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How can startups solve Seoul’s urban problem with AI, IoT?

South Korean capital Seoul is one of the most tech-savvy cities in the world, and this has allowed the startup community here to brim with solutions to tackle its problems.

For startups honing their tech capacity, ranging from ultrafine dust management to household waste treatment and fire prevention, the forthcoming tech event hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Start-Up Seoul: Tech-Rise 2019, could be a chance to gain access to venture investors and corporate representatives.

Exterior view of Dongdaemun Design Plaza (Dongdaemun Design Plaza)
Exterior view of Dongdaemun Design Plaza (Dongdaemun Design Plaza)
As part of the three-day tech event in early September, “Exhibition on Seoul Innovations” at Dongdaemun Design Plaza on Sept. 5-6 is expected to allow some 50 homegrown startups to showcase new technologies.

Also during Exhibition on Seoul Innovations, visitors are expected to get a glimpse of the technology trend in the city in terms of artificial intelligence, big data and the internet of things.

In particular under the limelight are those in search of a chance to become the next automated solution to problems the municipal government is facing, such as worsening air quality and urban insecurity.

One example is DroMii, a Seoul-based AI startup that develops a street mapping service using drones that detects moving cars, which has various uses. One of them is that the cars can then be removed from the map image, and the empty road surface can then be analyzed for cracks and potholes.

Another AI-driven startup moving to handle urban issues is Spacewalk, which has software that estimates optimal profit scenarios for an urban regeneration project to evaluate its feasibility. The company hopes its product, called Landbook, can be used by residents looking to take part in the city government’s initiative to regenerate the city.

For Gatda, its AI-powered Ppaegi service is designed to tell people the cheapest way to dispose of household waste that cannot be thrown out using the regular collection system and aid household waste collection in Seoul.

Atlasen, in the meantime, uses IoT sensor modules to monitor and analyze indoor ultrafine dust, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity. Another IoT startup, Wyhil will present products to gauge air quality and allow users to control them using a chatbot function.

Xpia, on the other hand, uses big data for home fire prevention, as it tracks a household’s gas usage, the temperature in the kitchen and a voice recognition algorithm into big data.

Aside from urban issues, visitors will also be able to learn how AI, IoT and other technologies by Seoul-based startups are applied in various use cases, including pet condition monitoring, neural audio synthesis, quantified self-movement tracking, fashion recommendation, surgical video analysis, safe driving solutions, tunnel road monitoring and solar panel management, among others.

At Exhibition on Seoul Innovations, over three out of five make use of either AI, big data or IoT.

The two-day expo will be composed of exhibition booths, a pitch competition by 10 startups on Sept. 5 and customer experience zones by five startups.

Other than Exhibition on Seoul Innovations, the Seoul-sponsored tech event from Sept. 4-6 features programs and exhibitions at Seoul Startup Hub, Seoul Bio Hub and Yangjae R&CD Innovation Hub in its first day and conferences at DDP for the other two days.

By Son Ji-hyoung