Daeseong-dong, a highly restricted village under the control of the United Nations Command (UNC), opened to journalists from 10 countries on Monday following its transformation into a high-tech town.
The small village located in Paju, Gyeonggi Province on the South Korean side of the DMZ experiences inconvenience due to a lack of essential services.
KT began providing various fifth-generation (5G) based ICT services and networks in the village at the end of June. The corporation also added other advanced communication and information technologies such as the internet of things (IoT). All of these in a bid to improve the lives of residents residing in the local.
KT Corporation, with the permission from the UNC, the Ministry of Science, National Intelligence Service and as well as ICT, set up two 5G base stations in the village to offer those services.
In an auditorium of an elementary school, students in the sixth grade played a ball game during their physical education class utilizing mixed reality (MR) sport education programs.
Mixed Reality (MR) is a combination of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR), enabling students to engage in physical education activities indoors.
Lee Jong-won, a teacher in the elementary school, said the village is only 400 meters away from the Military Demarcation Line, making it risky to conduct outdoor activities for students. Weather and emergencies related to inter-Korean relations also added to the difficulty faced by staff and students.
“The MR program is very useful when it is difficult to do outdoor activities,” he said. “In addition, students can learn and have fun at the same time.”
In a classroom, KT’s artificial intelligence (AI) kit allowed students in fifth grade to receive computer coding and robot making lessons.
Student Hong Ji-seong created a “kitchen recipe robot.” He gave a presentation in which the robot gave recipes when the user says the name of a food.
“I decided to make this robot when I saw my mom meet with some difficulties when she cooks,” Hong said.
Meanwhile, farmers at the village are also enjoying the convenience of cutting-edge technology with high-tech smart farming applied in the town. The systems are designed to introduce innovative ways of cultivating local vegetables such as onion, cabbages, peppers, and white radishes.
KT’s AI-based analytics system analyzes information collected by sensors installed at farms to help allow for optimal conditions to cultivate vegetables. The service also enables farmers to use their smartphones to control sprinkler water supply and track temperature and humidity remotely.
GiGA oversees air quality and energy efficiency through 5G networks connecting all 46 households of the village. The energy manager built by KT at the village hall as its primary control center.
“Things have developed a lot in this village,” said Kim Dong-koo who has served as the head of the village for the past eight years. “I would like to express my gratitude to KT.”