IoT test cities will be technology proving grounds

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IoT test cities will be technology proving grounds

The government plans to designate two cities where local and foreign companies developing businesses related to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can test products and services and get consumer feedback.

Under the plan, the central and regional governments will establish a fund to establish super-fast telecom networks and basic data transfer infrastructures.

The cities will test smart health care devices and a digitized public administration system. The testing will last three years.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced Thursday it will allocate 12.6 billion won ($11.5 million) this year for the project, 7.5 billion won for the smart health care project and 5.1 billion for the smart public administration project. The ministry will begin accepting project applications from city governments today.

The IoT test-bed project is part of the government’s effort to help private sector IT companies, and it will be a first step toward studying the impact of IoT devices on the legal system.

One city will test smart health care devices and systems, such as mobile app enabled furniture and products that transmit health information to hospitals and public health authorities.

The other city will be dedicated to a smart home and smart city system in which personal smart devices are automatically connected with public infrastructure like tourism and shopping information boards as well as CCTV via GPS and beacon technology.

Operation of technology test-bed cities will benefit local and foreign device makers and telecom and network carriers that want to do IoT business in Korea because technology companies of all sizes are free to join the trial cities to test new IoT products and services and receive feedback from users.

“Small IoT companies and even start-ups can join this project,” said Yoo Sung-wan, head of the new Internet business team at the ICT Ministry. “All kinds of IoT-related companies, from the three major telecom carriers to device makers like Samsung and LG, and foreign network companies like Cisco have shown interest in this project.”

However, the legal system is not ready for implementation of IoT technologies.

“Despite various forms of IoT-enabled products and services being introduced at big exhibitions, there has been almost no changes in our legal system, like transportation law,” said Yoon. “So the technology and device testing will be limited by what current law allows. But I think this project will be the beginning point where the government can figure out exactly which part of law should be revised and added in order to prepare the IoT generation.”

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