CES – The Consumer Electronics Show – is a predictable beast. Following on from the sneak peek look at product on Sunday night, the Monday “Press Day” kicks off with LG Electronics making a solid 45 minutes of announcements from 8am Las Vegas time. EFTM is in town for the big show, here’s the highlights as we see it.
There were several great lines of conversation coming from the LG announcements; including The Internet of Things, Automotive, Smartphones and big-screen TVs.
Internet of Things – (IoT)
In the background of the world of consumer electronics tech companies have been banging on about the Internet of Things for some time, many years in fact, however it’s the advances in technology that are only now finally making this a true reality.
Smarter, more energy-efficient Bluetooth standards, more prolific WiFi and other networking and connectivity advances mean any device can be connected and LG – as we expect many others to do this week – put the discussion around the IoT front and centre at their press conference.
We can expect washing machines, fridges and all other LG appliances to connect to each other – the benefits of which we’re yet to hear or perhaps even work out.
Cars are the future of consumer electronics, at least that’s how it seems here at CES. The top eight car companies are here, and they are taking up more space at CES than ever before. We have BMW demonstrating their hybrid electric vehicles, Audi showing off the driverless car concept, car audio and app integration across all the brands, and with LG they teased some in-car integration with their smartphones.
While there was no great detail again, the key phrases we heard were that LG is “preparing for smart cars” but perhaps more importantly, saying all the right things regarding open technology – creating and embracing an open platform – “work flawlessly with any device from any brand”.
This is exactly what we need to hear from every manufacturer in this space. Because it’s no good having an amazing concept if you have to buy a specific car to work with a specific phone.
While LG will have a huge range of TVs coming to market in 2015, there’s no doubt they want us to know them as leaders in OLED screens. Forget Plasma, LCD, LED – OLED is all the go.
Described by LG as “the best TV ever and the Future of Television” they are ramping up production – planning for 1 million sets sold in 2016. That’s a very small number when you consider the entire global TV market, however, these things don’t change overnight.
This is an indication that without question OLED is here to stay.
At the same time it’s also clear that 4K Ultra High Definition is becoming a standard in many more TVs year on year. From 43 inch screens and above 4K will be in almost every TV, with LG pumping up their “colour prime technology” expanding the colour gamut by up to 30%. This gives even better colour, and when you sit that alongside the best black it proves OLED is the best technology out there today.
LG even mentioned something coming “even further down the road” and is demonstrating 8K displays at its CES stand. In a world where 4K is not even taking baby steps yet, that all seems a bit too soon for my liking!
Today LG also announced a continued partnership with Netflix, which will see a new HDR (High Dynamic Range) 4K technology bringing “not just more pixels but better pixels” to LG displays in 2015, while on the software side of things LG was keen to point out an updated version of Web OS 2.0 – which will working faster, with improved functionality, and new content partnerships like the one they have with Netflix, as well as 4K content from YouTube and new content channels like GoPro
Ever wanted an even smaller washing machine? Perhaps you’ve wanted two washing machines? Well, LG has both.
The World’s first Mini-washer part of the LG Twin Washer. This little washer sits under your LG front load washing machine to offer a small wash compartment for energy and water efficient small washes, or a second simultaneous wash while the big load is on up top. A great idea, but one that is not likely to be in too many homes in the near future.
Similarly, LG announced a Double door-in-door fridge. Now, Door in Door is a fun feature which sees the door of the fridge actually having a door within itself, so you can basically open a little to get to some stuff, without exposing the whole open fridge and wasting energy.
Add that double door to both sides of a twin door fridge and you have LG’s latest fridge innovation.
Following on from the LG G-Flex last year, the G-Flex 2 was announced today, with a better battery and that same innovative curved and flexible screen. In reality, the G-Flex 2 is just like any other high-end Android phone, with two key differences.
The back surface of the phone is “self-healing” So when it gets a bit of a scuff mark, within 10 seconds that mark disappears. Last year’s model took minutes. Pretty cool stuff for sure.
Up front they’ve added additional technology to protect the glass screen, so it will survive even more bumps and drops than ever. Most of which is due to the curve itself, but the G-Flex 2 is even more smash resistant than last year’s model.
Overall, LG’s press conference today confirmed what many had assumed – CES 2015 isn’t going to be a year where huge innovation is seen in a single product. Instead, we’re seeing fantastic incremental improvements on already excellent products.
We’ll have to wait until mid-year to work out what and when this stuff will hit Australia.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.