- Showcases human AI avatar merging hologram and AR technologies at MWC 2018
- Hologram technology expected to expand explosively in the 5G era, with SK Telecom leading the media market based on its convergence technology
Seoul, South Korea, February 22, 2018- SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) announced today that it will unveil ‘HoloBox’, an artificial intelligence (AI) hologram device which allows users to talk face to face with a human avatar, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 held in Barcelona, Spain.
HoloBox is a service which allows users to communicate face-to-face with a virtual AI avatar by combining SK Telecom’s AI platform ‘NUGU’ with the next-generation media technology ‘Hologram’.
The avatar in HoloBox stays with the user even outside of the house. Users can call out the virtual character without HoloBox around them through Augmented Reality (AR) technology in their smartphones.
■ Nods and answers when talking face-to-face… Integration of AI and Media technology
HoloBox is cylindrical with 365mm in height and 170mm in diameter, and it uses laser-based ‘Ultra Short Throw’ projection technology to realize avatars with high-definition images.
HoloBox is an exceptional innovation consists of AI, which understands the context of dialog, and a hologram display that presents gestures and facial expressions, as well as a microphone with voice input and output feature.
HoloBox, merging with SK Telecom’s AI platform called ‘NUGU’, can be synchronized with music streaming service and the company’s Smart Home services. It also has the capabilities in providing other smart services including home appliances control of lights, dehumidifiers, plugs and TV, or music recommendation and auto-play, weather alerts, schedule management, greetings and more.
For realistic avatar motion display, SK Telecom introduced ‘T real Avatar Framework,’ which enables natural movement of 3D characters in accordance with the real one.
In addition, SK Telecom divided facial expressions of the characters into more than 100 categories for users to easily read the emotions from the characters’ faces. The tracking technology of ‘T real Platform’ is also applied to call out the character on smartphone into AR.
■ Hologram, the future of 5G media technology, Global market is expected to grow by 14% every year
Hologram, the future media technology, recently came into the spotlight as AI and real-time video call with hologram have been activated. In order for hologram to implement in a realistic and natural way by merging real-time services including AI, data transmission that are hundreds and thousands of times greater than the current capacity will be needed in the future.
1㎤ of hologram, the size of a sugar cube, takes up 1GB. Given a 2-hour video file is around 700MB, it can be estimated how big data volume of hologram is.
A hologram is impossible to save or transfer in real-time through the current LTE network. 5G, however, has a maximum speed of 20Gbps, which is 40 to 50 times faster than the current LTE speed of 400 to 500Mbps, and has 100 times greater capacity, making it suitable for hologram transmission.
The global hologram market is expected to grow at an average rate of 14% annual, rising to USD 34.8 billion in 2020, and USD 74.3 billion in 2025. The Korean market is also expected to grow to KRW 815.5 billion in 2020 and to KRW 1.49 trillion in 2025.
*According to Holography Technology and Market Trends by KIST Convergence Research Policy Center, June 5, 2017
Based on the 5G technology, SK Telecom will continue to present a blueprint for a Mixed Media Platform, including holograms, a massive content, and AR, where users can enjoy virtual content anytime and anywhere in the mobile environment.