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Korean Zero UI tech adopted as global standard

Aug 23,2017
A locally-developed technology that makes possible seamless interaction between users and devices without the need of a medium such as a screen has become an international standard, according to the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute on Tuesday.

The state-run think tank belatedly announced that the so-called Zero User Interface (UI) automatic interpretation technology was named an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization at a meeting on July 28.

When users speak into a Bluetooth headset their voice is directly transferred to their smartphone and relayed to another smartphone, which delivers the audio directly to the other users’ Bluetooth device. The two users are therefore able to have a conversation without needing to interact with any screen or touch the device, facilitating natural and seamless one-on-one conversation.

The latest series of translation and interpretation technologies work on smartphone apps that activate on touch or voice command.

Kim Sang-hoon, the Zero UI automatic translation project leader at the institute said the patented technology will begin pilot operation during the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Zero UI - coined by designer Andy Goodman, formerly of Accenture Interactive’s agency Fjord, in 2015 - has become the latest buzzword in the tech industry due to its importance in device design. It refers to moving away from touchscreens, and interfacing with devices in more natural ways. Its boundaries range from haptics to computer vision, voice control and artificial intelligence. Goodman said Zero UI would extend to homes, entire cities and even environments and ecosystems.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]