SKT keeps pushing smart home

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SKT keeps pushing smart home

Lee Young-jun, a 38-year-old office worker, turns on SK Telecom’s smart home app and changes the status to “vacant mode” every morning when he leaves his apartment for work.

The service adjusts the temperature to 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit), turning off all the lights and gas valves. It also activates the security system.

“The smart home app asks me every morning if I’m leaving home,” said Lee. “It feels as if I have my own housekeeper.”

SKT is making strides in its smart home service, which was released last May. The smart home ecosystem now includes home appliances and collaborations with construction and interiors firms.

Through Sunday this week, SKT is participating in the 2016 Kyunghyang Housing Fair, the nation’s biggest architectural exhibition, which is being held at the Korea International Exhibition Center (Kintex) in Ilsan, Gyeonggi, to showcase its smart home services to construction companies.

The company hopes that its technology will be included as people redesign and remodel their homes. With an increasing number of aged apartments, the housing interior and remodeling market has expanded to roughly 28.4 trillion won ($22.8 billion) this year.

So far, 25 home appliances by manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Winix are included in telecom giant’s smart home service. Customers can use the services regardless of their mobile carrier as long as they have a Wi-Fi network at home.

“We are focusing on expanding the smart home ecosystem by opening services and collaborating [with other companies] rather than making it a closed service that only works on a particular telecom network,” said Cho Young-hwan, head of the smart home services sector from SKT.

In line with its strategy, SKT also joined hands with Hyundai Engineering & Construction.

The cooperation will mean that new apartments by Hillstate, a Hyundai brand, will feature SKT’s smart home service once construction finishes by the end of this year.

In the meantime, “2016 Living & Lifestyle,” another exhibition that introduces recent trends in the interiors and lifestyle sectors, will also take place at Kintex. In the special section named “2016 Home Trend,” home interiors designed by star designers like Cho Hee-sun and companies like Eagon Flooring will be displayed.

Winners at the event, which is sponsored by the JoongAng Ilbo, will be granted discounts on the company’s newspapers, including the Korea JoongAng Daily, and other publications.

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