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Hyperconnect launches SLIDE : a new global project in North America

Hyperconnect has officially launched ‘SLIDE’, a video-first dating and social discovery app with plans to roll-out in select markets. As online social discovery channels continue to grow rapidly in the era of COVID-19, SLIDE is making waves. After a year of development, SLIDE is now available in North America, enabling users to express themselves three-dimensionally and vividly through a video-based dating experience. Slide is the product of a multinational development effort, involving resources across Hyperconnect’s global workforce. With SLIDE, Hyperconnect is introducing its third major offering in the ever-expanding social discovery app market. According to App Annie, a mobile app research provider, the total global social discovery market is valued at approximately 100 trillion Korean won — of which dating alone accounts for over 6 trillion won. “Large players in the global social discovery and dating app markets are still text and image-based, but we’re confident that video will soon replace these antiquated communication mechanisms. SLIDE, which focuses on instant video communication, will set a new milestone in the online dating market” says a Hyperconnect representative. Through video-based profiles, AI-driven matching tools and a real time video “Vibe Check” feature, SLIDE enables users to effectively find, match and ‘test the waters’ with others in a transparent, efficient, and fun way. Users can input a variety of tastes and interests, which are shared easily through a wide variety of profile prompts. Taking cues from explosively popular short-form video apps like TikTok, users can also browse short videos of potential matches. SLIDE makes use of Hyperconnect’s WebRTC technology, first employed in the real-time video chat app Azar, which has recorded over 500 million downloads globally. In SLIDE, ultra-low latency WebRTC video technology enables not only fast-rendering video profiles, but also reliable and exciting real-time video interaction. The first-of-its-kind “SLIDE AI” feature — which allows users to select several profiles to analyze and generate their ideal match, and then customizes matches based on that ideal — is built on Hyperconnect’s world-class artificial intelligence (AI) technology. In addition to Azar and Hakuna Live, a global social live streaming platform, Hyperconnect is developing 'AI Human’ technology, which will combine an artificial intelligence “brain” with a graphic augmented reality “body” to create a virtual person that can see, hear, and speak naturally. Eventually, Hyperconnect expects to deploy this technology to SLIDE, enabling social interaction in ways previously unimaginable. “SLIDE is a new category of app in the field of video communication and artificial intelligence — an impressive product of Hyperconnect’s know-how in the arena of social communication. As we expand globally, we’ll continue to uphold our reputation for innovation so that users around the world can experience the joy of connection and companionship,” says JungHoon “JH” Kim, Hyperconnect’s Chief Business Officer, Hyperconnect( ), based in Seoul, South Korea, is globally recognized for its advancements in the world of artificial intelligence, particularly its development of a proprietary “on-device” AI engine. A next-generation deep learning technology that runs directly on mobile devices, Hyperconnect’s on-device AI drives powerful in-app capabilities without data ever leaving the device, mitigating data leakage and privacy issues while enabling groundbreaking outcomes across video, image, voice, and text. Hyperconnect was the world’s first company to commercialize “WebRTC” technology in a mobile environment, first launching ‘Azar’ in 2014, ‘Hakuna Live’ in 2019 and social discovery dating app 'SLIDE' in 2020. Hyperconnect’s accolades also include its real-time voice translation technology, ultimately published and adopted in 2019 and 2020 at INTERSPEECH, the International Society for Speech Language Processing. Hyperconnect was the first Korean company to win the CVPR 2018 International Low-Power Image-Type Competition (LPIRC)

eCommerce leader Coupang Dives into Video Streaming with Launch of Coupang Play

Coupang, one of Asia’s largest eCommerce companies, added video streaming as its latest offering to WOW members with the launch of Coupang Play. At no additional cost, subscribers to Coupang’s premium membership service will now be able to enjoy unlimited video streaming on top of existing benefits such as Rocket Fresh groceries, free shipping and returns, same-day delivery, and Dawn Delivery, which enables customers placing orders as late as midnight to receive their deliveries by 7 AM the next day. Currently, Coupang Play is available for Android OS users, and the company expects to release the iOS version in early January next year. The service will also be expanded next year to include tablet devices, smart TVs, and PCs. Coupang Play’s initial selection includes a wide range of content, from Hollywood movies such as the “Spider-Man” series and “Bombshell,” to popular Korean variety shows such as “Delicious Guys” and “My Lovely Family.” Coupang Play also features content such as documentaries, educational videos, and animations. In addition, the company plans to release exclusive streaming content such as CNN 10 and the Showtime series “Your Honor” starring Emmy winner Bryan Cranston, which will only be available for streaming in Korea on Coupang Play. “Coupang continuously strives to improve its customers’ lives by introducing and expanding exciting new services,” said Stephen Kim, the head of Coupang Play. We are eager to bring content such as Coupang Play Originals to expand our offerings and make this new service even more enjoyable and convenient for our customers.” To use Coupang Play, WOW members can simply download the app and link it to the main Coupang app to enjoy unlimited video streaming immediately without a separate sign-up process. Up to five profiles can be created on one account so that family members can search for content and receive recommendations based on their personal preferences. In addition, Coupang Play includes parental control functions such as a PIN lock, as well as a “Kids’ Mode” to limit access to certain content and allow children to safely watch family-friendly content in one place. [Coupang Play at Google Play] WOW members will also be able to download most of the content on Coupang Play for convenient viewing anywhere, anytime, making it ideal for situations such as long-distance travel and in locations with poor internet connection.   WOW is Coupang’s premium membership service that provides customers benefits such as Rocket Delivery, which guarantees delivery by the next day. For a small monthly fee, WOW members receive free shipping on all Rocket Delivery products regardless of price, faster shipping of Rocket Fresh products and other items through Dawn Delivery, and other exclusive benefits such as special discounts and free returns within 30 days. ■ About Coupang, from Wikipedia Coupang is a South Korean e-commerce company founded in 2010. The largest online retailer in South Korea, Coupang's annual revenue exceeds US$5.9 billion. The company's Rocket Delivery network provides same-day or next-day delivery of more than five million unique items. Coupang claims that 99.6 percent of its orders are delivered within 24 hours. Coupang is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, in the Songpa-gu District. Coupang also has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Mountain View, and Seattle. Coupang was founded by Bom Kim in 2010. A student of Harvard University, Kim started to study for his MBA at Harvard Business School but dropped out after six months into the program. In November 2018, Coupang received a US$2 billion investment from SoftBank. Other major investors in Coupang include BlackRock and Fidelity. In July 2020, Coupang acquired assets of Singaporean streaming service HOOQ.In November 2018, Coupang received a US$2 billion investment from SoftBank. Other major investors in Coupang include BlackRock and Fidelity. In July 2020, Coupang acquired assets of Singaporean streaming service HOOQ. [USA Homepage]

Hyundai Motor Company and INEOS to Cooperate on Driving Hydrogen Economy Forward

Hyundai Motor Company and INEOS today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to explore new opportunities to accelerate the global hydrogen economy. Hyundai and INEOS will jointly investigate opportunities for the production and supply of hydrogen as well as the worldwide deployment of hydrogen applications and technologies. Both companies will initially seek to facilitate public and private sector projects focused on the development of a hydrogen value chain in Europe. The agreement also includes the evaluation of Hyundai’s proprietary fuel cell system for the recently announced INEOS Grenadier 4x4 vehicle. This cooperation represents an important step in INEOS’ efforts to diversify its powertrain options at an early stage. Hyundai’s proprietary modular fuel cell system, which evaluation vehicles will use, has already proven reliable and effective in the Hyundai NEXO SUV. The world’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV has the longest driving range among hydrogen-powered vehicles in the market. Hyundai is one of leading company in the field of fuel cell technology having started the world’s first mass production of fuel cell electric vehicles in 2013. “INEOS’ move into the development of a fuel cell electric vehicle and hydrogen ecosystem marks yet another milestone towards sustainable and clean transportation,” said Saehoon Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Center at Hyundai Motor Company. “Hyundai believes this will provide an important low-carbon option across a wide range of sectors. We also hope our decades-long expertise in hydrogen fuel cell work in synergy with INEOS’ expertise in field of chemistry to realize the mass production of green hydrogen and fuel cells for the Grenadier.” Peter Williams Technology Director INEOS, said, “The agreement between INEOS and Hyundai presents both companies with new opportunities to extend a leading role in the clean hydrogen economy. Evaluating new production processes, technology and applications, combined with our existing capabilities puts us in a unique position to meet emerging demand for affordable, low-carbon energy sources and the needs of demanding 4x4 owners in the future.” INEOS recently launched a new business to develop and build clean hydrogen capacity across Europe in support of the drive towards a zero-carbon future. The company currently produces 300,000 tons of hydrogen a year mainly as a by-product from its chemical manufacturing operations. Through its subsidiary INOVYN, INEOS is Europe’s largest existing operator of electrolysis, the critical technology that uses renewable energy to produce hydrogen for power generation, transportation and industrial use. Its experience in storage and handling of hydrogen combined with its established know-how in electrolysis technology, puts INEOS in a unique position to drive progress towards a carbon-free future based on hydrogen. In 2018, Hyundai Motor Group announced its mid- to long-term roadmap, Fuel Cell Vision 2030, to increase annual production of hydrogen fuel cell systems to 700,000 units by 2030.