& cplSiteName &

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: Lightning
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)...
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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?
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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
In time for Internet of Things World, IoT World News profiles four women who are driving the technology behind IoT.
Women in Comms and its 40 member companies are gearing up for an even bigger and better 2017, and we want YOU to join us on the path to gender equality in comms.
Sprint's VP of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco joins WiC on Wednesday, November 2, at 1PM ET to share how Sprint is tackling the three biggest pipeline pain points affecting women in comms.
Women often struggle to advance past middle management or end up leaving the workplace at that time, so WiC's 11th panel discussion in London next week will tackle how to get unstuck and keep moving up the corporate ladder.
Intel's Lynn Comp joins WiC on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 1PM EST to talk company culture -- what it is, how to craft a positive one and how to communicate it internally and externally.
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 12/2/2016
Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.