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.

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

May 9, 2014

2 Min Read
SK Telecom Tests WebRTC for the Blind

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

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About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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