The evolving design of the digital devices that are starting to fill our stores and schools will change the way we think, behave, and buy
There are certain cities around the world where it's possible to learn about tomorrow's technology as it's being developed today. Tokyo -- still -- offers the most tightly integrated infrastructure, where smooth, technology-driven experiences take place when engaging in everyday actions, such as verifying personal identity, paying for goods, and buying tickets. Nairobi is an excellent destination for mobile banking. San Francisco is the center for startup thinking (and doing). And Seoul is the destination for the newest electronic displays, a place where you can immediately get immersed in daring new screen technologies. As we rely more on our smart phones, laptops, and tablet computers to acquire and share information, as we develop sharper and more interactive large-scale electronic signs in stores, on streets, and on billboards, it's worthwhile to look to a city that offers glimpses into the future of global screen culture.
Why turn to Seoul? South Korea is home to LG and Samsung, local manufacturers that are also the top international leaders in screen technology and sales. In Seoul, there is also a rich willingness to experiment with new devices. Even in the most mundane of corner convenience stores today, you can find numerous, significantly-sized electronic displays at each cash register instead of cardboard advertisements for gum or candy, or small, credit- or debit-card swiping devices with tiny, text-only screens. And by 2015, the South Korean government ambitiously plans to substitute all books in schools with screens; tablet computers will replace paper within four years.