There's indignity enough in waking up at dawn to attend a press conference, bleary eyed and coated in a thin translucent layer of last night's 80 proof spit-up. More indignity when that presser is LG's, and nothing of import is announced. If not for the soporific power of boredom, it would be enough to send the teeth into a chattering rictus of sleepy blogger rage.
Primarily, LG's presser was a cautious corporate chest thumping: but for the announcement of a couple of new technologies and a curious new phone, journalists could have comfortably stayed in their beds and left LG to their board room booyeahs. Scarcely anything presented seemed to justify the interruption of a regularly scheduled hangover.
For our droogies, the highlights:
• The moment of supreme import during the LG presser: the "father of HD", Dr. Woo Paik, holding his wrist aloft and debuting LG's new 3G watch phone prototype. Unoriginally christened the LG 3G Touch Watch Phone, the watch features 7.2MBPS 3G HSDPA and a full touchscreen interface on a diminutive 1.43 inch screen. There's also a built-in, video-capable camera. The parallel isn't lost on its makers: Dr. Paik himself charmingly referred to the new watch phone as "like something out of Dick Tracy." Unlike Dick Tracy, though, the LG 3G Watch Phone is Europe only for right now, with a release date of sometime in 2009.
• LG's line of 2009 HDTVs will feature a new technology called TrueMotion, which they promise will virtually eliminate motion blur at 240Hz.
• LG will be expanding their LG BD300, BD370 and BD390 disc players' online media capabilities with Netflix HD, YouTube, CinemaNow and Yahoo Widgets support.
• LG will be strongly committed to wireless HD in 2009, offering uncompressed 1080p with pure sound without dangling cords.
• One fantastic demonstration was for a new noise-cancelling technology in LG's line of mobile phones. By using two separate microphones in each headset, each phone will be able to compare the sound being recorded closest to the speaker's mouth with the background noise being recorded closer to the back of the handset, using the difference between the two sources to filter out everything but the caller's voice.
• LG intends to release network storage options with the ability to read and burn Blu-Ray media in 2009.
Otherwise, you can expect the usual from LG in 2009: a gradual march towards nano-angstrom-thin LCD televisions capable of guillotining the space between neutrinos. Also, more cell phones! LG aspires to total domination of the cell phone market, vaguely referencing an impossible-to-believe microinstant in which their phones were the number one sellers across all US carriers as the fever dream. It's good to want things, of course, but in the face of the iPhone, LG's aspirations seemed like all too much stroking.
Crabbily, I will leave you with a quote from the charmer of the presser, our good friend Dr. Woo Paik. After presenting several slides illustrating figures proving without a shadow of a doubt that the extinction of mankind was imminent, and detailing LG's own commitments to reducing omissions and thus staving off the same, the illustrious doctor mumbled:
"As you can see, LG means 'Life's Good', even when the real truth is, 'Life is Grim.'"
Then, without a further word, the man mutely shuffled off the stage, blinking sadly, the sound of his depressing egress only the voosh of his slacks and a strained splattering of stunned audience applause.
Press release for the LG 3G Touch Watch Phone after the jump.Press Release
LG Unveils First Market-Ready 3G Touch Watch Phone
Full touchscreen, video calling and voice recognition in an elegant, wearable package
Seoul, Korea, January xx, 2009 -- LG Electronics, a worldwide technology and design leader in mobile communications, will officially unveil the world’s first market-ready Touch Watch Phone (Model: LG-GD910) with 3G Video Telephony (VT) service and GSM Quadband Network capabilities.
This chic, wearable phone is a follow-up to the prototype that LG introduced at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2008 and includes a number of upgrades, including a full touchscreen interface, 3G capabilities and video calling. Most importantly, this watch phone will actually be available for purchase.
“Our new 3G Touch Watch Phone is stylish, sophisticated and the height of technology, but it’s also undeniably fun. How else can you reenact those scenes from your favorite sci-fi or spy movie?” said Dr. Skott Ahn, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The Watch Phone also demonstrates LG’s technological leadership, proving that we can bring all the components in today’s most advanced mobile phones down to a very small scale.”
At first glance, LG’s new Watch Phone appears to simply be a high-end timepiece. The company used materials and stylistic elements found in watches from top manufacturers to ensure that people will be comfortable wearing it for any occasion. The Watch Phone has a curved tempered glass face, high quality metal casing and is a mere 13.9mm thick.
The Watch Phone is as technologically advanced as it is stylish. It is the first touch watch phone in the world to feature 7.2 Mbps 3G HSDPA compatibility, enabling high-speed data transmission and video phone calls using the built-in camera.
LG did not sacrifice functionality in favor of size and the Watch Phone is fully capable of sending text messages, making phone calls, and, of course, keeping accurate time. This is all achieved using the phone’s touchscreen interface on its 3.63cm (1.43-inch) screen and LG’s intuitive Flash Interface.
Voice recognition features, which can be used with or without a Bluetooth headset, make it easier to place calls and look up contacts. Text to Speech (TTS) reads text messages and other information out loud for even greater convenience. The phone also includes stereo Bluetooth and a built-in speaker for playing back music files. A large phonebook and scheduler help with organization.
“This Watch Phone is the result of a great deal of research and development, something that is very important to us at LG. We will continue to invest in creating innovative new products and technologies like this and setting trends in the mobile phone industry,” Dr. Ahn said. The 3G Touch Watch Phone will be first unveiled at the CES 2009, being held in Las Vegas from January 8 to 11. At the show, LG will demonstrate some of the Watch Phone’s main features including its Flash Interface, MP3 player, Voice Calling, Text messaging and Text to Speech. The phone is set to go on sale in Europe sometime in 2009.