South Korea’s SK Telecom (SKT) has introduced a Smart Home service built on what it says is an open Internet of Things (IoT) platform that aims to create a safer, more convenient and energy-efficient home environment.

At the launch event today in Seoul – which included a number of vendor partners – it unveiled a dehumidifier, boiler, door lock and gas valve lock that are compatible with the new service. It also announced plans to open related APIs this year to encourage developers and household appliance manufacturers to contribute.

SKT said users can control all the connected devices through a single smartphone application, instead of having to install an app for each appliance.

The operator noted that the connected products allow users to integrate the appliances/devices to turn on or off at specific times of the day, which not only increases convenience but can also reduce energy use.

For example, the “coming home” mode can create a more comfortable home environment by turning on the boiler and/or dehumidifier at preset levels. The “away” mode will automatically lock the main door and gas valve and turn off the boiler and dehumidifier.

The company, the country’s largest operator with a 50 per cent market share, is working with a wide range of companies, including Ace Bed, Altoen Daewoo, Carrier, GE Lighting, Kumho Electric, Rinnai and Yujin Robot. It plans to introduce an air purifier, lighting, smart plug and smart switch to the service platform in Q3 and a water purifier in Q4.

SKT said it aims to add intelligent features to the Smart Home service by linking it to its location-based service platform, weather service platform and big data/personalisation platform to provide features tailored to each customer.

Its long-term plan includes collaboration with companies in other industries, including energy and construction, to develop new business models.

The concept of the ‘connected home’ is being pushed by operators around the world. US carrier AT&T kicked things off in 2012 with its ‘Digital Life’ initiative.