The future of mobile phones? It’s South Korea

Highly recommended: this article in New York Times In South Korea, All of Life Is Mobile. It describes how the younger – and also less younger – generations in that country use their mobile phones for… well, practically anything. Identification, pocket money, payment in stores, television set, book reader, magazine, music player, internet, yellow pages and so on and so forth. The number of things they can do with phones is dazzling. I especially like the example of sending your friend a gift, a pre-paid Starbucks coffee, which she then can pick up by showing the gift icon on her mobile at any Starbucks. Paying by mobile instead of cash or credit card is called T-Money.

A university lets their students use mobiles as ID cards, because, as all students, they would much sooner forget their ID card than leave home without their mobile. No need for a wallet (a relief for those whose wallets, like mine, have been stolen) and I am quite sure they  have inventive solutions for stolen phones. I wouldn’t be surprised if a stolen phone becomes useless by itself, or engages in self-destruction, or takes the thief to the closest police station because it knows exactly the thief’s location – and that of all the police stations in the city.

The fact I found most fascinating is that a young person in South Korea changes his or her phone once a year. I don’t quite see it happening around here. Yet.


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