Monday, January 25, 2021

The 2021 All Digital Consumer Electronics Show—CES Trends and Take-aways

Hancom Toki CES 2021

 

Last year at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada there were over 4,000 exhibitors and more than 170,000 attendees. This year, with the event gone virtual, there are about half that number of exhibitors. Many big companies that in the past dominated the exhibit space opted out of CES 2021. 

 

Still, the companies that did participate showcased many new, innovative products and something for everyone. Surveying the CES Show’s exhibitors and media coverage three trends stand out:

 

Trend 1 
EVs and Autonomous, 5G & Smart Cities

       Despite some top auto manufacturers not participating in the show, EV and AV has been the hot topic at the Show, as well as for those suppliers engaged in EV and AV technology.

       For 2021, along with autonomous vehicles and electrification, technologies included cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS). Many of these technologies will be driven by the advancement in 5G networks, and overlaying 5G in smart cities.

 

Bottom Line: With the upcoming Biden administration strongly promoting EV and Mobility solutions—companies large and small see a huge upside. 

 

Trend 2
Technology Blending Work & Personal Lives

       Tied to COVID, numerous vendors have showcased products that bridge the gap between work and personal lives. For the past year many have been working out of home offices, and that trend probably isn't going to go away. 

       With many working from home, some of the biggest innovations in 2021 are in AI, and the greater use of voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Alexa. 

       Expect to see more smart wearables, which provide a direct link to voice assistant providers without having to access your phone. 

 

Bottom Line: Look to digitalize our lives more in 2021.

 

Trend 3 
Health, Wellness and Workplace safety

       Also, in the wake of COVID, healthcare and wellness are also seen as strong trends at the 2021 show. 

       More so, this years’ companies feel technology can benefit or change society as well as providing products and services to help individuals and companies get back to the “new normal” safely. 

       This includes smart air purifiers, water filtration systems and UV disinfecting lights as companies look to fill the demand. 

 

Bottom line: People are paying a lot more attention to their personal health and wellness, and the health and wellness environment of their home and workplace. 

 

And one more thing—Robots get more practical

       CES 2021 finds robots taking on increased importance as ways to automate processes tied to COVID, maintaining social distancing, and serving as home companions and personal assistants.

 

       For example, in hospitals, robots are being used to take patients’ temperatures and vital signs as they come in and triage them accordingly, as well as disinfecting rooms using UV lights. 

 

       A Show favorite is tSouth Korea’s Hancom Toki H2—one listed by Autoweek as “10 Cool Things from the Virtual CES—From flying cars to flexible dashboards.” Toki comes with many features and serves as a companion and personal assistant. The home robot allows for customized conversations between family members and users. It also actively engages in daily life based on facial recognition technology and educational content. 

 

Bottom Line: Looking into the year ahead we’ll find game changing robots serving in new roles at schools, hospitals, offices, gyms, and public transportation. So too, robots like Toki using AI can serve as interactive personal companions and assistants—the need for both public and private roles heightened under the pandemic. 

 

###

 

Hyperlink for

Toki https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUGzFl-SiJ4

 Autoweek  https://www.autoweek.com/news/auto-shows/g35216624/10-cool-things-from-the-virtual-ces/

 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Hancom Toki H2 AI Home Robot picked as one of Autoweek's 2021 All Digital CES 10 Cool Things

At this year’s 2021 All Digital CES Show, top U.S automotive news source Autoweek has showcased their “10 Cool Things from the Virtual CES—From flying cars to flexible dashboards, there was something for everybody.” Coming in #5 on the list is Hancom’s Toki H2 AI Home Robot.


As one of several trends, the 2021 Show finds robots taking on an increased importance as ways to automate processes tied to COVID, maintaining social distancing, and serving as home companions and personal assistants.

For example, in hospitals, robots are being used to take patients’ temperatures and vital signs as they come in and triage them accordingly, as well as disinfecting rooms using UV lights. 

As for the Hancom Toki H2 and its many features, the robot serves as a companion and personal assistant. The home robot allows for customized conversations between family members and users. It also actively engages in daily life based on facial recognition technology and educational content. 

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUGzFl-SiJ4


Looking into the year ahead we’ll find game changing robots serving in new roles at schools, hospitals, offices, gyms, and public transportation. So too, robots like Toki using AI can serve as interactive personal companions and assistants—the need for both public and private roles heightened under the pandemic. 

Autoweek’s article  https://www.autoweek.com/news/auto-shows/g35216624/10-cool-things-from-the-virtual-ces/


###


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

South Korea’s Hancom Group CES 2021 Showcases Game Changing Productivity and Collaboration Solutions, Artificial Intelligence and Robots, Smart City, and Blockchain Security

Making the world Smarter, Safer and Freer through pioneering future innovation

By Don Southerton


At this years  All Digital CES 2021 the Hancom Group is showcasing some of the companies’ most innovative technology. These include game-changing digital products in Productivity and Collaboration Solutions, Artificial Intelligence and Robots , Smart City, and Blockchain and Security.

 

Hancom products are built upon more than 30 years’ experience—from our pioneering work in the Korean software industry to today, leaders in the world market.

 

Productivity and Collaboration Solutions

 

Hancom Works -- Hancom Works is supporting digital transformation of your organization by enabling all-in-one remote workspaces environment on top of self-hosted data center or Cloud infrastructure such as AWS.

 

Hancom Office -- Hancom Office is core productivity applications for your work, study, and collaboration.

 

Artificial Intelligence and Robots

 

Toki H2 : AI Home Robot -- Toki is a home robot used for sharing customized conversation between family and engaging in daily life with kids based on facial recognition technology and educational content.

 

AI Image Processing Service -- Hancom InSpace collects, classifies and analyzes video images captured from satellites, land earth stations and drones. Then track and manage objects based on the analyzed data.

 

Hancom AI Check 25 : AI Call Center Solution -- Hancom AI Check 25 monitors self-quarantined people using AI-bot and assists in monitoring health conditions and information delivery.

 

Hancom Genie K : AI Tutor for Korean Language -- Hancom Genie K, AI tutor for Korean language, is a 1:1 Korean speaking practice application that allows anyone who wants to learn Korean to practice speaking anytime, anywhere.

 

GenieTalk Go!2 : AI Mobile Translator-- AI interpreter supporting 65 Languages. GenieTalk Go!2 can be used in offices and fields where various languages are spoken, overseas business trips, and overseas travel.

 

Smart City

 

Parking Friends : IoT Parking Sharing Service – Parking Friends is an IoT Shared Parking service, which provides real-time parking information using IoT sensor. it can check the status of parking spaces and solve the parking.

 

NeoIDM : AI IoT Platform -- NeoIDM is a device management platform for gathering and controlling data and updating firmware on IoT devices.

 

Blockchain Security

 

Hancom Mobile and Digital Forensics -- Complete mobile and digital forensic products for data extraction and analysis supporting various types of mobile and digital devices.

 

Digital Gold Blockchain -- Digital Gold Blockchain is a new gold transaction platform creates new gold business with gold, cutting-edge technology, art and finance combined.

 

For specific product and business inquiries please contact us at global-sales@hancom.com

Or, visit us at CES 2021  https://digital.ces.tech/home

 

About Hancom

Founded in 1990, today Hancom Group is a leader in creating innovative ecosystems that will lead the world through the convergence of technology. 


With its reach of 18 affiliate companies covering Software, Hardware, and the Finance industry, the Group’s mission is to create a “Convenient World, Connected World, and Safe & Secure World.” 

 

Hancom has been providing productivity applications for 30 years. Its major international partners have included Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google, Polycom, iFLYTEK (China), and Fibercorp (Argentina).Visit us at: https://www.hancomgroup.com/en/main

 

### 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Holidays in South Korea 2020

Merry Christmas from Don Southerton

Christmas is a popular holiday in South Korea. That said, it is also seen as a distinctly Christian holiday. As the holiday approaches, you may wish to greet Korean colleagues with a common greeting. Sae hae bok man i ba deu say yo! 

Hint: When speaking, break the greeting into: sae hae bok—mahne—bah deu say yo

Sae hae bok man i ba deu say yo! works well both in person, in a card, text, IM, or an email. 

In fact, it is the best seasonal greeting for New Year’s, too.

With the time differences, plan to wish Korea-based friends and colleagues a holiday greeting no later than US/ Canada/ EU on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 ...so Thursday Christmas Eve Day AM in Korea.

Questions?  Dsoutherton@bridgingculture.com


###

    


Sunday, December 06, 2020

Year-end Promotions, Restructuring, and New Assignments 2020

This week I'd like to share my recent post in Haps Magazine Korea.



As we watch COVID-19’s impact on Korean global business, we can still expect some norms to continue—year-end promotions—proceeding as in the past. 

Year-end organization-wide promotions, restructuring, and new assignments for teams are traditionally a part of Korean corporate culture. Top to bottom within Korean companies they occur sometime between early December and early January, with the changes to senior leadership happening first, and team level changes as a norm made known the week just before or between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

After the holidays, teams then report back to work. Some assume new roles frequently in departments where they have little experience—requiring employees to acquire new skills—sink or swim. 

In the days that follow those shuffled brief their replacements, as staff remaining in their jobs update new management teams on the status of projects and issues.

Meanwhile, others will be en route to assignments in overseas operations; a challenge for those working outside Korea for the first time. 

This can also be a challenge for local overseas operations. In particular, it is common for those newly assigned to be unfamiliar or have very limited experience with the many nuances in the localized foreign business, as well as the new role and responsibilities. Not to mention, working outside Korea is in itself a learning curve that can take months and even years. And, with the demands of COVID-19, I strongly recommend leadership—Western and Korean– have countermeasures in place to mitigate any transitional gaps. They do occur. In fact, over the years I have worked extensively to facilitate smooth transitions. 

What to look for later this month

The top Chaebol will announce key promotions and provide some insight into future trends. 

The Chaebol usually also comment on whether this year’s promotion numbers are more or less than in the past and reasons “why.”

More recently the number of female employees who are made executives within a Group has been highlighted, a gradual move upward by women in the ranks. This is in contrast to a time when women were considered temporary staff and not long-term staff on track to be considered for management.

As a final note, for western global teams, I suggest congratulating those who are promoted, but also be sensitive to Korean team members who were passed over…as time in grade is just a criteria for promotion, or in some cases as it is deemed their time to retire.

 




Sunday, November 29, 2020

Meeting Current Goals and Expectations—And, How I’d Approach

We all see organizations seeking to become more adaptive and innovative, Change is often the most challenging part of the transformation. Layer on COVID-19. 

 

To achieve current growth goals and expectations demands new behaviors from leaders and employees that are often antithetical to their corporate cultures. 

 

For example, my Korea work often centers around where historically norms were tied to Confucian and decades of accepted business practices. 

 

That said, surprisingly even in Western operations for Korea Groups I often see changes that has become widespread in Korea, still lingering in overseas offices—some assigned there clinging on to the past and in some cases practices and oversight they see benefiting their careers. 

 

My Approach


Don Southerton


Tackling change and specifically targeting “what to change” takes deep insights into the culture and as well as an understanding of the many changes currently already underway. 

 

I’ve found change can’t be achieved through top-down mandates or a slick boilerplate agency program. 

 

We need to be hands-on and sensitive to how best to shift those so long bound by the old norms and hesitate to change. Not easy for some.  

 

That and many Western teams and leadership, especially those new to working with Korea, can't just want to jump in and make changes without fully understanding the overall dynamics.

 

My findings are that if we probe many of the most outstanding issues are more one-sided communication in nature—with gaps, for example, in the approach to tackling projects. 

 

In my advisory practice, a first step would be to identify the core issues then offer support. In past projects it was and is not uncommon to find what I was told were the key issues were but the symptoms, not the cause.

 

This leads to my final point!

 

When tackling a situation(s) I’ve found that it is essential to “sit-in” at as many meetings and discussions as possible. I’d add being available for one on one’s with leadership is also a top best practice.

 

In both cases. it is difficult to provide objective feedback, workarounds, and recommendations without understanding the full context of the major issues. Not to mention, the need from a cultural perspective to track and listen for what can be missed if I only get a briefing. 

For many we find the best model is for the team to see me as “ in-house,” hands-on, report to senior leadership directly, and be available when teams have a question or concern—always kept confidential and private. 

 

Always open to discussing. Best to Text first.   310-866-3777

 

Don 

 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Doing Business With COVID-19 Flexible Thinking


 

It appears we are entering a new phase of COVID-19, now more than ever we need to approach business with flexibility and open-mindedness.


That said, in Korea, there has been a considerable effort to offer more flexible working environments even before COVID-19. 


Beyond more flexible workplace hours and casual dress codes, even in Korea with their decades of rigid hierarchal workplace norms, we have seen more new progressive efforts being made among Korean companies. 


This is particularly visible in those Korean companies dedicated to technology and global business such as Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor, LG, Naver, Kakao, SK Telecom, Amorepacific, and Nexon—who have all worked to foster a more horizontal and creative work culture. 


Still, Koreans and Westerners alike note that if there is a lesson learned from COVID-19 it is the need for businesses to be open and flexible. As an example, we now see the widespread adoption of video conferencing during the pandemic instead of insistence on in-person meetings. 


Richard Chin, President and Head of Global Development within the SK Group, one of Korea’s top conglomerates, too, has noted that the pandemic has served as a wake-up call for companies across industries. It has accelerated the shift to a business model where trial and error is not just part of the process—it is the process. Chin points out that years from now, we will be looking at this period as a make-or-break moment for businesses. Those that shift their mindset to the faster, more nimble approach to innovation will grow and succeed


He adds that companies must streamline their decision-making process. They must empower those closest to the market and the business to take meaningful actions, so they can respond to new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.


Solutions and Options


If we at look at another side of business flexibility, a best practice is to be flexible in the processes by which Westerners and Koreans seek out solutions and options. 


A few years ago, while I was conducting a team-building leadership workshop, in one of the discussions, a Korean participant pointed out that they typically look for options to solve a situation. He went on to explain that when a problem surfaced in Korea, they would prepare at least 3 or more “counter-measures” for senior leadership to review. 


Just pointing out and restating the problem, he said, was not productive, noting that his boss and the team already knew there was a problem. Leadership wanted to see multiple options. More so, in Korea, individuals have been highly encouraged to be solution-oriented. This stems back to and is rooted in years of pragmatic schooling within the Korean educational system. 


There is nothing wrong with this perspective and there are considerable merits in solution-based thinking. 


That said, and in contrast, it is not uncommon for Western teams to first spend time focusing heavily on looking at the problem rather than jumping to solutions. 


A solid evaluation can rarely arise without working through a problem from multiple angles. I’d layer on the importance of thinking about potential repercussions that could result from a subjective and potentially myopic analysis. 


Not to mention, when paying attention to only the solution, one may actually miss the bigger picture. This mindset can narrow down and limit perspectives as well as filter out a range of potential work through options. 


In closing, in the spirit of being open-minded and flexible, I recommend a COVID-era strategy that acknowledges and gains consensus as there are merits and strengths in both Western and Korean approaches. I suggest collaboratively stepping back to clearly understand the situation, take time to pull apart what may be occurring, and zero in on a solution, and provide options. 


 Many thanks to Haps Magazine Korea    https://www.hapskorea.com


###