LG was the first press conference on the main press day at CES and started at 8:00.
After the obligatory video, President and CTO, Skott Ahn came on to start the event. He started by summarising the announcements from last year, including new automotive technology.
Starting with the home, LGE is focusing in robots, adding smart technology to appliances and a big change in TV. This year, in appliances, there is the addition of deep learning and in partnership with Google and Amazon. New robot technologies include a home hub, a mower and an airport guide robot. Senior care and security are other areas where the company is developing. In TV there is a new version of WebOS 3.5 which will add 360 degree support.
To no surprise, as it had been widely trailled, he said that there is a new, thin and lightest TV in the world.
LG is very interested in autonomous cars and the company is working on driver to car and car to car communications. The company is developing panoramic displays to provide information to the driver. The company is also developing driver assistance technology including 5G and LTE connectivity.
David VanderWaal of LG US then came on to talk about home appliances. All premium LG appliances this year will include Wi-Fi to connect to LG’s cloud-based Deep ThinQ technology. VanderWaal went through the features this will enable in cleaning, laundry, airconditioning and cooling. The new Smart InstaView fridge has a new 29″ transparent touch display with WebOS. It supports the knock feature to start and has a feature to show what is in the fridge. There is a FreshTracker app to track the expiration date of food and typical ‘apps’. A camera in the fridge can be accessed via a mobile app to check what is in the fridge, even when you are in a store.
WebOS apps will be added including recipes, etc. LG is also working with Amazon. A representative of Amazon came on who said that Alexa is now being added to LG fridges. The full “Alexa experience” is available and there are now 7,000 ‘skills’ available. The fridge can be used to add to shopping list, check the weather, etc. The Amazon-Dash shopping service is supported.
The Airbot is an airport guide robot that is a large device, fitted with a large curved display. It will be used at Incheon airport in Seoul to provide information about flights by scanning a boarding card and giving gate numbers and estimates for time to walk to the gate (although 5 minutes for 150 yards as on the demo sounds slow to us!).
VanderWaal then went on to talk about the importance of colour in TVs. After being somewhat disparaging about ‘Quantum dots’, he spoke about LG’s NanoCell technology (which he described and which sounded like QD to us) more accurate colours with more than 90% of DCI P3. He then went on to emphasise the wide viewing angle when viewed off-axis. Sandra Carvalho from Technicolor came on. She said that LG and Technicolor have been working together for a year. After explaining Technicolor’s background in Hollywood, she said that LG’s Super UHD and OLED TVs will have a Technicolor expert mode that allow for calibration and accurate delivery of the artistic intent of creatives in colour. (LG Wows with New OLED and LCD TVs for more details)
VanderWaal then (after claiming to be the first OLED TV company – I don’t think so – Sony was first!) said that Technicolor had selected LG OLED TVs as their reference sets around the world.
Turning to HDR, LG was the first to introduce HDR and Dolby Vision and now LG will add HLG and Advanced HDR by Technicolor. LG calls this ‘Active HDR’. He claimed that LG has unique processing to provide metadata for HDR content, even if it is not in the content. It will also process SDR content to create an HDR effect.
Ultra-luminance, which will be in all LG TVs in 207, includes a 25% boost to peak brightness.
Giles Baker of Dolby then came on to talk about Dolby Atmos which LG will be added by LG to its OLED TVs in 2017. Baker highlighted the wide range of support for Atmos in cinema and said that Dolby has added Dolby Atmos sound to the OLED tunnel, previously seen at IFA.
VanderWaal then came on again and said the company is working with many partners to deliver OTT content in UltraHD. However, packaged content is also becoming available so LG is introducing a Blu-ray UltraHD set.
There is a new 77″ OLED TV (seen as a prototype at SID) and a new ‘wallpaper’ TV, the Signature OLED TV W, previously featured as a prototype and engineering project. He said that the panel is just 2.57mm thick and can be used with magentic brackets to attach to the wall to make the set look as though it is on the wall. LG claims that if the display is directly on the wall, there is more immersiveness.