LG's televisions, refrigerators and more will know what you want before you do.
At least, that's the pitch for LG ThinQ, its name for an artificial intelligent system that's supposed to make proactive recommendations based on your personal preferences, as well as offer alerts and provide tips for maintenance.
"It's AI that understands and evolves over time," said David Vanderwaal, senior vice president of marketing for LG Electronics' US arm, at the press conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
If this all sounds familiar, it's because artificial intelligence was the primary theme of the CES 2018 edition of the LG press conference. It's part of a broader push by the company to make its vast array of products -- smartphones, washing machines, televisions and robots -- smarter, more helpful and, ultimately, more appealing to you. LG is just one of many companies who have hopped on AI, which promises to be a hot topic at this year's convention.
Like many other companies, LG was high to talk about 5G. Vanderwall said the company was working to become one of the first companies to sell a 5G smartphone this year, and had Jim Tran, senior vice president of device handsets for Qualcomm, on stage to talk up the benefits of the next-generation cellular technology, which is dramatically faster and more responsive that current networks.
Tran, whose company is in a legal spat with Apple, took a dig at the iPhone maker by noting that if you launch a 5G device in 2020, "you're definitely going to be late." Despite the hype,
Apple wasn't immediately available for comment.
But most of the press conference was devoted to AI, which LG hopes is its hook to get people buying not just one product, but it's family products, from televisions to refrigerators and phones.
Last year, LG President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Il-Pyung said in an interview with CNET that his company's AI features, and said he didn't mind if it was invisible to consumers as long as it offered practical benefits. The problem is it's been difficult to sell the concept of AI to consumers, which harder to get across than a sharper camera or a fancy see-through display on your refrigerator door.
Here's what else LG announced at its press conference:
- Despite the Qualcomm tease, there was no actual smartphone on display. You'll likely have to wait for Mobile World Congress.
- LG televisions will support Apple AirPlay, HomeKit and AirPlay Audio in its 2019 televisions.
- The LG Styler, an all-in-wall laundry machine that presses and steams your clothes. It's connected, of course.
LG has traditionally kicks off a busy day of press conferences ahead of when the CES show floor actually opens on Tuesday.
Note, too, that there will be a second big LG event later in the day. LG's Park will be delivering the first CES 2019 keynote at 6:30 p.m. PT, with a focus squarely on the future of AI. You can watch that live, too.
- Watch the keynote by LG's Dr. I.P. Park (Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. PT)
Here's what LG announced ahead of CES 2019
LG has followed in its recent tradition of announcing many of its biggest CES products in the days ahead of the show. Here's what the company has already confirmed: