Light Reading

SK Telecom Tests WebRTC for the Blind

Sarah Thomas
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        ADD A COMMENT
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 Que Sera Sarah
The steady drumbeat of progress continues on as new groups are formed, R&D centers opened, timelines presented and strategies refined for making 5G a reality by 2020.
P3's study of VoLTE in the DC area shows it delivers high-quality, crisp calling, but a lot of stars still have to align to be able to use it.
And Light Reading wants to help! We're proud to partner with Intel to identify and profile female and minority-led communications startups competing for the funding.
Chicago CIO and Women in Tech at BTE keynoter Brenna Berman explains why we need more women and minorities in the tech industry.
Support charity. Defeat Communism.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (7) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
LRTV Custom TV
Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
What's in Your Office-in-a-Bag?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones