SOUTH KOREA’S INNOVATION PARADOXON – by Sebastian Loss

World’s Leading ‘Internet Of Things’ Tech Nation Faces Human Challenges Moving Forward

A scientific case study revealed that South Korea, currently dominating the IoT market segment in terms of growth, needs to adapt their solely technological driven strategy with a more human-centered approach. Otherwise the country will risk realizing their vision to build a smart ecosystem nationwide, which can negatively impact IoT innovations around the world. The academic VirtEU research project, led by two Danish universities, calls for drastic and immediate changes in future IoT research and development.

Donghee Shin from the Sungkyunkwan University published a case study on South Korea’s keen ambitions to become market leader in the IoT segment, showcasing ubiquitous challenges the smart technology will face when evolving in the society. In order to consolidate innovation management and enhance market acceptance, the study introduces a socio-technological framework for IoT designs moving forward.

While the Far East nation has invested massively in research and development and has been pioneering in bringing smart hardware to test markets, non-hardware aspects have been mostly neglected so far. Such are reducing the public skepticism towards technological change, but also to evaluate from where the tremendous funds can be raised for this overall digital transformation – changing urban areas into smart cities.

Shin elaborates a socio-technical framework as an assessment and forecasting tool for IoT, which highlights that both society as well as technology have to evolve in cooperation and not separately. Otherwise the growth of one party will be irrelevant for the overall innovational progress and not succeed become reality. Not only will this be a risk for South Korea’s evolution in the IoT segment, but since the country is currently acting in the role of the world’s smart technology pilot, failure could have a domino effect on the global IoT industry.

For the IoT research and development this perspective is new and combines technology interactions of users with an interdisciplinary approach from science and technology studies. Shin’s study provides valuable starting points for further investigation, both in academics as well as technology, which have yet remained unnoticed. Members of the VirtEU research project, in which two Danish universities are involved, are demanding drastic changes on the currently scattered innovation management in IoT.

The case study has been originially published in the Telematics and Informatics online journal, edition 31 (title: “A socio-technical framework for Internet-of-Things design: A human-centered design for the Internet of Things”). The author, Dr. Donghee Shin, is chairman of the Department of Interaction Science at Seoul’s Sungkyunkwan University. The department focuses mainly on the research areas human-technology interactions. Since the launch of the VirtEU project (“Values and Ethics in Innovation for Responsible Technology in Europe”) at the IT University of Copenhagen in collaboration with 4 other universities, both institutions have been in constant exchange.

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Press info: For further information on the VirtEU project, staff member contacts as well as additional image assets, please refer to the following page: https://ethos.itu.dk/virt-eu/.

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