Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

SK Telecom raises the bar for wearables at MWC

Steve Rogerson
March 3, 2015
SK Telecom, Korea’s largest telecoms company, unveiled various consumer-centric smart devices under the brand Lifeware at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with the aim to create opportunities in the global IoT market.The range was developed to enhance customers' well-being, health and safety, and includes Smart Band, Smart Hearing Aid, Smart Beam HD, Linkage, Solar Skin and T Kids Phone JooN.
Smart Band is a chic-looking wearable watch that comes with a range of functionalities. Set on a slim bracelet strap to satisfy young and stylish customers, it not only notifies users of incoming calls, text messages, emails and SNS updates, but also enhances their health by recommending different levels of physical exercise depending on the user's condition. Fun features include daily horoscopes, selfie remote control and anniversary reminders.
Smart Hearing Aid, a Bluetooth earset with a hearing aid feature, also made its first appearance at Barcelona. While wirelessly connected to users' smartphones, it provides basic earset features such as hands-free voice calling and CD-quality music play.
There is a four-channel hearing aid feature for people with hearing loss. This works via a smartphone app that supports specialised hearing aid fitting. Developed in response to the rapidly growing aged population and noise pollution, it should enable people to use hearing aids more conveniently at a reasonable cost.
Smart Beam HD is a pico projector built with laser technology to realise three times better image quality than its former version. It projects a high definition image and brightness of over 50 lumen while guaranteeing safety for eyes, and even has a focus-free feature. Moreover, applied with wireless technologies such as Miracast and DLNA, the laser projector can be wirelessly connected to the user's smartphone.
Smart Beam, the former version of Smart Beam HD launched in February 2013, has successfully established itself as the representative Lifeware of SK Telecom. To date, a total of over 160,000 units have been sold in 13 countries around the world.
Linkage is a portable Wifi speaker capable of providing features and quality that are said to be incomparable to the existing Bluetooth speakers. Launching this month, Linkage plays Flac (free lossless audio codec) music files and can be connected with up to nine more units to offer surround sound feature.
SolarSkin is a solar-powered smartphone charging case that can be used in almost all environments as it uses light to generate electric current to charge a smartphone battery. SK Telecom plans to introduce SolarSkin for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 first and will expand the product for other smartphone models.
T Kids Phone JooN is a standalone, wearable 3G phone for children that can be worn as a wristwatch or necklace. Managed through a mobile app named JooNBox installed on a parent's smartphone, it provides diverse features including voice calling, SOS notification, real-time location tracking and Safe Zone settings. With the increasing social interest in children's safety and parents' concerns on their children having their first phone at a younger age, it is said to be going down well not only in the Korean market but also in overseas markets including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the USA. Furthermore, SK Telecom plans to expand its line of Lifeware targeted at enhancing people's safety and security by launching a follow-up model of T Kids Phone within the first half of this year.
"SK Telecom has taken its appcessaries to the next level with Lifeware, consumer-centric devices that add value to people's lives," said Park Chul-soon, senior vice president and head of convergence business at SK Telecom. "We expect to create new opportunities in the global IoT market while participating in MWC 2015 and will continue to develop innovative Lifeware that further enhance convenience, health and safety of our customers."