- Title: USA: South Korean team shows off world's fastest texting skills
- Date: 18th January 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) LG SENIOR DIRECTOR OF MARKETING TIM O'BRIEN SAYING: "Yeah. It's interesting. It certainly started with teens as a way to communicate. . . as a way to communicate on their own terms. But one of the most interesting trends we're seeing is that texting is expanding. For Christmas, my father-in-law who's 70, he wanted a texting phone to be able to communicate with his 13-year old grand-daughter, and we're seeing that. We're seeing parents and grandparents getting into texting, but they're following their teenagers who have always been the core of the texting audience." START OF COMPETITION FINAL U.S. TEAM NEW ZEALAND TEAM PAN ACROSS FLOOR SOUTH KOREAN TEAM WINNING FINAL STANDINGS SOUTH KOREAN TEAM OF YOUNG-HO BAE (LEFT) AND MOK-MIN HA (RIGHT) WITH WINNERS CHECK OF $100,000 (USD) (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) WINNER MOK-MIN HA SAYING: "I was so honored, and I'd like to especially send a thank you to LG for this kind of great opportunity. Actually when I became a national champion back home, I didn't feel like it was real, but it's somehow more or less what I felt there, and I'm just happy." SOUTH KOREAN TEAM (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) WINNER YOUNG-HO BAE SAYING: "Of course it's LG, that's the answer [to fast texting]." WINNERS ON STAGE
- Embargoed: 2nd February 2010 12:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA1LLPYFW8OMXMM72PEV4TLRN2C
- Story Text: A pair of South Korean teenagers bested the competition in New York on Thursday (January 14) to be crowned the world's fastest texters.
The team of Yeong-Ho Bae, 18, and Mok-Min Ha, 17, went thumb-to-thumb against a dozen other teams from around the globe in an event sponsored by the electronics manufacturer, LG, for a cash prize of $100,000 (USD).
"We have today the first, the inaugural championships of texting - the LG Mobile World Cup. And there are sixteen [sic] countries, the best texter from each country descending on New York to figure out who has the fastest thumbs. That's what we're doing here today," explained Tim O'Brien, Senior Director of Marketing for LG.
The competitors earned the right to compete by winning their national titles individually, before being formed into a two-person team to compete in the 'world cup'. Between May and November 2009, qualifying rounds were held in the United States, Canada, Indonesia, Portugal, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Korea, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Altogether, more than 6 million people took part.
In the finals, the contestants texted in their native language in five rounds of competition where spelling and accuracy earned them points to advance to the final test where the six best teams had to spell 120 words as fast as possible for the win.
Morgan Dynda and Kate Moore from the United States placed second, winning $20,000, and Juan Ignacio Aufranc and Agustina Montegna from Argentina took home $10,000 for third.
While the competitors ranged in age from 14- to 28-years of age, O'Brien explained that texting is no longer just for the youth market.
"It's interesting. It certainly started with teens as a way to communicate. . . as a way to communicate on their own terms. But one of the most interesting trends we're seeing is that texting is expanding," O'Brien explained. "
"We're seeing parents and grandparents getting into texting, but they're following their teenagers who have always been the core of the texting audience."
In 2009 alone, the estimated numbers of texts reached 2.5 trillion, or more than 6.8 billion a day, according to LG.
In addition to the main competition, the players attempted to set a new Guinness World Records record for fastest texting. Pedro Matias, 27, from Portugal set a new record by typing a 264-character text in just 1 minute 59 seconds, shaving 23 seconds off the previous record set by Finland's Arttu Harkki in 2005.
In a nod to how far phones have come, the record-setting text used by Guinness read: The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell (UK), who filed his patent for the telephone on 14 February 1876 at the New York Patent Office, USA. The first intelligible call occurred in March 1876 in Boston, Massachusetts, when Bell phoned his assistant in a nearby room and said "Come here Watson, I want you."
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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