Clocking in for work at Cetropolis, a high-rise business building in downtown Seoul, office workers literally have to do nothing but, well, start working. They have no entrance pass for security or a card to swipe through a reader.
All they need is their smartphones connected to the fifth-generation (5G) network. They enter through the door with face recognition, and immediately start working at reserved desks after connecting their phones on a docking pad to a cloud computing system. No desktops or heavy CPUs and cables are needed with the 5G virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) system.
The scene presented by SK Telecom at a press event on Wednesday (Feb 13) offered a glimpse into what the future 5G-powered office would look like, as the tech-savvy country is scrambling to capitalise on the advanced technology to improve working conditions.
"The office is designed to create hassle-free working conditions where people can just focus on their work," said Mr Shin Sang-kyu, vice-president and head of Employee Relations Group, upon unveiling the futuristic office.
Since the country’s three telecom companies - SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus - launched the 5G network in December last year, the telecom giants have been seeking to incorporate the new technology into everyday life.
The 5G-powered smart office is one of the examples in which the hyper-speed network can shape the business environment, as an increasing number of companies are trying to find ways to maximise productivity.
SK Telecom said that while it will take time for the futuristic office to become as commonplace as what is seen in sci-fi films, progress is underway, as the company is seeking to collect more data and reduce infrastructure cost.
"Our priority this year is to gather data as much as we can. We have to consider the cost issue, as our main clients will be small businesses... After advancing our service, we will approach our client with business plans," said an official from SK Telecom.
Among other technology applied to the 5G smart office was a "5G walking-through system" where people can pass through the entrance via face recognition. Employees had previously been required to carry identification tags to get through security at the entrance.