SKY Perfect JSAT, LINE, and ITOCHU plan next-generation TV proof-of-concept

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 
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SKY Perfect JSAT, LINE, and ITOCHU Sign an MOU for Cooperation

  • Joint development commences on a proof-of-concept for a “next-generation television”

SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation (“SKY Perfect JSAT”), LINE Corporation (“LINE”), and ITOCHU Corporation (“ITOCHU”) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate on commercializing a “next-generation television” that will offer an all-new customer experience.

Television ownership rates in Japan remain high, with over 96% of two-person households and larger owning a set[*1]. At the same time, the growing popularity of smartphones and increasingly diverse values has led to rapidly changing consumer expectations towards televisions (which are even further fragmented by age groups and individual preferences). As AI, IoT, and 5G becomes more widespread, television services and functions will continue to become more and more sophisticated, and consumers in turn are expected to demand more individualization than before.

With this understanding, SKY Perfect JSAT, LINE, and ITOCHU signed a MOU to commercialize a next-generation television. Under the agreement, the three companies intend to begin working on a proof-of-concept.

The next-generation television proposed by the three companies is a new form of television that will come equipped with an AI assistant and other new technologies, integrating video services with a variety of lifestyle information services to offer an all-new user experience based on the concept of “Dive into media. Live with media.” With this new offering, the aim is to close the distance between people, information, and services at all times, and deliver peace of mind, convenience, and an enriching day-to-day life.

To achieve this, the three companies plan to utilize SKY Perfect JSAT’s video services and LINE’s technologies (namely, the AI assistant Clova[*2] and LINE BRAIN[*3]) and then leverage ITOCHU’s networks and many business partnerships to provide this new customer experience.

Going forward, the partners will endeavor to develop a new form of television for the next generation through their collaborative efforts. This will leverage SKY Perfect JSAT’s over 20 years of expertise in broadcasting and content as Japan’s largest satellite broadcasting service, the latest technologies owned by LINE (including the LINE app, the largest messaging app in Japan), and ITOCHU’s assets in countless consumer-related areas, as well as their over 30-year track record in investing in ventures and associated know-how in developing new businesses.

Plans for the proof-of-concept

The partners will demonstrate the following during the proof-of-concept for a next-generation television.

  • Feasibility of adding a voice user interface (VUI) and various other LINE BRAIN-owned features on the next-generation television.
  • Compatibility between a television set and various lifestyle information services, as well as feasibility of displaying these services on the next-generation television.
  • Discover potential needs involved in commercializing a next-generation television.

The partners will begin recruiting companies providing lifestyle information services to participate and collaborate in the proof-of-concept.

“next-generation television” movie

*1 From the Consumer Behavior Survey published by the Cabinet Office
*2 An AI assistant developed by LINE and used in the Clova Desk smart display and Clova Friends series of smart speakers. Activated when the user speaks the phrase “Hey, Clova” to the device, it allows users to listen to music, the news, and weather reports, and can also link with the LINE app for sending messages and making free calls to family and friends.
*3 A new business which will provide other companies with AI technologies developed by LINE for its various services, such as Clova and the LINE app.

Links: SKY Perfect JSAT; LINE Corp; ITOCHU