Light Reading
Choi Jin-ho, manager of SK Telecom's ICT R&D division, tells Light Reading about SK Telecom's plans for WebRTC, including a service to help the visually impaired.

SK Telecom Tests WebRTC for the Blind

Sarah Reedy
5/9/2014
50%
50%

WebRTC has made its way out of R&D at SK Telecom, and the operator is developing ways to apply the real-time communications technology to a wide range of services. First up: a better customer support experience for the visually impaired.

In a recent interview with Light Reading, Choi Jin-ho, manager of SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM)'s ICT R&D division, told us about the operator's aggressive plans for the technology, which lets users click-to-call from any supported web browser. He says it's still in the early stages, and it's not easy to develop WebRTC-based services targeting consumers, but the company is exploring possibilities in certain areas. (See SK Telecom Sounds Off on WebRTC.)

One such area is a service for the visually impaired that Jin-ho says has been developed and is currently being tested. Using WebRTC, images are recorded from a web camera that is part of a wearable device used by a visually impaired person. These images are sent to a customer center in real time where agents will verbally explain the situation to the visually impaired user based on what they see in the images. Jin-ho says the service will be commercially available in the latter half of the year.

This is just one example of many scenarios that WebRTC can enable. Some will be more trivial, such as NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM)'s chat room or more enterprise-focused like Voxbone SA 's service offering to click-to-call any call center or to join a conference. (See NTT Opens a WebRTC Chat Room and Voxbone Tweaks Its Network for WebRTC .)

Like the rest of the market, SK Telecom is still figuring out how to implement the protocol and build services around it. Find out more of Jin-ho's thoughts on the market, the potential, and the sizable challenges in a new Prime Reading feature on the site: SK Telecom Sounds Off on WebRTC.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(9)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Tsahi Levent-Levi
50%
50%
Tsahi Levent-Levi,
User Rank: Light Beer
5/10/2014 | 6:53:15 AM
Re: development
Sarah,

 

It actually supports only Chrome, Firefox and Opera at the moment.

How and when Microsoft IE and Apple Safari support it is still an open issue: http://bloggeek.me/webrtc-apple-or-microsoft/
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 5:47:04 PM
Re: development
Wearables might incorporate audio communications is a variety of ways -- I imagine a Fitbit (or any kind of health tracker device) with a direct line to a personal trainer who doesn't need to actually run with you -- and this personal trainer could bark orders at you (via your Beats/Apple earbuds) like a drill sergeant and remotely see if your heart rate was increasing from doing pushups, laps, or whatnot. 

I also can imagine that all those "I've fallen and I can't get up" devices would be a bit more common.... 

And Google Glass itself could replace a smartphone if it had an earpiece (or bone conduction speakers) and a microphone.

And, as always, there's the GetSmart shoe phone (TM)...
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/9/2014 | 1:31:10 PM
Re: Voice communications are ready for disruption
WebRTC can be used OTT, but it benefits from opreator support through SIP or with a service like Voxbone is offering. I think that's where the QOS comes from. I'm not sure I see it being a net neutrality issue, but I suppose it depends on how the operators support and price it.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 1:30:35 PM
Re: development
@Sarah all good. It's great to have technology put to work in that way.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/9/2014 | 1:29:17 PM
Re: development
It works on any browser, so technically it would work on any device with a browser too. How do you see it being used in wearables?
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/9/2014 | 1:28:35 PM
Re: development
It does seem that a lot of cool innovations are born from trying to overcome a challenge for someone with a disability. T9 and Swype come to mind as other examples of changing text input to work for the visually impaired.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 12:13:29 PM
Voice communications are ready for disruption
The recent buzz about net neutrality may make an impact on these real time communication apps -- especially because these apps require a minimum quality of service to work. It's interesting that telephones were the inspiration for net neutrality, and now voice apps over the internet are poised to be derailed by the end of net neutrality.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 12:05:49 PM
Re: development
This kind of real time communication could make wearable gadgets really useful for everyone, not just the visually impaired. Google glass has gotten some publicity for its augmented reality functions, but adding an audio component might make wearable cameras really interesting.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/9/2014 | 9:27:30 AM
development
I think it's just great that they're developing ways of making information more accessible to the visually impaired. Perhaps down the road, they'll have to set up machine learning to allow a system to speak the information without having to get people to do so. 
More Blogs from Light Reedy
After years of sitting on the sidelines, Microsoft has pledged to support WebRTC -- formerly thought of as a Skype competitor -- in Internet Explorer.
Despite the launch of its new Passport smartphone, BlackBerry needs to embrace a future that's in M2M, messaging and enterprise services.
Vodafone's Dr. Alan Law talks to Light Reading about virtualization, backhaul, SON and more after being appointed chairman of the Small Cell Forum.
Wireless operators are jumping on the mobile music bandwagon, a move that sounds good for many reasons.
The worlds of tennis, fashion and wearables collide as Ralph Lauren and OMsignal turn a polo into a sensor to track your every movement.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (0) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Add SmartSense to Make Your Network Ready for 4K

10|27|14   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


To make current networks ready for the coming 4K TV challenges, Huawei SmartSense solution will conveniently add experience and operation capabilities to boost telcos' future business.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed