SK Telecom and Microsoft sign letter to jointly promote IoT business
Microsoft has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with South Korean wireless telecommunications company SK Telecom to promote their internet of things businesses.
The memorandum covers areas such as 5G, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Microsoft says they will use their expertise in these areas “to jointly promote Internet of Things (IoT) business including smart factory; AI technologies and services; media and entertainment services; and new ways of working for ICT companies under the SK Group umbrella.”
The hope is that their joint efforts will drive the adoption of IoT technologies by other businesses. Jason Zander, the executive vice president of Azure, Microsoft, echoed this sentiment, saying that: “Through the strategic partnership with SK Telecom, we will play a key role in shaping the future and accelerating the digital transformation of the telecommunications industry with our world-class network and technology.”
Specifics of the agreement include the integration of SK Telecom’s AI platform NUGU with Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant, which they say will result in new AI-powered products and services for both businesses and consumers.
Park Jung Ho, CEO of SK Telecom, said: “Collaboration with global leading companies like Microsoft is essential to gain leadership in the 5G market, where competition is already fierce. SK Telecom will work closely with Microsoft to create an unprecedented value by combining the strengths and capabilities of the two companies.”
As reported by Mobile World Live, this announcement is not the first time the two have worked together, coming hot on the heels of the launch of Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, with SKT’s big data programme Metatron.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.