IoT tech enters housing market

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IoT tech enters housing market

Mobile carriers unveiled plans this week to introduce Internet of Things technology in homes, office buildings and cities in an attempt to broaden the IoT market.

IoT technology connects physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items based on software sensors and network connectivity, which enables these objects to collect and exchange data.

SK Telecom on Friday inked a partnership with Woosung Group, an officetel constructor, to equip newly built units with the mobile carrier’s voice-powered assistant Nugu and IoT sensors.

The mobile carrier’s so-called smart home service package enables homeowners to remotely control lights and electronic appliances with IoT sensors via voice or a smartphone app. As the telecom company already has partnerships with over 65 electronics makers, roughly 70 different home appliances including air purifiers, air conditioners and even rice cookers are controllable through the mobile carrier’s IoT app.

The smart home service package will be installed in 480 officetel units that will be available for presales at the end of May. For future houses, Woosung is planning to install built-in air conditioners and heaters that can be controlled through the IoT app.

“Applying artificial intelligence assistant Nugu and the smart home service package could upgrade the convenience and security of each household,” said Choi Jong-seok, a vice president of Woosung Group.

SK Telecom had already inked partnerships with 17 major constructors to equip roughly 150,000 apartment units to be built over the next three years with its smart home service. While these constructors are mainly focused on building large-size apartment units, the new partnership with Woosung enables the carrier to offer the service to smaller homes like officetels.

“Considering the rise of single-person households, we decided to ink the deal to provide IoT services catered to smaller homes,” the company said in a statement Friday.

Earlier in the week other local mobile carriers have also launched new IoT services expanding their targets from homes to buildings and cities. LG U+ announced on Wednesday it will implement a smart garbage bin management system based on its IoT network in Goyang, Gyeonggi from June.

By applying IoT sensors to public garbage bins and garbage collection trucks, LG and the local government aim to enhance the efficiency of garbage management. The sensors on the bins notify street sweepers and the local government how much garbage is in each bin and whether the bin needs to be emptied or not, ensuring bins are emptied only when needed.

LG is also preparing to roll out a similar IoT system to streamline water, gas and electricity management.

KT is searching for opportunities to expand its IoT service. According to the carrier on Wednesday it will implement its IoT services in a shopping complex in Songdo, Incheon.

Boosted by mobile carriers, construction companies and electronics makers, the local IoT market has been expanding at a rapid speed.

According to a report by Hyundai Research Institute last year, the local IoT market will jump by an average 38.5 percent annually until 2020, growing from a 3.3 trillion won ($2.93 billion) market in 2015 to a 17.1 trillion won market by 2020.


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