Take A Look Inside North Korea Through Google Glass

A citizen journalist was permitted to take a few snaps of the Hermit Kingdom while wearing Glass. Here’s what he saw.

Take A Look Inside North Korea Through Google Glass
[Image: Flickr user lawrencegs]

Compared to the rest of Asia, computing technology in North Korea is stuck in a time capsule, a relic of a different decade. So when an outsider sets foot in the Hermit Kingdom wearing Google Glass, it is clearly pretty amazing.

CNN’s crowdsourced content program has had its fair share of whiffs, but intrepid iReporter Kenny Zhu managed to visit Pyongyang, Kaesong, and a few other cities in the republic while wearing his Android monocle. CNN notes that that he was only permitted to take photos with Glass “as long as the photos reflected the positive side of North Korea.”

So, what did Zhu end up capturing? Life! Here are two samples (you can see the rest at CNN), but the presumably state-vetted photographs reflect a tourist landscape that’s desolate and sparsely populated–a far cry from what you or I might consider a positive reflection.

In recent years, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea has ever so gently pulled back the curtain to outsiders, allowing foreign press agents to snap carefully selected photographs from within the poverty-stricken nation, particularly on Instagram. In late 2012, Google’s Eric Schmidt paid the reclusive nation a visit, although it’s unclear what the trip was for or what came out of it. And, of course, there have been other bizarre cases of Americans landing in NK.

About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more.