A company specializing in automation technology that combines deep learning and image processing technologies
A company specializing in automation technology that combines deep learning and image processing technologies
2023.11.14In 2023, NEXTLab has been selected for the Hi-Seoul Certification. The Hi-Seoul Certification program is designed for companies operating in Seoul and is a recognition initiative by the city of Seoul for outstanding small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To be selected as a certified enterprise, companies must undergo a rigorous evaluation process. The criteria include robust performance in terms of growth, profitability, safety, and productivity, along with excellent technological quality. Quantitative and qualitative assessments related to factors such as job creation, overseas expansion, and technological innovation are also considered.NEXTLab successfully met these criteria and has been chosen as the Hi-Seoul Certified Company of the year. This achievement is not only a result of the efforts of the management but also the dedication and hard work of NEXTLab's team members. To mark the recognition, Yun Youngju, Team Leader, and Dr. Park Youngsoo attended the award ceremony on November 14th.Being selected for the Hi-Seoul Certification brings various benefits, including support for global expansion and B2B services. NEXTLab will leverage these support mechanisms as a stepping stone for continued growth. We appreciate your continued interest in our journey.
2023.10.24 From November 24th to 26th, 2023, NEXTLab took part in the Network X exhibition held in Paris, France. CEO Kim Sungmin and Manager Choi Jinyoung seized the opportunity to introduce NEXTLab at Network X. Network X is a significant exhibition where major telecommunication operators and related businesses gather for networking purposes. With diverse conference sessions and workshops, the event provides a platform to share and receive the latest trends and technological updates. Given the participation of key industry leaders and numerous vendors, it was a crucial exhibition for networking. Various companies providing services in different sectors, such as Pulme, Viavi, and ZTE, were all present in one place at Network X. The ability to meet companies offering services beyond service providers(operators) is a key attraction of Network X. Meetings with various vendors provided a valuable opportunity to share services and insights. NEXTLab had a booth at the Broadband Forum Pavilion, where they introduced NEXTLab netMeter. As it was the first time NEXTLab netMeter was unveiled in the European market, there was a mix of excitement and anticipation. NEXTLab netMeter is currently one of the most widely used network quality measurement devices in South Korea. Beyond measuring internet speed and diagnosing connectivity issues, it provides optimal operational guidelines. Overcoming the challenges of existing internet speed measurement devices, which were difficult for individuals to interpret and had high price barriers, NEXTLab netMeter not only interprets measurement values but also offers operational guidelines. The product received a very positive response in the European market, particularly for its compact size, intuitive guidelines, and competitive pricing. To align with the networking theme of Network X, the team attended an evening networking party with beverages and finger foods. This provided a more relaxed environment for conversations with telecom professionals from around the world, focusing on market perspectives and shared enthusiasm for the industry. It was an opportunity to share insights, generate fresh ideas, and exchange contacts, emphasizing the networking aspect. Thanks to Network X, there is now increased curiosity about the European market. Reflecting on the differences between the European and Korean markets, the team concluded the successful business trip to France. NEXTLab remains committed to ongoing efforts to expand its business into the European market.
2023.10.31 NEXTLab participated in the Better Software Testing Conference 2023 (BeSTCon2023) held on October 31, 2023, at COEX Grand Ballroom. BeSTCon is the largest software testing conference in South Korea, serving as a platform for professionals and experts in the field to share insights. This year's focus was on software testing and artificial intelligence in the context of ensuring safety, marking the 9th International Quality Testing Conference. As a member of the Korean Software Testing Association, NEXTLab had a booth at the conference, promoting its flagship product, NEXTLab Evo. The event provided an excellent opportunity for engagement with various industry stakeholders, including software test managers, engineers, QA managers, telecommunication and broadcasting companies, and IT enterprises. Mr. Kim Sungmin, the CEO of NEXTLab, delivered a presentation on the theme "How will UI test automation evolve with Generative AI?" during the conference. In his presentation, Mr. Kim discussed the current limitations and trends in AI-based test automation systems, emphasizing the potential of Generative AI. The presentation delved into topics such as script creation, test scenario automation, and Generative AI-based UI object extraction and image mapping. Mr. Kim also introduced a new framework considering the integration of Generative AI.For those interested, the full presentation by CEO Kim can be found on our [YouTube channel]. NEXTLab remains committed to contributing innovative software testing solutions to the industry.
2023.09.15September, NEXTLab participated in the IBC2023 exhibition held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. IBC is recognized as one of the most prestigious international broadcasting and telecommunication expos, attracting influential industry players to share cutting-edge technologies. NEXTLab was part of the Korean Pavilion at the event. CEO, Mr. Kim Sungmin, along with Senior Researcher Mr. Jo Woojin and Manager Ms. Choi Jinyoung, showcased the latest product, NEXTLab Evo. As an AI-based QA Test Assistant for video service providers, NEXTLab Evo simplifies workflows for QA testers. The product stands out by adopting a block-based approach (automatically generated by pressing a remote button), replacing the conventional script-writing method. Additionally, it analyzes and visualizes big data collected during tests, allowing quick issue identification on the results page.We received meaningful feedback across various industries, particularly regarding powerful features like Macro Blocks and NEXTLab's Intelligent Monkey Test. The user-friendly design was well-received, enhancing overall usability. The product's compatibility with lightweight and user-friendly devices emerged as a significant advantage. <Rafael and Mr.Kim>
2023.6.12All NEXTLabbers attended the workshop from June 1st to 2nd, to revitalize morale and assess performance during the first half of 2023.NEXTLab employees had lunch just before arriving at the workshop venue, and visited a sheep ranch at Hongcheon, Gangwon-do as the first leg of the trip. After dinner followed a recreation session at the hotel, concluding the first day. For the second day, after checking out from the hotel, everyone went to a strawberry farm and picked strawberries. The last event of the trip was the tech summit, where many teams shared their work and vision for the remaining half of 2023.The workshop began at 10 o’clock, June 1st. All 28 staff members at NEXTLab gathered at Gangnam-gu office station, Line 7, and got on the bus that took them to Gangwon-do. Since the bus driver drove well, we arrived a little earlier at the restaurant than planned. The lunch menu was a choice between raw meat noodles and sesame noodles, with potato pancakes and steamed pork provided at each table. Everything was so delicious! After lunch, everyone checked into the hotel at Hongcheon, Vivaldi Park and had a brief break before going to the sheep ranch there.<Sheep Ranch>Because the sheep ranch was located on top of a mountain, we had to take a gondola there. Up to 5 people could get on each gondola, and for safety, there were precautions not to stand up while the gondola was operating. One look out the window made me understand why the safety precautions existed, as the slope below was very steep. However, the rugged slopes didn't dampen expectations for the sheep ranch experience, as many NEXTLabbers were smiling during the gondola ride. Upon arriving at the ranch, there were so many cute sheep and goats there, waiting for us! The food bucket for the sheep was affordable, and cost only 1,000 won. Even if you didn’t want to buy the food bucket, there was grass nearby, and all you had to do was pick some up to feed the sheep. It was fun watching the sheep gather when a person approached them with grass! After spending good quality time with the cute sheep, NEXTLab employees took a group photo before leaving the ranch for dinner.The dinner menu was pork barbecue, followed by chicken ribs and grilled deodeok roots. Deodeok is a type of mountain herb whose roots are edible. Grilled deodeok tastes good, and I recommend them to any foreigner that visits Korea.The evening air was cool. So, many NEXTLabbers took a walk near the restaurant after dinner. Some people played rock, paper, scissors, and the loser bought ice cream at the convenience store next door. Then, everyone got back on the bus to return to the hotel for the recreation.<Recreation> Among the many enjoyable games during the recreation session, one of them was familiar since we played it last year. The game is called ‘Speak with your body.’ The players must describe a keyword with their body, without making any sounds. Feel free to guess what our research engineer, Junhan Kim, is trying to explain in the 2nd picture!The game in the 3rd picture is called ‘Guess the odd one.’ Each team member receives a drink, and only 1 person’s drink is different compared to other members’ drinks. For example, the team in the picture drank water, but only 1 person had very salty water in his/her glass, and the opposing team had to guess who that was. Everyone showed rich facial expressions and pretended to be the one drinking salty water, so this game was entertaining!The 1st prize for the winning team was a wireless vacuum cleaner, provided by the CEO, Sungmin Kim. Other prizes included cultural gift certificates worth 20,000 won.After the recreation session, all employees enjoyed personal time, free to do whatever they wanted. Some people remained in the room to drink and chat, while others played board games. I joined the intern, Suhyeon Kim, in a singing room and sang a few songs before going to bed. Everyone was so good at singing, to the extent that I wouldn’t be surprised if they suddenly decided to become singers one day!<Strawberry Farm>The first schedule on the itinerary for the 2nd day was strawberry picking. The name of the strawberry farm was ‘Sealing Berry.’ Besides managing the farm, the owners directly sell strawberries to customers, and organize strawberry picking events for visitors.Their strawberry quality was great, with the large size and red color. The strawberries were so delicious, and the owners also gave us strawberry jam, toast, and even some strawberry latte to taste! It was great drinking strawberry latte in summer, fresh from the farm, since strawberry is a seasonal fruit for spring and many cafes usually advertise strawberry beverages then. Also, strawberry picking was interesting because the berries are typically grown in greenhouses and can't be seen from the car while driving in the countryside. Plus, the farm was much bigger than what I had expected, so it amazed me.Before NEXTLab staff began to pick strawberries, the farm owner explained how to identify which strawberries were ripe and good to pick, how to pick them well, and how to maximize their freshness after taking them home. Everyone listened carefully and considered all the tips while they picked strawberries. As a result, everybody managed to pick a large amount of strawberries and take them home. Here’s a photo of NEXTLab’s IAS team! On the left, research engineer Dongsun An is holding a strawberry in his hand. It looks as if he’s advertising the strawberry farm! What a handsome model! On the right, our CEO, Changgeun Lee, has just finished picking his share of strawberries and is presenting them with a sweet smile.<Tech Summit>To wrap up the workshop, the ‘Tech Summit’, which was the most important event during the trip, waited NEXTLabbers. It took place in a presentation hall at the strawberry farm, which was beautifully decorated. I hope the cute interior design helped lower the presenters’ nervousness.The order of the Tech Summit presentations was as follows: 1. IAS Team : Latest Trends in Technology Regarding ChatGPT and NEXTLab’s Solution Utilizing ChatGPT Presenter : Changgeun Lee, CEO2. Sales Team : Latest Trends in the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Industry and NEXTLab’s Role Presenter : Jaehyun Park, Head of Sales3. Business Management Team : Latest Trends in Test Automation Presenter : Jaehyung Ahn, Assistant Manager4. Research and Development Team : Improving Testing Capabilities - Web Streaming, Image Storage Format, Macroblock Servers Presenter : Woojin Jo, Senior Research Engineer5. Solution Development Team : Setting Up the Live Service Monitoring System and Cost-saving Tips Using Self-developed Sentry SystemPresenter : Seyong Lee, Team Leader6. Hardware Development Team : STB Multimeter’s History and Future Roadmap for Development Presenter : Seonjoon Park, Team Leader7. IMT Business Development : QaaS(QA-as-a-Service) and MaaS(Measurement-as-a-Service) Launching Plans Based on Client FeedbackPresenter : Sungmin Kim, CEO The Tech Summit started with NEXTLab's CEO, Changgeun Lee, representing the IAS team. IAS stands for ‘Intelligent Automation Service,’ and their key solutions are automatic vehicle license plate recognition and traffic regulation compliance. This time, as ChatGPT rose as the hot potato in the AI and machine learning field, Mr. Lee introduced the latest trends in using ChatGPT. In addition, he also showcased his team's achievement, which is a whole new solution that customized ChatGPT to NEXTLab's clients’ needs.I myself tried using ChatGPT once, but found it to be below expectations. Fair enough, because I guess all the buzz regarding ChatGPT had increased my expectations of it. Maybe I might need to brush up on my skills by finding the right prompts to use. Since using ChatGPT to help effectively at work can be more difficult than you think, I believe that when the new solution is complete, there would be many prospects seeking to use it.All the presentations were interesting, but the hardware development team’s presentation reminded me of game showcase events where the roadmap of future content is released to the public. Their roadmap of new hardware developing plans for NEXTLab's principal product, the STB Multimeter, was very concrete and well-organized. On top of this, the team also led us on a walkthrough regarding the history of the STB Multimeter's many hardware versions that had been created in the past, which was intriguing as many NEXTLabbers didn't know the history and background of its development.Since the Tech Summit began with one CEO, Changgeun Lee, it was fitting to end the event with another CEO, Sungmin Kim, and his presentation. As the head of the IMT department, which stands for ‘Intelligent Measurement and Testing,’ his perspective on the test automation industry's future was quite enlightening. His vision and business plans for QaaS(QA-as-a-Service) and MaaS(Measurement-as-a-Service) allowed many NEXTLabbers to get an idea of what they would work on during the second half of 2023.For 1 night and 2 days, NEXTLabbers strengthened their bond by eating together, sleeping together, and participating in many activities together. By replenishing their energy during the workshop, everyone will continue to work hard and develop amazing solutions for the test automation field. Even the heavens seemed to smile upon us, as the weather was just fantastic during the two days we spent at Hongcheon.I hope NEXTLabbers would go on more excursions like this, since it cheers everyone up and promotes a happier working atmosphere!
2023.5.25NEXTLab’s CTO, Youngsu Park, presented a successful collaboration case study between NEXTLab and ‘Macro Image Technology’ at the ‘2023 Broadcasting Equipment Enterprises’ Networking Day’. The event was held on Wednesday, May 17th, at COEX A Hall 2nd floor, during the 31st KOBA (Korea International Broadcasting, Media, Audio & Lighting Show) 2023 period, since most of the participating companies were already exhibiting at the show. The organizer of the event was RAPA (Korea Radio Promotion Association), and the narrator, team manager Gangok Jeon, stated that the networking session was designed to foster partnership between Korean broadcasting equipment businesses and aid them in promoting their business overseas. 23 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attended the event, all eager to collaborate and share knowledge on business strategies for different markets.RAPA started the event by introducing two of their major projects that support the broadcasting equipment SMEs. The first one is the ‘Innovation Voucher Support for Broadcasting Equipment Businesses’, where SMEs can apply for budget aid to spend in various business fields, such as technology certification, creating product prototypes, and marketing. The second project is the ‘Broadcasting Equipment ODA (Official Development Assistance) Project’, which provides broadcasting systems, technical training, and follow-up support for developing countries. It opens up opportunities for Korean companies in the broadcasting field to increase their brand awareness overseas.After RAPA introduced those projects that broadcasting equipment companies could leverage, there was a brief introduction session of businesses that attended the event. For 3 minutes, each company introduced their key products, interesting episodes while growing their businesses, and strategies that they employed to enter their target markets. Then came the presentation session, where 4 companies would share collaboration cases between broadcasting equipment firms and how they raised their competitiveness. NEXTLab was the first to go, and their CTO, Youngsu Park, started the presentation by briefly introducing the company. Then he explained how the two companies got to know each other and how they collaborated to their benefit.NEXTLab and Macro Image Technology met as exhibitors at the Korean pavilion at the NAB Show 2023, and after the show was over, explored ways to cooperate. Macro Image Technology produces semiconductors specialized in broadcasting and professional audio/visual equipments. As NEXTLab’s main solution is media quality test and monitoring, Macro Image Technology’s semiconductors fit right in and helped them reduce production costs and product size, leading to increased competitiveness of NEXTLab’s key product, the STB Multimeter.By improving their product, NEXTLab has a higher possibility of receiving purchase clearance at the executive level during the clients’ decision-making process. In B2B sales, one of the reasons that makes it difficult to acquire a new client is the long list of decision-makers that must unanimously approve to implement a new solution. NEXTLab put in a large amount of effort to enter the global market, such as exhibiting in IBC 2022 and NAB Show 2023, and running live demos in PoC (proof of concept) sessions in Europe. However, sometimes, after convincing the QA engineers or developers who will actually use the solution, their product was turned down due to opposition of the executives. Thanks to cooperation from Macro Image Technology, NEXTLab’s product will probably become more appealing, even to the executives!Macro Image Technology can also gain from collaborating with NEXTLab. Its brand awareness will be increased if NEXTLab sees greater results in the European market. Maybe in the next huge exhibition, both companies might cooperate and even display each other’s products at their booths!The 2023 Broadcasting Equipment Enterprises’ Networking Day was a precious chance to become familiar with various companies in the broadcasting equipment industry. Every company had an interesting background, and they were all searching for methods to increase their brand awareness and reach prospects globally. NEXTLab will continue to seek out partnership opportunities with diverse firms, and grow much more!
2023.05.04 Hey everyone! NEXTLab attended an overseas exhibition for the second time! The event is the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show 2023, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. This time, the NAB Show celebrated its centennial, and was even bigger than before.There were 4 major themes - “Create, Connect, Capitalize, Intelligent Content” on the show floor. Over 1,200 exhibitors from the broadcasting and communication industry attended from around the world, and the number of attendees was 65,013! It doesn’t stop there. The number of potential buyers was 39,053! Isn’t that surprising? There’s a reason the NAB Show is considered as one of the most famous exhibitions in the field.NEXTLab looked forward to showcasing the ‘Intelligent Monkey Test’ solution at the event, as it innovates the test automation sector by combining the strengths of both conventional testing methods, which are script-based testing and random-based testing. It allows the QA (quality assurance) engineers to designate certain areas, such as apps, UI, or menus for testing, and they can also specify the test ratio for each region.So, without further ado, let’s hear what it was like to actually BE at the NAB Show from our engineer, Junhan Kim!Q. Hi! This April, the NAB Show was held in the lively city of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Please tell me your first impression of the city and how you felt.Engineer Junhan Kim(hereafter J): As soon as I landed at the airport, I could already feel “Wow, I’m in Vegas!” because there were slot machines and roulettes everywhere. Every hotel I visited owned a casino, which was very surprising to me. When I walked down the street, I noticed large LED monitors everywhere, and everything was so expensive! I really felt that there were lots of rich people in Vegas. I even tried some slot machines, but personally, playing games at the game centers in Korea was more fun for me. Maybe Las Vegas is not living up to its fame, since there are lots of cities in the world that have a night life and flamboyant signs. Q. How did you feel throughout the entire show period?J: Well, this was my second overseas business trip. My first one was when I visited a broadcasting and telecommunication exhibition in Indonesia, but back then, I was just a visitor and not an exhibitor. So actually, you can say that this is my first time attending such a large event as an exhibitor. Naturally, I was very nervous. Most of the visitors attended the show on the first two days, Sunday and Monday, so I was too busy and wasn’t myself. However, on the third day, I got to my senses and visited other companies’ booths and took a look at their solutions as well. Also, since the two colleagues that accompanied me were in charge of business development and sales, talking with them opened my eyes to the business aspect of our solution. Plus, it was refreshing to take a break from developing. Q. This time, NEXTLab exhibited at the Korean pavilion with the help of KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency) and KICTA (Korea Information and Communication Technology Industry Association). In your opinion, what are the good points of exhibiting at the Korean pavilion compared to exhibiting on our own?J: Definitely, there was a lot of help from KOTRA and KICTA before the show, and my favorite part was that they aided us financially with the booth rent fee and introduced a translator. Also, I felt more relieved to hear Korean nearby, toning down the feeling of isolation that I might have felt if we had exhibited alone. In addition, it was easier to compare other Korean companies’ booth design for future reference. However, when I visited the French pavilion that was also exhibiting at the West Hall, I was envious of their stand design, because they set up a big rooster which represents France and made it their theme. Perhaps it would’ve been better to grab visitors’ attention if we had a trademark like that as our theme at the Korean pavilion, too. Q. Which booth and solution was the most impressive at the NAB Show 2023?J: The most impressive booth would be undisputedly the AWS (Amazon Web Services) booth. They had a ‘Soccer Free Kick Challenge’ event, and since it was a chance for the visitors to move their body, it quickly gathered attention. The most intriguing solution was a camera editing tool. Normally, when K-pop shows are recorded, it’s up to the camera crew to input zoom in/zoom out video effects. But with this solution, anyone can input the same types of video effects easily on a pre-recorded video. Although the solution was not relevant to NEXTLab, I was personally very interested in it.Q. Were there many companies that provided test and measurement automation solutions at the show? How competitive are NEXTLab’s solutions in the global market?J: Personally, I think NEXTLab’s solutions are very competitive in the global market. At the show, I saw many solutions that monitor the current status of VODs and live streaming. It was a little difficult to find a solution like ours that integrates so many features, such as LKFS (loudness) measurement, UI reaction time measurement, and macro block/screen freeze detection. Our solution runs tests automatically, recording all the logs and video if an issue occurs, and visualizes them so that our clients can find errors and their causes quickly. I believe that we can effectively reduce the time and labor cost in the QA process, and pinpoint the exact cause of issues to the appropriate development teams. Since we always think about making our clients’ workflow more comfortable, and customize our solutions to best fit their needs, we can surely compete in the global market if we overcome the first-to-market effect of our competitors.Q. Thank you for taking valuable time for this interview. Last but not least, could you share an entertaining anecdote about your experience at the show?J: Oh, actually, Jaehyun left his bag at the monorail, and we thought that we were doomed because it contained all the cash and credit cards for the business trip. But to my surprise, an anonymous angel brought it back to the NAB Show information desk, and we recovered it within an hour! I would be forever grateful to the mysterious person who saved us.I was delighted to listen to the story of NEXTLab’s engineer, Junhan Kim, throughout the interview. Thanks to him, I was able to draw a picture of what the exhibition was like although I didn’t attend it in person. The NAB Show 2023 was a great opportunity to showcase NEXTLab’s newest solution, and as there were so many exhibitors from around the world, we could gauge the strengths of our solution objectively.NEXTLab will continue to exhibit in broadcasting & telecommunication exhibitions in the future. May we increase our brand awareness with relentless effort!
2023.04.14NEXTLab has succeeded in developing a new technology with the help of TTA (Telecommunications Technology Association) and its ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Standards Advisory Services. It was also selected as one of the best practices among the companies that received the services, and the CEO, Sungmin Kim, spoke at “Global ICT Standards Conference” in November, 2022, elaborating the company’s achievements and sharing valuable experience. NEXTLab’s outcomes were great, because it successfully developed a new technology as well as applying it to new product R&D (research and development). The new product is called “netMeter CTD (Cable Test Dongle)”, featuring the all-new telecom cable line segment measurement function. It is scheduled to launch during the 2nd quarter of 2023, and during the development process, NEXTLab was able to harness TTA’s advisory services well.First and foremost, what is the ICT Standards Advisory Service? To answer that question, ICT standards should be explained. They refer to an agreed-upon protocol necessary for mutual compatibility of information and communication products and services. It is important to set an international and domestic standard, so that consumers would be able to integrate all their high-tech products, such as IoT (internet of things), cell phone, etc. It helps companies too. Companies seeking to enter the global market should develop their new products with this standard in mind, so that their products and solutions would be compatible with other existing products.This isn’t the first time that NEXTLab has received TTA advisory services. During 2016~2017, it successfully developed IPTV QoE (quality of experience) measurement and analysis technology, and applied it to create one of its key products, the “STB Multimeter.” After its development, NEXTLab customized it for the Korean domestic market and delivered it to Korea’s 3 major telecom giants. This time, TTA offered its services from August 2021. They connected NEXTLab with Hyeongsoo Kim, an Engineering Director from LGU+, a leading company in the telecommunications field. His advice and TTA’s support really helped a lot in developing on-site communication cabling transmission performance testing technology.So, what is the background behind this development? Well, the need for measuring telecom cable line performance by each section rose regarding NEXTLab’s product, the “netMeter.” Currently, the netMeter can measure internet speed and IPTV quality, providing field engineers with a quantitative quality guide when doing network installation and maintenance work. Many Korean field engineers already use netMeter to verify their work on customer premises. However, there was one minor problem. When the network speed was lower than the expectation, it was difficult to find the cause. Thus, the need for a new solution that would detect the cause of network quality deterioration and help solve it was recognized.With concrete advice from Mr. Kim, NEXTLab succeeded in developing a solution that would quench the thirst of locating network quality drop causes. It utilized the TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry) technology, which shoots specific wave signals into cable lines, then measures and analyzes the reflected signals. Software algorithm such as virtual sampling were also used to analyze the signal’s wave forms. After the development of new technology, with the help of TTA and Mr. Kim, vigorous field tests were conducted to verify the solution’s versatility.One example of these field tests was a case study of an apartment complex located in Songpa-Gu, Seoul. The residents complained that the internet speed was lower than the SLA (service level agreement) of the telecommunication company, and NEXTLab was counted on to find the cause. Soon, the answer was clear. A specific section from the cable lines connected to the exterior wall of the apartment was to blame. By switching the cable lines of the damaged section, the field engineer could solve the problem quickly.As illustrated above, it is safe to say that when the new version of netMeter hits the market, finding the cause of network service quality deterioration and resolving it would be much easier and faster compared to before.This would surely increase the work efficiency of field engineers, saving their time. There are benefits for the telecom company as well. By upgrading the level of premises work, it can save revisiting costs and time, not to mention saving costs of resources wasted to replace entire cable lines when it was hard to find the cause of quality drops. Such jaw-dropping results must have contributed greatly in NEXTLab being selected as a top example of the TTA advisory service!TTA’s advisory services and its consultant, Mr. Kim, helped NEXTLab especially in providing decent field test environments and evaluating the future solution’s performance and applicability. Checking the schedule and communicating constantly also helped speed up the development process. Here’s a direct quote from Mr. Kim. “NEXTLab’s TDR-based probe was developed with a perspective focusing on customer premises from the very beginning, so I expect that it will be applicable immediately when the new product is introduced in the market.” What a great way to prove its practicality!The netMeter CTD is expected to revolutionize field engineers’ work on customer premises. Please wait just a little more for it to hit the market!
2023.03.31In the previous post, we announced that we would be exhibiting at the NAB Show 2023, which takes place from April 16th~19th at the Las Vegas Convention Center.There are many difficulties when you prepare for an event overseas, especially if the country where it is held uses a distinct language from your mother tongue. In addition to the hardships you may face due to language barrier, you may also feel fatigue while adjusting to the time zone difference, and this includes jet lags from your flight. To make matters worse, since you are not familiar with the country’s culture and neighborhood, the whole workflow from booth preparation to managing meeting schedules and travel budget may seem burdensome at times.So naturally, we were excited last September when NEXTLab successfully exhibited at the IBC 2022 in Amsterdam, Netherlands with no financial aid. Although it was not an easy journey, we made it possible with one goal in mind: to increase brand awareness in the global market. This year, we were fortunate to receive government aid by exhibiting in the Korean Pavilion at the NAB Show 2023. It was especially helpful to our exhibit preparations (and budget!)Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Korea Information and Communication Technology Industry Association (KICTA) are the main sponsors for the Korean pavilion at this year’s NAB Show, and a total number of 15 companies are exhibiting in the Korean pavilion. The Korean pavilion is exhibiting in 2 halls at the convention center, which are the Central Hall and the West Hall. NEXTLab’s booth is located in the Korean pavilion at the West Hall, because many enterprises that provide various solutions for the pay-TV service providers exhibit in that hall.As you are aware, there are diverse business areas in the broadcast and telecommunications industry, from content production to delivering and renting broadcast equipment, etc. NEXTLab specializes in catering to broadcasting quality assurance (QA) needs, as the IPTV and OTT market grows ever larger and the importance of avoiding customer churn can never be emphasized enough. By providing extensive back data on video and audio quality anomaly occurrences, we help the clients maintain the subscribers’ quality of experience (QoE).Set-top box performance is also a key factor in maintaining high broadcasting quality. We discussed the all-new Intelligent Monkey Test solution in the previous post briefly, and its ability to run random tests in specified areas. Well, here’s how. Solution users can select certain menus (or UI) to focus the tests and define them as the desired testing area, and also the target ratio to run the tests for each menu. Once the target testing area is designated, random tests can be performed without worrying about leaving the testing area during the tests, because the cursor will return to the designated area automatically if it leaves the target testing area. Furthermore, clients can increase the test accuracy and efficiency by running a mixture of script-based test cases and random control-based tests as needed. Ever had difficulties in recreating errors? No problem, since the solution will leave a history of all tests, and test recreation feature also exists for detected errors.There’s more to NEXTLab’s test and measurement solutions than meets the eye. We offer real-time live streaming monitoring solutions that allow the clients to check various channels simultaneously. Features such as round-robin monitoring and sending off alarms when detecting anomalies are available, but the best part is that clients can set auto-restoration procedure to run in case of detecting live streaming quality drop before sending alarms.As NEXTLab is presenting its automatic test and measurement solutions at the Korean pavilion this time, there is another form of support provided by the sponsors. It is the directory of all the companies exhibiting in the Korean pavilion, and they have really done a wonderful job of collecting the information of all the companies there so that visitors can understand them at a glance. The cherry on top is, needless to say, that this data is free to view and use for visitors and exhibitors alike. Below is the section covering NEXTLab, so if you are attending the NAB Show this April, please feel free to use it as a guide to visit our booth and the Korean pavilion!Want to know more about NEXTLab and our solutions? Book a meeting here : shorturl.at/fntNV
2023.03.10 NEXTLab is exhibiting in NAB Show 2023!NAB Show takes place from April 16th to 19th at the Las Vegas Convention Center.NAB is an abbreviation of “The National Association of Broadcasters”, and it is one of the biggest events in the media and broadcasting industry. This year, the event will be even bigger as it is celebrating its centennial, welcoming major players from the content production to the media and entertainment field.NEXTLab specializes in set-top box testing and measurement solutions, as well as network quality on-site testing and measurement. This year, we are excited to present our “intelligent monkey test” solution from our “STB Multimeter” for pay-tv service providers. The intelligent monkey test runs random tests in specified areas, and it covers the grey area between classic scenario testing and random control-based testing.Compared to the previous scenario-based set-top box testing solutions, it takes less time to prepare the test cases with the intelligent monkey test. Also, meaningful defects are easier to find, as running random tests for each designated UI is possible. If you are attending the NAB Show 2023, visit NEXTLab at Booth W2561 in the Korean Pavilion. It is located in the West Hall of Las Vegas Convention Center.Check out NEXTLab’s Booth LocationYou can also use the guest code below to register for the show free of charge before March 31st. Starting from April 1st, there will be a registration fee of $50 even when using the guest code, so don’t miss out on this opportunity!Register for free up to 3/31
2023.03.03NEXTLab has taken a big step forward in entering the global market by visiting Europe for approximately two weeks from February 5th, Sunday, to February 17th, Friday. The enthusiastic CEO, Sungmin Kim, and senior engineer, Woojin Jo, visited telecommunication companies in France, Germany, and the Netherlands to demonstrate the key solutions to them.The prospects that they visited were Bouygues Telecom and SFR (Société française du radiotéléphone) in France, Vodafone in Germany, and Rebox in the Netherlands. Among them, Bouygues Telecom and Vodafone gave a series of tests to run beforehand as PoC (proof of concept) of NEXTLab’s solutions using STB Multimeter. The tests were performed successfully in Korea, and in addition to those test cases, NEXTLab also proposed to carry out additional tests provided by STB Multimeter’s diverse functions.In addition to meeting NEXTLab’s prospects, this trip was a great opportunity to strengthen bonds with its business partner, nPerf, and discuss more details on future solution co-development. NEXTLab values its business partners as much as its prospects. Below is the interview of the senior engineer Woojin Jo, recollecting his memories on the trip. Q. What was the best/the most difficult part about this business trip?Woojin Jo(hereafter W) : The best part was that we finally got an opportunity to enter the overseas market and acquire more clients outside of Korea. On a more personal level, it was nice to be able to practice my English-speaking skills. However, the trip schedule turned out to be a bit too tighter than planned, so I was constantly under time pressure. We traveled from France to Germany and the Netherlands, then back to France again, so there was a lot of time spent on transportation. Add the jet lag and the fatigue coming from adapting to the time zone difference to that. Naturally, I was very tired.Q. Which part of NEXTLab’s solutions were the prospects most interested in?W : I would say they were most interested in our log viewer, which visualizes various set-top box log patterns and enables our clients to find the root causes of errors easily. They also paid attention to the random test (also known as the Monkey Test) and the intelligent monkey test. Currently, European telecommunication companies do their QA work regarding set-top box performance and video quality using script-based tests. So taking a random-based approach to testing was a fresh perspective, and our intelligent monkey test definitely grabbed their attention too.Q. Many people would be familiar with script-based, or in other words, scenario-based testing. However, the term ‘intelligent monkey test’ is a little hard to understand. Can you explain it a bit further, please?W : Of course. The ‘intelligent monkey test’ tests various ways to reach a single menu. For example, let’s say a subscriber of a pay-tv service watched an episode of “The Walking Dead,” and wants to watch the next episode the next day. After returning home, he/she turns on the TV and the set-top box, then he/she would navigate a series of menu to find the VOD and play it. But as you know, there are multiple ways to do this. He/She can go to “My VOD” menu, move the cursor between the previously watched VODs, and find “The Walking Dead”, then go to the next episode. Well, this isn’t the only way to navigate. He/She could also go to the search menu on the Netflix “Home” page, then enter “Walking Dead” to search for the series, then navigate to the next episode. As you can see, since there are multiple ways to play a single VOD, scenario-based tests may not always replicate OTT service users’ experiences exactly. However, the intelligent monkey test will automatically test those different paths to reach a menu, which brings the tests closer to measuring the subscribers’ QoE (quality of experience).Q. Thank you for a detailed explanation. In your opinion, what exceeded your expectations during the solution demonstration meetings?W : Well, that would certainly be applying cloud servers for our solution. Originally, we used physical servers for our clients in Korea, because usually using physical servers has a higher performance compared to cloud servers. So naturally, when we applied the cloud servers for our meetings in Europe, we thought that the response time would take far longer than in Korea. To our surprise, the delay in response time was shorter than what we had expected, and it was good to confirm that the delay was short even with live video streaming included in our demos. This proves that our solution is viable to use outside Korea.Q. Wow, it’s really interesting to hear that the cloud server was more stable than what we had thought earlier! As NEXTLab delivers its solutions to all top 3 telecommunication companies in Korea, I’d like to know the difference between having business meetings in Korea and in Europe.W : Firstly, there is a big difference in the needs of our Korean clients and European prospects. The main difference is the network infrastructure. From the late 1990s to early 2000s, the South Korean government invested a large amount of capital in setting up the network infrastructure in the IT field. This led to establishing Korea as the country with the highest internet speed in the world, according to a global trend report published in 2014 by Statista, a German research company specializing in statistics. On the contrary, in Europe, the internet speed and performance isn’t as stable as in Korea. That is probably one of the reasons why European telecommunication companies are interested in network quality measurement. Basically, collecting network logs is an important precondition in most of the tests, while Korean pay-tv service providers are relatively not as interested in it. Next, their TV system and usage environment is different, so we needed to adjust to that when preparing the test cases. For example, Korean TV channels usually start from “000”, but when we prepared for a PoC for an European prospect, the starting channel number for their pay-tv app was “200”, so we had to keep that in mind. Last but not least, the language barrier did exist, as neither of them nor us used English as first language. As we prepared additional tests during the trip, they gave us a document requesting certain test sets, but due to the difference in terms, there was a minor difficulty in understanding exactly what they wanted. But this led me to think that our intelligent monkey test will be fairly competitive in Europe, because it tests different ways to reach one menu, and therefore the language barrier will be lower than other tests. Q. It seems NEXTLab’s intelligent monkey test solution is really ready to set sail in European waters! Last question here. Could you share a funny incident during the trip?W : Sure! We had dinner in a French restaurant with Arik Benayoun from our business partner, nPerf, but Arik’s dinner menu was different from what he ordered. We told the server that he got the wrong menu, but the restaurant did nothing for us. Personally, I learned to appreciate the high service level of Korean restaurants, because at least many of them try to apologize sincerely if they make a mistake.Q. I see. I can relate to his experience personally, because one time when I visited a restaurant, my lunch order was completely forgotten, and I found out about that after 30 minutes had passed! The owner apologized, but it still felt bad to wait all that time for nothing. Well, I guess that’s it for today. Thank you very much for your time.W : No problem.Overall, the business trip to Europe proved to be a very fruitful experience for NEXTLab. It was a great opportunity to compare the Korean and European markets and gain a deeper insight into the difference in their needs.Although the two who left Korea to meet the prospects in Europe worked hard to prepare for the solution demonstrations, the development team in Korea also stayed late and worked overtime to ensure the system was fine. It was impressive to see everyone unite and work as a team for a common goal.With the precious lessons learned from this trip, NEXTLab will continue to create outstanding automated testing solutions for pay-tv service providers and internet service providers. Now that there is a better understanding of NEXTLab’s solutions’ strengths, there will be more room for additional upgrades in the future.
2023.02.07NEXTLab cooperated with KSI and successfully developed outdoor parking control automation technology. Last year, in November 2022, NEXTLab demonstrated the prototype at the outdoor parking lot located in Samdeok Park, Anyang. People from both NEXTLab and KSI, as well as from companies that were interested in this technology, attended the demo event, and responded positively. After observing the optimistic atmosphere there, NEXTLab decided to apply jointly for the patent with its partner, KSI. The new technology applies NEXTLab’s own vehicle detection, vehicle type recognition, and license plate recognition technology, and is differentiated from previous parking control solutions in that it has been refined to guarantee higher recognition accuracy with lower costs. <Outdoor Parking Control Solution Summary>As shown in the picture above, the improved tech recognizes the incoming customer’s vehicle and its license plate and divides the parking lot area into sections to recognize whether a car is parked there and to get parking information. It integrates video information from multiple CCTV cameras installed in the outdoor parking lot, and enables automatic parking control to enhance customer experience in various ways, such as paying parking fees, searching for the parked space of their vehicles, etc. This technology’s benefits lie in that it provides the same “Find my Car” services in major department store parking lots with lower costs. In Korea, most large shopping malls and buildings have underground parking lots, and since they are huge and complex, often there are unmanned parking control machines that search for the customers’ vehicle location and allow easy payment before leaving the parking lot. Also, it is not restricted to indoor parking lot areas and can be used to recognize vehicles outdoors, which can be a bit more challenging than doing it indoors. This is because the CCTV camera images may vary more depending on the weather and time of day. Video footage from indoor parking lots will be consistent because the lights and background will be the same, rain or shine. However, outdoor parking lots are different. If there is heavy rain, or it is very foggy, there is always the possibility that license plates may not be clearly visible, thus harder to recognize. Despite these challenges to license plate recognition environment in outdoor parking lots, NEXTLab’s accumulated experience in the field has finally made the breakthrough. According to NEXTLab’s CEO, Changgeun Lee, the most meaningful part of this technology is that the vehicle recognition algorithm has been upgraded to detect identical vehicles more accurately from diverse angles, thus displaying higher detection accuracy compared to previous vehicle recognition solutions. KSI’s CEO, Seungho Kim, stated, “With the higher precision in vehicle and license plate detection technology provided by NEXTLab, we can also reduce errors in our smart parking control solution. By cooperating with NEXTLab, we are excited to provide efficient parking management methods to parking lot operators and enhance the parking lot experience of customers.”