Seoul

'Bridge of Life' projects messages to prevent suicides

Of all the countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, South Korea has by far the highest suicide rate -- 28.4 per 100,000 people per year according to the OECD, making it the most common cause of death for people under 40.

And one bridge over the Han River, the Mapo Bridge, has been dubbed the Bridge of Death for its unfortunate popularity among those seeking to end their own life. Between 2007 and 2012, more than 100 people attempted suicide from the Mapo Bridge.

To try to counteract the number of deaths from the bridge, the Seoul City government didn't build a high fence or suicide barrier; instead, it teamed with Samsung Life Insurance to take a different path, adding interactive handrails that speak directly to passersby. … Read more

Hyundai's E4U vehicle is an egg on training wheels

Segways are run of the mill these days. To turn heads with an unusual vehicle, you need something like the Hyundai E4U.

Recently unveiled at the ongoing 2013 Seoul Motor Show, the E4U is a one-seater that can move easily in any direction. It travels on a rotating front sphere and two rear training-wheel-like supports. Propulsion is controlled by foot pedals, which cause the spherical front to tilt.

In a demo at the car show, the pod moved at about walking speed, according to Japan's Nikkei Tech-On Web site, which provides us with this remarkable photo of the E4U and what must be some of the stupidest headgear ever conceived. … Read more

Hyper-Matrix video wall moves, astounds

Earlier this year, auto manufacturer Hyundai designed a pavilion in Seoul, South Korea, that served as a platform for touting the company's corporate philosophy and future ambitions during the 2012 Yeosu Expo. This probably sounds terribly boring, but one item within might amaze you.

Media firm Jonpasang worked in collaboration with Hyundai to create Hyper-Matrix, an enormous 180-degree installation with one major twist: the walls actually consist of thousands of motorized cubes that create a crazy sense of texture. … Read more

Robot worm laughs off your attempts to squash it dead

From snakes to fish to cheetahs, we've seen a veritable Noah's Ark of biomimetic robots in recent years, and now researchers have turned to the lowly earthworm for inspiration.

Meshworm is a squishy, sluglike droid that stretches and squeezes its artificial muscles to move forward. This peristalsis is similar to how worms travel and how your guts move food around. … Read more

Getting online in super-wired South Korea

South Korea was utterly destroyed by war 60 years ago. Today, it's replacing all textbooks in public schools with electronic tablets.

The country's rise from the ashes mirrors that of Japan after World War II, but it now lays claim to the title of most wired nation on Earth, with high Internet penetration rates and bold plans for high-tech tools like household robots.

Developers are building a Robotland theme park that's slated to open in 2016 in Incheon, home to Seoul's main international airport, which of course has free Wi-Fi and public terminals with Internet access. … Read more

Koreans flock to Galaxy S3 at Samsung showroom

SEOUL, South Korea -- Samsung's Galaxy S3 LTE hit stores in South Korea a few days ago, and the phone's popularity was plain to see at the tech giant's store here in the Gangnam district of Seoul.

Koreans swarmed around the oversized handset at the flagship Samsung D'light Shop, which is roughly equivalent to Apple stores.

The quad-core phone debuted on Korean carriers KT, LG U+, and SK Telecom this week. Samsung apparently sold 50,000 units on its first day.

Staff at the Samsung store say the phone's selling points are its battery life and speed, LTE support, and features like the ability to show a video feed in one window while using other functions. … Read more

Chevrolet wins award for hybrid supercar concept

The mid-engine sports car has been electrified. To celebrate its centennial, Chevrolet debuted at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show a hybrid supercar concept with the styling of a jet fighter, but the fuel consumption of a Volt. The design won the award for Best Concept Car at the show.

The Mi-ray (which is Korean for the word "future") roadster blends and updates styling cues from past sports cars, like the 1963 Monza SS and 1962 Corvair Super Spyder. Designers at the GM Advanced Design Studio in Seoul gave the Mi-ray LeMans-style scissor doors, an open top, and a … Read more

First genetically altered dogs get superlame power

You can't tell me someone didn't think of glowing red eyes. Or even glowing white eyes. Just glowing eyes in general is cooler than a glowing red body...under ultraviolet light.

The Associated Press is reporting that South Korean scientists have cloned four dogs with the "power" to glow under ultraviolet light.

By day, mild-mannered (assumed) beagles. By night, they glow red...Um, OK?

Basically, the scientists did this to prove that it's possible to insert a specific trait into a living animal. The scientists hope that this process could be used to fight diseases.… Read more

Hyundai previews Blue-Will plug-in hybrid

Hyundai has given us our first look at its Blue-Will plug-in hybrid concept. While the silhouette is nice and the proportions are pleasing, there are more character lines and creases than it appears the designers could handle. Then again, it's a concept, so we can forgive the wonky design.

Under the Blue-Will's sculpted hood are a 1.6-liter gasoline engine, a 100kw electric motor, and a continuously variable transmission putting power to the wheels. If that configuration sounds familiar, it's because the Blue-Will is boasting a very second-gen Toyota Prius-like setup. However, the Hyundai concept also brings … Read more