Mr. WU Xin, general manager of fixed network and multimedia products (in charge of DHOME products) at ZTE Corporation, anticipates a growth in personalised smart home systems thanks to 5G and technologies such as AI and Wi-Fi writes David Davies.

WU Xin

WU Xin, general manager of fixed network and multimedia products at ZTE Corportation

5G is set to transform the experience of mobile broadband applications and better serve smart homes. In your opinion, what will the smart home look like in the ‘5G era’?

I think with 5G and technologies like Wi-Fi 6, Cloud, AI and edge computing, the future smart home will offer users more personalised services. Users usually prefer systematic suggestions and a complete set of customisable solutions. To meet such demand, the industry needs to provide more ‘real’ scenarios and more systematic solutions from user experience to product delivery. As technologies develop, your home will become smarter. 

The smart home has developed rapidly in recent years. As the global pandemic continues, what impact is there likely to be on, for example, domestic video consumption?

The global pandemic is changing our lifestyles. More people are working and learning from home. The pandemic is also fuelling the growth of the stay-at-home economy, which is the basic condition for the ‘living room economy’ trend. This requires us to provide end-users with a more real experience and a more systematic solution. 

What were the solutions that you were intending to showcase at IBC?

The smart home industry is going through a critical period. New products are emerging one after another, and a fierce price war is raging. [At ZTE] we keep exploring strategies for the company to deliver differentiated customer experiences. In a world where everything is connected, whole-home broadband enables better connectivity at home, whilst whole-home voice control delivers a seamless and satisfying voice control experience. For operators, the whole-home broadband and whole-home voice control are the two major evolutionary trends for future smart homes. At this year’s IBC, ZTE [was intending to] present a diverse solution which can fulfil different needs and implement a wide variety of services at any time. It means that users can access Wi-Fi, enjoy music and videos, and use voice control everywhere at home.      

What technological innovations are offered by ZTE’s smart home solution?

ZTE has empowered some home devices with AI technology. We have adopted the far-field voice technology on set-top boxes, smart speakers, soundbars and control panels, so that mutual recognition and networking are available between different devices, and distributed voice recognition is achieved. We have also adopted voiceprint recognition to ensure the security of user operations. The requests from devices are managed by the central control home device for intelligent decision-making. Therefore, features can be shared and the user can receive responses from the nearest device. We also support offline speech recognition, whilst you can voice-control the smart home in the home LAN without connecting to the cloud speech platform. 

There is now a lot of discussion about the metaverse, although it can be argued that the home is still the centre of people’s lives. How do you see the smart home developing from this point forward?

The living environment is an important part of life. The change of connectivity between people and their living environment will also change the world. ZTE is looking to use its innovative technologies and aesthetics to create a more efficient and convenient smart home experience, and to ultimately make life better.