SK Telecom opens T Factory experience store in Hongdae

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SK Telecom opens T Factory experience store in Hongdae

An employee demonstrates an augmented reality mirror at T Factory, an experience zone run by SK Telecom in western Seoul.

An employee demonstrates an augmented reality mirror at T Factory, an experience zone run by SK Telecom in western Seoul.

 
SK Telecom launched a flagship experience and retail store in the Hongik University neighborhood, western Seoul, to target millennial consumers, paving the way for a future of sales outlets for smartphones and digital content services.  
 
The telecom operator equipped the T Factory with vending machine-like digital kiosks designed to allow for the purchase of smartphones or sign-ups for price plans around the clock without contacting humans.  
 
The automated machine could be introduced to existing SK Telecom retail shops or places where it has little or no access.  
 
“Instead of completely replacing the current sales platform, we will merge the machines with traditional outlets,” said Kim Seong-jun, vice president at SK Telecom.  
 
Still, the three-story building is not all about selling things.  
 
Multiple zones at the complex are devoted to letting users experience gadgets and entertainment services. One sector is exclusively reserved for Apple’s devices including the iPhone series and iPads while other areas showcase SK Telecom’s streaming services such as Flo and Wavve and cloud-based games in collaboration with Microsoft.    
 
The company also brought together the functions that operate aligned with its artificial intelligence system Nugu.  
 
At the center of the second floor is "an augmented reality mirror" that features virtual images alongside with the reflection.  
More T Factory stores could be built across the country, according to SK Telecom.  
 
“I hope T Factory will not only provide customers with new experiences and fun, but will also encourage ICT companies to dive into new experiments and ventures, thereby inspiring and energizing the whole ICT industry in Korea,” said Park Jung-ho, CEO of SK Telecom.
 
In line with the initiative, the lobby area will be open to students or entrepreneurs to demonstrate their prototypes or could be converted into a stage for amateur performers.  
 
LG U+ is on a similar move by launching a cultural complex earlier this year.  
 
Named Daily_Teum, the six-story building houses a cafe, independent bookstore, photo studio and meeting room. The carrier explained that it displayed a wide range of devices and smartphones offered by LG U+ in each section to develop the place into a unique experience zone.
 
BY PARK EUN-JEE   [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
 

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