SK Telecom President Jang Dong-hyun said his company will explore new growth engines in the internet of things (IoT) field in cooperation with start-up companies and its partners.
SK Telecom Jang made the remarks during a meeting with foreign and Korean reporters at his company’s booth at the Mobile World Congress 2015 being held in Barcelona, Spain, on March 2. He made his first appearance on the international stage since he took the helm at Korea’s largest telecom company last December.
SK Telecom showcased exhibits at its pavilion under the theme “5G Mobile Telecom and IoT.”
Stressing open collaboration, Jang said, “If an era of IoT is ushered in (electronic appliances and cars are connected via mobile networks), it will be impossible for a company to provide all services, as it did in the past.” He made a point to focus on start-up companies’ booths from several countries at the MWC 2015. Start-up companies tend to do their best in creating new value-added products, and if there are any standouts, SK Telecom would consider doing business with them, while the start-ups focus on the development of technologies, President Jang said.
Under the stewardship of President Jang, who once oversaw the platform business as senior executive vice president of SK Planet, SK Telecom decided to focus on the development of platforms based on the IoT, as part of efforts to find new watersheds from a saturated mobile phone business.
President Jang said SK Telecom plans to commercialize the IoT platform, dubbed “Mobius,” developed as a state research initiative with Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI) in May.
At the Mobile World Congress 2015, SK Telecom introduced for the first time its “Be-Me Platform,” an intelligent platform that provides smart personalized services by analyzing the user’s situation, and the tentatively named “Eggo-Mate,” a personal digital assistant service developed upon this platform.
Be-Me Platform is an intelligence platform that provides users with personalized service in a timely manner by collecting and analyzing users’ diverse information. Built with an intelligence algorithm developed by SK Telecom, the platform determines daily patterns of a smartphone user by collecting and analyzing data gathered via smartphone sensors like ambient light sensor, motion sensor and barometric sensor; location information acquired via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or base stations; and data on user’s smartphone app usage. For instance, if the user’s smartphone is left unmoved for a long time, the platform learns that he is asleep, and the location where the most activity takes place is determined to be “home.” In a similar way, the platform recognizes the user’s workplace, commuting route and means of transportation.
Be-Me Platform can thus lead to the creation of diverse services that offer truly personalized values to customers. For example, when a person leaves home to go to work, the estimated time of arrival of his bus every morning is automatically sent to his smartphone. Then, it recommends nearby restaurants according to his usual lunch break time, frequently visited places and other preferences. Also, on his way home after working long hours, it suggests a list of soft and sentimental music to help him relax.
The platform becomes more accurate and individualized over time, as it “learns” from repetitive data analysis and interpretation, and corrects errors intermittently by checking with the users.
Moreover, SK Telecom plans to open up the Application Programming Interface (API) of the platform to third party developers in June 2015 to encourage the creation of diverse intelligence services.
SK Telecom expects great synergies to be created once the Be-Me Platform is converged with technologies and information related to the Internet of Things (IoT). Combined with IoT, the platform will serve as the basis for a much wider range of services, including smart home and commerce.
Along with Be-Me Platform, SK Telecom also showcased Eggo-Mate, an intelligent assistant service built on the platform. The company demonstrated three main features of Eggo-Mate, including schedule management; a life log; and remote smartphone management.