Fostering Advancement Around the Globe – Introducing C-Lab at CES 2021

on January 6, 2021
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There are essential elements to making the dreams of those who launch start-ups come true – from brilliant ideas, to esteemed colleagues who share the pains, gains, and persistence that allow the ventures to endure. Above all else, these start-ups need a ‘stage’. The stage is where ideas are shared, feedback is gained from future users, and investors meet their potential partners.


*The above images are not the actual ID but a design draft.


Through C-Lab, Samsung Electronics provides opportunities for select projects and start-ups, with the final list of selected companies being announced at international events such as CES 2021. Through not only C-Lab Inside1 and C-Lab Outside,2 but also the C-Lab Outside companies that are selected in affiliation with the Daegu & Gyeongbuk Centers for Creative Economy & Innovation (CCEI), Samsung secures chances for companies to join the international stage. These efforts allow the stepping stones of growth to be broadened for an increasing number of start-ups.


So exactly which start-ups were chosen to take the stage at the CES 2021 digital exhibition? Samsung Newsroom met with two start-ups and one in-house venture from C-Lab to find out more about them as they prepare for the upcoming CES exhibition.




Tell us about Food & Sommelier.

We are one of the teams selected as an in-house venture within C-Lab Inside. We provide a service that recommends the best food and wine combinations according to users’ preferences. While collaborating on R&D with the Korea International Sommelier Association (KISA), we selected elements that affect the suitability of food-wine combinations. The elements concerning food consisted of 28 ingredients, 12 cooking methods, and 47 sauces. For wine, the important factors included body, acidity, aroma, and sweetness. After converting these elements into numerical figures, we developed the capability to recommend the food and wine combinations that would prove most attractive to our users. For example, the classifications of foods include beef, chicken, pork, oily fish, and mushrooms, while some examples of the cooking methods are blanching, steaming, boiling, and grilling. With proven recommendations from Korea’s major sommeliers, Food & Sommelier is striving to create a service that is reliable for customers.



■ What compelled the company to provide food and wine combination recommendations?

We have often witnessed situations where waiters and waitresses were confused about what wine they should recommend when helping customers. As we learned more about wine, we realized that the field of wine is somewhat influenced by IT. The global wine market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. As wine becomes more and more popular, there will be more demand for our service. Once our service is combined with IT, anyone will be able to enjoy dishes with the appropriate wine to match.



How do I use the service?

First, start your app on your smartphone and take a picture of the food. Once the program recognizes the dish, the matching algorithm will recommend some wines with high match rates.



How will Food & Sommelier change our day-to-day lives in the future?

In the past, customers had to rely on the recommendations of store clerks or price ranges to pick a wine. In the future, however, Food & Sommelier will help them conveniently select a wine or dish based on their preferences by providing information via kiosks, a smartphone app, and tablet PCs. Wherever there is an establishment that serves wine, Food & Sommelier will provide a gourmet restaurant experience with sommelier-quality recommendations.



What are your goals?

South Korea is on the fringes when it comes to the wine market. By incorporating the market with the world’s best IT, however, we are sure that the Korean market can come to be a leader in the ‘food tech’ market. Food & Sommelier would also like to go beyond the wine market, and hopes to widen its scope of pairing solutions to include a range of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.




■ Tell us about Counter Culture Company.

We are one of the start-ups selected from C-Lab Outside. We operate a global K-pop online home training service called ED Online K-pop Training Agency. Instructors who have experience nurturing famous K-pop stars provide comprehensive lectures on not only dancing, but also vocal training, fitness, makeup, and styling. This service provides international fans with the actual training that K-pop singers receive.



What motivated you to provide this service?

As K-pop gains international popularity, people are increasingly interested in finding out how Korea’s K-pop singers are fostered. Chinese and European singers-to-be are already spending tens of thousands of dollars per year to receive K-pop training in Korea.


We have paid close attention to providing world-class online lectures, and other services that deliver the know-how of international millionaires, at reasonable prices without any time or space restrictions for use. Accordingly, we wondered if we could incorporate this into online services that teach dance or deliver vocal training. Once the future K-pop trainees learn basic moves and receive vocal training online before starting their official training in Korea, the entertainment management companies that deliver the in-person training may be able to reduce their costs as well.



■ How do users utilize the service?

With our service, users can basically take online K-pop classes. By syncing their smartphone cameras, users can use ‘mirror studio’ to compare their moves with those of the instructor and ‘live class’ to experience real-time interactive training. To truly improve, trainees require monitoring and professional feedback. Thus, ED provides assignments for practice every week and professional feedback regarding the submitted performances. Moreover, users can check their progress by going through monthly evaluations along with Korean K-pop trainees.



How will Counter Culture Company change our day-to-day lives in the future?

Our service will allow any K-pop trainee to take high-quality lessons regardless of space and time, even if they live far away from Korea. ED is also planning to launch an online audition service in collaboration with some entertainment management companies. In the past, those companies had to travel overseas to find talent, which required a lot of effort and expense. If ED can develop online audition capabilities for those qualified trainees, however, those management companies will be able to find more talent, regardless of recruiting restrictions.



What are your goals?

It has been about seven months since the official launch of the service. So far, we have been enjoying meaningful encounters while providing better user experiences and having our business grow at the same time. K-pop is a music genre that anyone can enjoy. We hope that our service will help global fans of K-pop communicate with one another and see their dreams come true by going beyond time, space, and language barriers.




■ Tell us about Salin.

Salin is a start-up that is supported by C-Lab Outside through the Daegu Center for Creative Economy & Innovation. With Salin, users can create avatars that resemble themselves to share content and communicate in virtual or augmented reality (VR or AR). There are many cooperative platforms in the market, although the purpose of those platforms is generally limited to meetings and training. Salin’s platform can be utilized for various purposes such as virtual concert halls for sharing performance videos, online training venues and virtual meeting rooms. In addition, anyone can easily utilize our technology through their laptops and smartphones, which are easier to access than smart glasses and VR headsets.



What made the company want to provide this service?

Up to now, most companies have been focused on applying VR and AR technologies to game services. However, we decided that these technologies were more suitable for services in the areas of media, education and collaboration.



■ How do users utilize the service?

First, users activate the Salin app with a laptop, smartphone or VR/AR headset. Once they have uploaded a selfie, they can create avatars that look like themselves and act in response to their movement. After that, all they have to do is use functions such as 3D writing and multi-video sharing to invite others into 3D spaces and enjoy talking with them.



How will Salin change our day-to-day lives in the future?

Imagine 50 avatars talking to each other on Salin’s platform – that would constitute a remarkable experience. This is a whole other level compared to 50 people exchanging messages online. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, college students have started using more virtual meeting services for not only studying but also social gatherings. By utilizing Salin, users will not only do better work but also enjoy a variety of daily activities in VR and AR environments.



What are your goals?

Last year, Salin’s platform was used to view sports events and performances, for remote collaboration work and for docent services. This year, we plan to launch more services to support large-scale exhibitions and conferences with hundreds of remote users. At Salin, we hope to provide unique services in such a way that more users and companies can combine their businesses with our platform.



1 ‘C-Lab Inside’ is Samsung’s in-house idea incubation program that has been looking to instill a creative corporate culture throughout the company and nurture its employees’ ideas into meaningful offerings since December 2012.


2 C-Lab Outside’ is a start-up acceleration program for entrepreneurs outside of Samsung Electronics that has been seeking to invigorate the start-up ecosystem since 2018.

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