LG teases 'goodbye touch' for MWC smartphone reveal

Event invite suggests new flagship smartphone will feature a touchless UI.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read

Is LG teasing a touchless user interface for its new flagship smartphone?


LG has sent has sent out a "save the date" invitation for an unveiling event at  Mobile World Congress later this month that suggests the Korean smartphone maker is doing away with the need to actually touch your device's screen.

The invite, delivered in the form of a 10-second video (see below) posted to YouTube, a piece of white paper with a hand above it effortlessly changing the words on the paper with the wave of a hand. After the message "goodbye touch" appears and is wiped away, we're invited to an MWC event in Barcelona on Feb. 24.

The video suggests that LG's new flagship smartphone, whose name still hasn't been finalized, will sport a user interface that will allow it to be controlled via hand gestures without need to touch the screen. It's a notion that has garnered more than a bit of interest from tech giants.

Earlier this month, the FCC granted Google approval to deploy radar-based motion sensors, also known as Project Soli. The sensors reportedly allow users to operate electronic devices using hand gestures.

A touchless interface could be a big boost for LG, which has struggled to stand apart from an increasingly competitive field of smartphone players. While Apple, Huawei and Samsung dominate high-end phone sales and OnePlus and other Chinese makers hit more budget-conscious consumers, LG is caught in the awkward middle.

Its flagship smartphones, the LG G7 ThinQ and LG V40 ThinQ, are decent devices that often get overlooked for flashier alternatives. 

LG didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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