the state of Korea’s information technology are encouraged to visit this place, and teenagers are already lining up on field trips,” KT’s Lee Gil-Joo said.
The museum’s electronic guest book, which records a visitor’s voice and face, serves as a good introduction to the rapidly changing face of technology that can be encountered here.
Take a peek at the living rooms and kitchens of the future. The TV, refrigerator, gas switch, door lock, stereo system ― and just about anything else that can be turned on or adjusted ― are wired together. Are you wondering if there’s anything good to eat in the fridge? A monitor embedded in the body of the appliance beams pictures of the inside shelves, including last night’s leftovers. Packaged products whose expiration dates have passed are shown in red.
Have you ever left the house, then wondered if you had turned off the gas? In the future house as shown in KT’s exhibit, that situation won’t arise. Just flick on your cell phone or Palm Pilot: If the stove was left on, it appears blue on-screen, or red if it’s off. If a pot of ramen is about to burn, press a button on your handheld device to flick it off. You can also peer inside your home from your handheld gadget, to check out the baby-sitter’s strange habits or even see if any burglars are lurking about.
The classroom of the future is here as well. Toss out a backpack, and just bring the necessary book onto your school or home computer monitor.
“When I experience all of this futuristic stuff, I wish time would speed up,” said Koo Ja-hyung, a visitor.
KT also plugs its current high-tech gadgetry, in the form of its wireless Internet service, Nespot. The setup here allows a driver or passenger to check out the latest traffic conditions on a personal digital assistant or laptop. That wasn’t necessary in the case of the three-way intersection on display at the exhibit recently, however; it was quiet as a country lane.
You can also feel the enormous power of satellites at a stage featuring a view of Seoul with every street, building and park captured on satellite. Just touch on an area you want to see up close, and it pops up in 3-D. Unfortunately, visitors to this exhibit cannot operate the equipment alone, but attendants are standing at every section to do the “work” for you. For information, call (033) 727-6060.


by Park Bang-ju
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