SKT’s ‘spin-out’ to grow as a global unicorn with commercialization of the in-house technology

SK Telecom will start the ‘Stargate’ program that will grow into a global unicorn company by commercializing its famous ICT (Information Communication Technology) technology. It is currently reviewing the possibility of commercializing 20 technologies it has developed independently and plans to spin out three technologies by next year. SKT held a press conference at SKT’s press room in central Seoul on March 28 and announced its Google-style spin-out program “Stargate.”

Spin-out means separating some technologies or businesses of a company and turning them into companies. In 2009, Google set its internal self-driving research project as “Waymo” and developed it as a leader in the self-driving car sector.

Stargate comprises 4 stages of verification of the possibility of commercialization of technologies, review of base markets, spin-out of technologies, and support for growth. SKT not only supports the success of commercialization at each stage, but it also provides a growth support program called ‘T Open Lab’ so spin-out technologies can be settled in global markets. SKT is reviewing the possibility and marketability of 20 technologies. Of the total, it will spin out three technologies by next year, including “Optics,” which is scheduled for spin-out by the end of this year. The ultra-small laser optical engine Optics is 50X50X30 (mm), dice-sized, and can be mounted on a variety of devices such as Artificial Intelligence speakers and displays for vehicles. It supports the brightness of 200 lumens, which can see up to 100 inches of video, but it is also safe for eyes.

The “sound separation technology,” which separates vocals and accompaniment from music sources with AI technology, will also be pushed for spin-out. It has already signed a memorandum of understanding with SM Entertainment for technical cooperation at the world’s largest consumer electronics fair CES2019 earlier this year. In addition, AI-based media quality improvement technology called “Super Nova” and “AI Media Discovery Technology,” which recommend customized contents according to watching history, and finds scenes that match AI’s criteria, are also considering commercialization.

“Stargate is a program created by combining SK Telecom’s expertise to create a global ICT unicorn,” said Park Jin-hyo, head of the ICT Technology Center. “We will create economic value and lead the development of the ICT ecosystem by using technology commercialization as a new growth engine.”

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