A Glimpse Into The Korean “Google”

This morning was much different than any other. I woke up two hours early and actually had all the time in the world to get ready for the day. I had a very filling breakfast and grabbed some snacks from a local grocery store for the day. Our group then headed to a company called Naver which is like the Korean equivalent of Google and YouTube. We were given a very interesting on what services they provide and the type of technology they focus on. Naver is used as a search engine like Google, and one of the main focuses is question and answer threads, blog posts for any subject, and videos. They also have created their own “google translate” for Korean and English and Japanese and English. They have also gotten into the messaging market with an app called Line which acts as an international messaging app. They also gave very cool demonstrations of their new technology with videos where they were able to completely cancel out background noise from a video. In addition to canceling background noise, they also were able to cancel other people’s voices. Their example was very funny and was a snippet from a US news broadcast where three people were arguing with each other and talked over each other to the point where it was hard to understand what anyone was saying. Then, they played the same clip, but when you clicked on a person, you only heard what they were saying. Another example consisted of a K-Pop group doing a live performance, and what they were able to do was focus on each individual person and have them in the center of the TV. A few of us wondered why they wanted to only see one person rather than the group, and they explained that in Korea, many people, especially fans, have a favorite member of the group and would rather watch their favorite member rather than the whole group. This seemed very interesting and unique. Afterwards, we got a tour of their facility and then headed back to the hotel. Once we got back, we changed and headed directly to Myeongdong. This is a popular place for shopping and street food. We walked around and got some souvenirs for our trip and then decided to get food. I ended up getting fried dumplings and grilled chicken. All the food smelled, looked, and tasted amazing. After we all grabbed a bite to eat, we decided to head to Namdaemunno which was another market we had been to before. Nothing too exciting occurred, however, we then decided to go to the Seoul Tower. The tower is on top of a mountain and has a perfect view of the city skyline. We then attempted to get home and it was a long journey of asking strangers for help, but in the end,  we arrived and it was a great night.

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