The Mad Technology in South Korea.

I was constantly amazed at the technology in South Korea.

Exhibit #1

Like the car licence plate scanner at parking lots.

In Singapore, we have a device (it’s called a IU – In-Vehicle Unit) installed on the windscreen of each vehicle (motorcycle, car, truck, bus, whatever-else-there-is). Each IU (we love acronyms in Singapore) is tagged with the car’s licence plate. At the entrance of the parking lot, a scanner reads information off the IU. Every car has to have one and it can only be installed at places authorised by the government. When the car exits the parking lot, the parking fees are deducted off a CashCard (a card with pre-loaded credit) that is inserted in the IU. Sometimes the scanner at the exit point does not work properly and the driver has to wriggle the car around so the scanner can catch the IU.

This is what happened when my friend (Minah) and I was at the parking lot in COEX (Gangnam):

We finish our dinner and shopping, so we head to the parking lot to get her car. First, she stops at the parking fee machine and keys in the last 4 digits of her car licence plate. She inserts 3,000 won into the machine (note that it is possible for her to use her credit card but she didn’t. It is possible to use a credit card almost anywhere in South Korea.).

We walk to her car and we drive to the exit point. Within seconds, the exit display shows her car licence plate number and the gantry arm lifts.

Alarmed, I turn to her and ask, “How did they know your licence plate number?” There wasn’t a IU or a similar device on her windscreen!

She says (very casually), “Oh, they read my car licence plate number.”


What sorcery is this?

I feel like a country bumpkin already. Dear Singapore, if you can get the sorcery that is behind this, we will have less waiting time and swearing at exit gantry points in all parking lots across the nation. Think about it, okay?

Exhibit #2


I was waiting for my Americano at Paris Baguette (this is my favourite cafe in the world right now – I’m so happy that a branch of Paris Baguette opened in Wisma Atria recently!). Please note the black device on the table. That is to be the main topic for this section.

You know restaurant paging devices used by some cafes and self-service eating places? That black device is a restaurant paging device but this is an upgraded version. Note that the Korean girl-band MissA is on the screen. This is their new music video. So instead of a black device that merely vibrated when someone presses a button (heehee) behind a counter, short videos or advertisements could be shown to the waiting (and bored?) customer – new advertising space!

That makes my advertising nose wriggle in excitement.

And that bread in the picture is AMAZING. It has cinnamon filling and sugar on the top, and it is one of Paris Baguette’s new offerings for the season. It went wonderfully with my Americano.

OMG. I want one of those now. Paris Baguette, please bring it to Singapore soon.


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