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Sale of SK Telecom's AI devices topped 40,000: watchers

All News 09:43 January 16, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. sold more than 40,000 units of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) home assistant service in four months, market watchers said Monday.

The service, called NUGU, which means "who" in Korean, is the advanced voice recognition butler service that allows users to control home appliances and listen to music using voice commands. It is the first virtual home assistant service that understands the Korean language.

Since its launch on Sept. 1, 2016, more than 40,000 units of the Wi-Fi connected cylinder-shaped speakers were sold in the local market, they said.

Market watchers attribute the robust sales to the company's discount policy and software upgrades.

The company offered a 60 percent discount during the first two months after the launch of the speaker, which is priced at 249,000 won (US$211).

SK Telecom also constantly provided new functions through software upgrades and added other new voice-enabled butler services.

Initially, consumers could interact with the device by giving voice commands about music, weather information and other home appliances.

In November, NUGU began providing other information, such as Internet shopping, food delivery and real-time traffic information linked to its mobile navigation service.

The company said NUGU's language recognition accuracy will increase as more people use the service, based on the company's language processing engine and a deep-learning framework.

SK Telecom's NUGU speaker (Photo courtesy of SK Telecom Co.) (Yonhap)


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