THE POW­ERS THAT BE

HWM (Singapore) - - NEWS - Zachary Chan EDI­TOR

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leav­ing mem­o­ries that be­come leg­end. Leg­end fa des to myth, and even my this long for­got­ten when the Age that gave it birth comes again .– Robert Jor­dan

The quote is from the Wheel of Time se­ries of fan­tasy books, but nev­er­the­less rings true in the world of tech. And in this par­tic­u­lar con­text, it’s the rise of South Korea as the tech­nol­ogy su­per­power of our times. The star of Ja­panese elec­tron­ics has been fad­ing for some time now and most of the Euro­pean giants have been sold off to new own­ers, many now un­der the rule of the East­ern dragon.

In this is­sue of HWM, we ex­plore the ri­valry be­tween LG and Sam­sung as they bat­tle head on with their lat­est flag­ship smart­phones. What about Ap­ple you say? What about the grow­ing in­flu­ence of Chi­nese brands such as Xiaomi and Huawei? Well, for one, they aren’t into white goods.

There is a no­tice­able shift in home elec­tron­ics from Ja­panese and Euro­pean brands to be­ing pre­dom­i­nantly Korean. Be­yond smart­phones and TVs, this in­cludes ev­ery­thing from wash­ing ma­chines and re­frig­er­a­tors for your kitchen to ro­botic vac­uum clean­ers and air con­di­tion­ers for your bed­room. The Kore­ans are also at the fore­front of push­ing new tech­nolo­gies to mar­ket in dis­play, IoT, health­care and wear­ables. We’ve been see­ing fresh in­no­va­tions and ideas from them that break the con­ven­tional mold such as LG’s Styler cab­i­net that au­to­mat­i­cally re­freshes your clothes and a Sam­sung smart belt that tracks wellness with­out look­ing like a steam punk mon­stros­ity.

Where do we go from here? I guess you’ll just have to keep read­ing HWM to find out.

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