SONGDO, South Korea -- It's Monday morning and the wall computer has a few suggestions to kick off the day: Your blood pressure is high, so how about tofu for dinner? Try another route to work to avoid traffic. And there's no more orange juice, so more has been ordered.
That may sound like an episode of "The Jetsons," but developers are making it reality with the construction of a $25 billion digital city in South Korea. The first 2,000 of a total 65,000 residents are expected to move into their wired homes in 2009.
New Songdo City, which its developers say may be the world's largest private development project, is the crown jewel of an ambitious plan by the Seoul government to build on 1,500 acres of reclaimed land on the Yellow Sea.
It will boast the most advanced digital infrastructure imaginable, from blanket wireless Internet coverage and automated recycling to universal smart cards that can be used to pay bills, access medical records, and open doors.
Songdo will merge medical, business, residential, and government data systems into a so-called ubiquitous, or "U" city.
Homes and offices all have computers that will collect data from swipe cards and sensors for the "U-life" management center. It will be run by Songdo U-Life LLC, a joint venture between U S developer Gale International and LG Electronics subsidiary LG CNS .
"In America and Japan, some building companies use group control or group management, but in our country it's for a whole city," said Jang Choong-moo of Songdo U-Life.
It is the ultimate test of services to track products and people with radio-frequency identification chips -- a technology facing resistance in other countries because of privacy concerns.
Kim Kyoung Woo, of the Ministry of Information and Communication, said South Koreans generally trust corporations with personal data and that "it's not a big issue" for the public.
Liz McIntyre, coauthor of a book on corporations and consumer privacy, "Spychips," said they should be wary.
"U S companies are having to look outside for places to implement their ubiquitous systems, and have turned to the more trusting people of South Korea for experimentation," she said.