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LG to introduce easy webOS Smart TV in 1st quarter

Posted February. 17, 2014 06:57,   


In February last year, LG Electronics acquired the webOS operating system technology from Hewlett-Packard. The Korean electronics giant also took over more than 100 employees with the web OS unit who had been affiliated with HP’s Silicon Valley Laboratory, as well as related materials.

WebOS started as operating system for personal digital assistants. For this reason, many analysts predicted that LG Electronics would use the newly purchased webOS as smartphone OS. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, LG introduced a web OS-based smart TV, an unexpected item as the first product using the operating system.

LG Electronics will install the webOS in 70 percent of smart TVs that will be launched to the market this year. The company picked the webOS operating system s a core strategy for this year, when the world will likely see a “big match” in the TV segment.

The webOS Smart TV is significant given that a joint project has been conducted between professional software developers from SVL and hardware developers from LG Electronics’ TV research center in Seoul. The television is the first product that has been generated through collaboration by two companies with different corporate culture and research areas.

When the Dong-A reporter met with researchers from Korea and the U.S., they seem to be different in style but they said in unison, “Make TV simple again,” LG’s catchphrase for smart TVs for this year.

Baek Seon-pil, head of the TV smart product planning team who represents Korean research staff, said, “Working with the webOS developers who never made TVs, we were able to overcome the framework of thinking that was previously closed.”

“Smart TVs are televisions after all. What is advantage of TV? It is the fact you can watch what you want, leisurely lying down in the comfort of your home couch,” said Colin Jiao, a member of the webOS product planning team who was clad in jean.

Ever since the webOS team first met with LG’s research team for the first time in 2012, they have said, "The problem with televisions these days is that they are too complicated to handle." Since the former had never developed a TV, they presented views from the perspective of people outside the TV industry, and the standpoint of genuine consumers.

Within LG Electronics, there is also consensus about the question of how many consumers will actually utilize hundreds of functions available in modern TVs. A survey among ordinary households in the U.S. found that people had complaints because it takes more than three hours just to install a smart TV. “We decided to return to the basics of TV, and produce TVs that allow viewers to change channels instantly, and easily find channels that they want to watch,” Baek said.

Liron Damir, art director of the user experience team, said, “By considering the survey results that suggest many consumers wrestle with TVs starting from the installation process, we created first a character that can approach consumers in a friendly fashion.” The character that has been generated as a result is “Bean Bird.” When one turns on the TV for the first time after purchase, the funny-looking Bean Bird shows up, and assists installation, chirping. Anyone can easily set up TV by taking six to seven steps in total.

The webOS smart TV will be introduced as early as the first quarter in the Korean market.