At an LG Developer Conference in San Francisco, Ubergizmo sat bottomward for a babble with Dr. Ramchan Woo.Dr. Woo is the Vice President of Artefact Planning at LG Electronics in Korea, area he is responsible, amid added things, for the adaptable articles line, and its associated accessories, including VR and customer robotics. The best contempo LG artefact barrage he oversaw was the LG G5 and the LG Friends accessories.
LG is currently announcement its new smartphone bore API and blueprint to both software and accouterments developers. The achievement is to actualize a able-bodied eco-system that will supplement LG’s own module. LG has consistently been agog to assignment with 3rd parties, but in the LG adaptable space, this is the aboriginal time that such a developer beat has been done.
Context: The LG G5 has a bore port, which allows the array to be swappable, but additionally extensions to be created, whether it is array extensions, or camera grips, or added sensors. “LG Friends” are either bore or alien accessories (like a camera) that can brace with LG phones (starting with the G5) via a simpler agreement – appropriately the “Friends” name, for a affable setup. Those accessories can conceptually assignment with non-LG phones too, but will accept to go through a added circuitous bureaucracy process.
Dr. Woo credibility out that the communications protocols for an LG Bore are agnate to USB-C protocols. The capital aberration is a absolute affiliation of a bore with the phone, the another actuality accepting a accent dangling at the end of a cord.
It has been alone three weeks back the LG G5 is attainable in Korea, but Dr. Woo already sees trends, and they alter depending on the location. For example, in Korea, the HiFi bore has been the best accepted because there’s a advantageous absolute eco-system for hi-definition music files. In Europe, the 360 Camera is breeding a lot of interest.
Because modules could are an advance by the customers, we asked Dr. Woo if LG was activity to “commit” to a abiding affinity activity forward.
The acknowledgment was that LG has anticipation actual adamantine about this, and will try to bottle the affinity for as continued as attainable with approaching phones. At the moment, it is about not attainable to “commit” because it’s too early.
For example, it’s fair to point out that the iPhone amplitude is the best acknowledged adaptable accent eco-system. Alike there, cases and things that are deeply accompanying with the phone’s architecture rarely aftermost for added than two years, so that breadth could be apparent as a timeframe that consumers would be adequate with.
I asked if there was a super-tight approval action over the modules. Apparently, it’s not actual strict. Of course, any bore that uses radio after-effects (BT…) may charge approval from bounded accompaniment regulators, but LG doesn’t assume to accept a actual austere approval action at this point. Instead, the aggregation will try to advice developers as abundant as attainable to anatomy abundant accessories and apps.
Interestingly, Dr. Woo mentioned that medical accessories or bloom accessories accept been the article of able absorption from partners. Essentially, this would acquiesce for a bigger affiliation with the phone. Conceptually, there are abounding sensors that could be affiliated to a smartphone, so this makes complete sense. I admiration if an IP (waterproof and shock resistance) would be appropriate for a hospital use, but it’s too anon to apperceive what affectionate of accessories are actuality formed on.
If you like swapping batteries (it’s actual accepted in Korea), you accept noticed that anniversary new buzz bearing comes with a new array format, which makes it difficult to re-use the ones already owned.
Dr. Woo agrees and explains that array technology makes abiding 5%-10% annual incremental improvements, which is why companies consistently opt for a new array format, to get a bigger size/energy anatomy ratio. However, it is not extraordinary that LG would accumulate application the aforementioned array architecture for two ancestors of phones. No promises though.
It’s fair to say that the abstraction of a modular buzz is actual popular. The babble about Google’s Project ARA is a acceptable example. What would LG anticipate of a 100% modular buzz (display, battery, processor, camera – all are modules)?
Dr. Woo says that the abstraction is absorbing but at the moment, the automated architecture charge arise first. At this point, absolutely modular phones crave a tradeoff that puts too abundant burden on the design. The actualization of the buzz is too important to LG customers.
I mentioned to Dr. Woo that smartphones seemed to accept accomplished a plateau apropos affectation pixel anatomy (~500 PPI), and asked him if VR would be the active force abaft added progress. He absolutely said “yes”. In his opinion, Basic Reality (VR) is absolutely a technology disciplinarian for affectation technologies, but additionally for accretion in general. Evenan 8k resolution won’t be enough. “We charge at atomic 1000 PPI” he says.
LG believes that the VR adventures enabled today by application a smartphone affectation (such as Google Cardboard) will be replaced by committed headsets, with larger, denser and added immersive displays. There’s no acute acumen to accept a 1000 PPI buzz affectation today. The acreage of appearance has to be added as able-bodied says Dr. Woo.
He additionally thinks that VR photo and videos, or VR adventures (going to a basic abode congenital from absolute images) will be the best accepted applications (by quantity), alike admitting VR is abundantly actuality affected by “3D gaming” appropriate now. In time, the image-based agreeable will be plentiful, relevant, and attainable to access/use. Note that LG makes the LG 360 CAM and VR headset(camerapriced at ~$70) for this exact reason.
Talking about this, the 360 cameras are additionally ambrosial because the actuality who shoots the cine or account can assuredly arise in the video as well. This is the acknowledgment that Dr. Woo got from users, so far.
Latency (the time it takes for the VR angel to reflect action/reaction/changes) charcoal a claiming in VR. We accept accomplished a point area VR is attainable and enjoyable, but Dr. Woo says that a 20 millisecond of absolute cessation ambition would be a acceptable ambition for now, and that includes sensing, accretion and auspicious what the user see. Today, it’s accepted to see cessation of 50ms to 200ms depending on the system.
There’s no catechism in Dr. Woo’s apperception that adaptable VR will end up actuality the ascendant anatomy of VR, because we artlessly don’t absorb that abundant time on PC anymore. Of course, it charcoal actual difficult to clue the user anatomy with adaptable VR, but adaptable VR is aloof added accessible.
In San Francisco, LG will be alive adamantine to advance the LG G5 modularity and its affable access to ambience up accessories, application the LG Friends protocols. The aggregation has boarded on a change of advance that led it from aggressive based on abstruse blueprint to aggressive on the user experience, and on the affecting acknowledgment – “fun and simplicity” are the appearance of the LG G5 that LG wants bodies to remember.
Our babble with Dr. Woo has accustomed us a blink into a attainable approaching at LG, and while he could not accomplish to any new products, we booty abroad a few things: LG will do aggregate it can to advance modules affinity for as continued as possible. VR will be mostly mobile, and it will drive bigger and committed affectation technologies. Modularity is a actual adorable feature, but the automated architecture charcoal a college affair for LG.
We’re attractive advanced to seeing the LG-compatible modules created by 3rd parties.
Filed in General. Read added about Developers, LG and LG G5.
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