N. Korean company releases new smart TV with Android OS, voice control function
“Sobaeksu,” manufactured by Sinhung IT Trading Corporation, features karaoke, educational apps
A North Korean technology company recently rolled out a new smart television equipped with an Android operating system (OS) and voice control function, externally-focused state media outlets reported earlier this month.
The intelligent digital television, known as ‘Sobaeksu,’ was developed by the Sinhung Information Technology (IT) Trading Corporation, the Sogwang (Dawn) website reported on July 19.
“Unlike previous liquid crystal televisions, the Digital TV is equipped with an Android system,” Sogwang reported in a Korean-language dispatch.
Users can “watch TV as well as operate diverse functions, including play various entertainment games, run programs, and read books” using a program originally designed for mobile phones and Tablet PC, it added.
A photo provided by Sogwang showed that Sobaeksu Smart TV operates the “My Companion 4.3” program.
The My Companion program, developed and recently updated by the Samhung IT Exchange Company for smartphone and Tablet PC users, featuring Netflix-style video streaming services, an app store, and a voice search function.
Photos showed that users can use the Sobaeksu TV to open files, play games, and use apps including “Korean food” and “Common sense on family medicine.”
A Karaoke program, known a “HwiPaRam (Whistle),” contains around 1700 songs, the outlet said, with a photo released by Sogwang showing the app was developed by the “Artificial Intelligence Research Institute and the Hana Music Information Center” in 2017.
The Smart TV, it continued, is equipped with a “voice search function,” allowing users to switch channels, control the volume, and manipulate apps and multimedia through their voice.
“If I cannot think of a song’s title and I only sing the melody, it immediately searches [the song],” Sogwang quoted customer 47-year-old Choe Jin Song as having said. “It’s really good.”
Meari — another externally-focused outlet — on July 20 also reported that Sinhung IT Trading Corporation had recently released a new smart digital television.
Users can search for songs by saying the title or singing the melody and lyrics into the Karaoke program, it reported.
The new TV also features several apps targeting housewives, Meari continued, saying that they can search for information on cooking, interior design, and family medicine.
A photo of the main display of the Sobaeksu TV also showed that users can read books using the “Kwangmyong Book 1.22” app and play games including Go and Korean-style chess.
The TV’s name is derived from a tributary of the Amnok (or Yalu) River, located in the Mount Paektu region of Samjiyon County.
The area holds political significance: the Paektusan Secret Camp, birthplace of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, is located in the nearby Jongil Peak.
SINHUNG IT TRADING CO.
The emergence of Sinhung IT Trading Corporation is notable: it does not appear to be among the DPRK’s major TV manufacturers, which include the Rakwon General Trading Corp and the Korea Pyolmuri Trading Company.
Meari this month in June released several photos of products manufactured by company on display at the 11th Pyongyang Department Store No.1 Commodity Exhibition.
The company also displayed a portable learning device for children’s education — known as “Samjiyon” — at the exhibition.
It was included in a list of participating companies at the 22nd annual Spring Pyongyang International Trade Fair (PITF) held in May, a database provided by NK News’s sister site NK Pro showed.
But it appears to be a relatively new player, having only occasionally appeared in North Korean state media in recent years.
July 2017 saw Meari report that the company had manufactured the “Moranbong” watch, decorated with a “blood-cleaning gemstone” which purportedly carries a “curative effect.”
“If [people] wear the watch, it can eliminate cardiovascular disease and cerebral circulation disorders as well as increase immune system of the entire body and is good for treating various kinds of cardiovascular diseases,” the report claimed.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: Meari
A North Korean technology company recently rolled out a new smart television equipped with an Android operating system (OS) and voice control function, externally-focused state media outlets reported earlier this month. The intelligent digital television, known as ‘Sobaeksu,’ was developed by the Sinhung Information Technology (IT) Trading Corporation, the Sogwang (Dawn) website reported on July 19. “Unlike previous liquid