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SK Telecom teamed up with Intel to develop WebRTC-enabled IoT devices for real-time communication
08/25/2016 | By Netmanias (tech@netmanias.com)

  • SK Telecom executed MOU with Intel to develop IoT devices leveraging WebRTC, an Internet real-time communication technology of video, audio and data
  • To provide all things connected via the Internet the ability to communicate in real-time
  • Will lead to introduction of 'WebRTC’-enabled IoT devices specifically designed for online shopping malls and delivery service in the market



SK Telecom announced last week (on the 17th) that it had executed an MOU with Intel to co-develop IoT devices featuring a real-time communication solution at the Intel Developer Forum held in San Francisco, California, where CTO Alex Jinsung Choi at SK Telecom and Michael A. Greene, VP of the Software and Services Group at Intel were present.


WebRTC’, capable of supporting real-time communication of video, audio and data over web browsers, is a next-generation web standard technology established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). If applied, video and audio communication is possible on IoT devices without the need of using smartphones.


For example, online shoppers or delivery service customers can effortlessly make orders or calls simply by clicking a button on a specially-designed IoT device featuring WebRTC.


Through the partnership, the two companies plan to invent a technological solution that would allow for application of WebRTC to Intel Edison board* for IoT, thereby expanding WebRTC application to more IoT devices, not just PCs or smartphones.


* Edison board: Ultra-small computing module by Intel intended to facilitate development of new IoT solutions and products


Last December, the operator introduced PlayRTC, an upgraded, commercialization-friendly version of WebRTC, for the first time in Korea. Because PlayRTC makes development and operation of communication service so much easier at low costs with no burden of deploying an expensive server, it can help to create new types of business models.



The two companies will become more supportive in building IoT development ecosystems by, for example, offering free WebRTC development tools (WebRTC SDK for x86 CPU) to developers through their developer centers.  


Inhyok Cha, Head of the IoT Solution Business Division at SK Telecom, said "We hope PlayRTC can be used as a tool to bring innovation to various industries including O2O, commerce, toy, smart factory, etc." He added "We will continue to make efforts to make IoT devices more versatile for different areas and offer differentiated call experience." 


Michael A. Greene, VP at Intel, shared the company's plan saying "We aim to provide software best optimized for IoT devices", and "Our efforts will be carried out to develop and commercialize innovative IoT devices capable of real-time communication."



Cases of PlayRTC application


Case 1) SK Telecom executed an MOU with Tobesoft, a local software developer and supplier, to develop an IoT device to be used by business owners at Dongdaemoon fashion town to book, order and call delivery service with just one click.


Case 2) Another example case is an educational toy co-developed with Educhallange, a local educational toy manufacturer. Using this toy, children can call their parents, and parents can remotely operate educational features like teaching manners, story-reading, etc. on their smartphone.    


Case 3) PlayRTC received keen attention even from outside of the country. HEYI, a China-based startup educational technology company, has used the technology in its 1:1 tutoring service named 'Pandarin' since 2015.

Martin (Pactera) via LinkedIn 2016-08-29 18:26:23

Whilst the integration of computing and communications functions is extremely important to IoT, I feel that this solution is only part of the answer. It seems to be a point to user channel. To be effective it should encompass M2M protocols also. Having said this, this is only the start of a partnership that we can expect more from.

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