After an hour and a half subway ride from central Seoul, I stepped out of the subway station and looked around. The Incheon Culture and Arts center rose to the left. I was visiting the 6th Incheon Information Technology Communication 2007, an exhibition of Incheon's various technology companies designed to encourage the area as a technological center and attract investment, mostly from overseas. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, so I prepared to be amazed.
Looking around me, I noticed three major branches from the central area. A Hall, C Hall, and D Hall were the choices presented to me, and I chose D Hall first. I was immediately interested in a three dimensional poster, and went over to investigate. Future Display, Inc is the producer of optical illusion three dimensional posters, and had already created promotional materials for an international event.
I found out later that this hall was the New IT Technology Center and Promotion Center for Incheon World City Expo. Incidentally, the Incheon World City Expo will be an event to remember akin to the World's Fair, lasting four months and being quite literally a collection of visions for the future.
Wandering out of that area, I managed to get to C Hall, where I was greeted by another vision of the future. C Hall is officially called the Experience Center for Intellectual Robots, but I liked to refer to it simply as the robot room. There were several robotic toys and home appliances on exhibit such as the iClebo intelligent cleaning robot and the RoboNova-1, which seemed to be an intelligent dancing robot. But the most interesting part of C Hall was the large booth advertising Robot Land. A full wall painting of a 60 story tall robot overlooking a futuristically designed theme park was hard to ignore.
After asking the attending booth babes what was going on, I found out that Incheon Metropolitan City was planning to build this fun park on an artificial island just off the coast. The place is budgeted to cost US$530 million dollars and is scheduled to begin construction in 2009, too late to be part of the Incheon World City Expo, sadly enough, but still quite exciting. After asking a few more questions, I found out that the theme park was not exclusively a place for fun and games, but would also house facilities for the serious advancement of robotics technology. It will mix the two in a stadium dedicated to robot-related competitions. Now that's an innovation!
From C Hall I could see a formerly hidden B Hall, so I entered it. This was the Invitation Center for Foreign IT Agencies, and included representatives from Viet Nam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and mainland China. These were mostly technology parks that were advertising the attractiveness of their infrastructure and the strength of their tax incentives. Unfortunately my foreign language skills were not strong enough to speak with representatives from the rest of Asia.
There was a connection from here to A Hall, which looked to be the largest of the halls. I was not disappointed when I investigated it. The hall included many interesting technologies from different aspects of the IT industry. Hanics Technology was exhibiting their bone conduction headsets, and right across the hall Dong In Optical showcased their gun scope technology. It was quite a diverse collection of companies all under one roof. The most captivating thing about A Hall was the Pavonine booth, which showed large, flat screen displays that could display a 3D image with special polarized glasses. However, they also had a display that showed 3D images without the aid of the polarized glasses.
Eventually it was time to go, but I left with a new appreciation for the advancement of 3D technologies and with fond hopes of visiting Robot Land sometime in the next ten years.