One of the biggest trends of CES 2019 was to hit the ESC. "Iterative." "Disappointing." "Nothing revolutionary." Those were just some of the things I heard from people who took part in the biggest technology event in the world last week.
But if you ask IP Park, CTO and president of LG Electronics, a gadget malaise, it will point its partner during its CES keynote as evidence that the technological world not only does not stand still, but is accelerating.
"I think if you were at CES 10 years ago, 15 years ago … who would have guessed that a robot would host a CES keynote," Park said. LG has also unveiled the most talked about "wow" product on the show, the first TV in the world rollable .
I sat down with Park to discuss a wide range of topics, and these are the highlights of our chat:
- LG is working on both folding and folding phones . Park is still not sure of the market demand, but the company will be ready.
- While Samsung is betting on MicroLED displays, Park says it will take "many years" for microLED TVs to compete with OLED.
- 8K televisions are about to get the upper hand sooner than you think: "Once your eyes get used to the high-resolution displays, you do not want to go back," Park said .
- The robot invasion is real. LG's service robots are so popular that the company can not keep up with the demand.
- 5G has the potential to inspire a wave of updates for smartphones: "I think this year could be the year of an update in the smartphone industry because of the 5G. "
What do you think? talk about the rollable OLED TV that really captured the imagination of so many people?
You've never seen anything like this before, right? This is a very new form factor. We think it has a very addictive use case. If you have a nice house, you do not want to cover a part of it with just a TV.
People watch LG Signature OLED TV R during CES 2019. Credit: David McNew / AFP / Getty
So the idea is that you can get rid of it when you do not want to see the huge screen when Nothing is on, but use it as a TV when you need it.  Without revealing any secrets, how was it possible to remove it?
First of all, having the OLED panel is the main factor because it is so thin that it does not require a backlight. This is the uniqueness of OLED televisions . It is only a few millimeters thick and can become a much more flexible form factor, including rolling. Obviously, we have done much more than a normal OLED TV to make sure it can be rolled up and rolled out many, many times throughout the life of the TV, and it does not break.
Credit: Tom & # 39; s Guide
One of the other big trends at CES was 8K TV. Do you think this is the year when it starts to take off, or will it take some time?
I think both of them. There are not any 8K content yet. Also, to support the 8K, the entire broadcasting or content industry needs updating, right? The infrastructure and the content and all the rest. However, this does not mean you can not enjoy the 8K. We can use AI technology to update the quality from 4K to 8K. When your eyes get used to high-resolution displays, you do not want to go back.
How else does LG relies on AI in televisions? And why are you supporting both Alexa and Google Assistant?
I think a point where you can recognize in the future how AI can help you use TV better than normal TV was before. You can use the TV screen to bring more content from different sources and this creates complexity. We think that having AI to help you look at what you want, when you want it, will be essential.
Likewise, interacting with the TV, the voice will make it much easier. The reason why we have multiple voice assistants on TV is to make sure that we provide the best customer service. If you're stuck with just one voice agent, you're stuck with a very limited amount of service, and this is not right for the customer.
OTHER: The best Smart TVs 2019: the best 4K and HD televisions for money
Samsung is advertising its microLED technology for televisions. How do you think it is comparable to OLED?
I do not think you can compare OLED and microLED at this point. OLED is here in production and of excellent quality. MicroLED is not yet mature, to compete with OLED. It will take more years in terms of resolution, in terms of product maturity. OLED is already here. It's incredible, it has really beautiful colors.
Credit: Tom & # 39; s Guide
We are also carrying out microLED development, research and development activities, which we presented in September at IFA: MicroLED is a good potential technology , but it is not yet mature.  Are you also examining folding and folding phones?
We are exploring many different form factors for phones, including folding and rollable because display technology has grown so so that it can be transformed into very flexible form factors and with 5G, if the market requires much larger screens, we will have to bend it or roll it up, so we will explore.
A lot of people are saying that the whole smartphone market is stagnant and there are even some that I support no that LG should abandon the business altogether. What & # 39; s your reaction to this?
The smartphone business is very difficult because of the competition. Also due to penetration. Everyone has a phone now, right? Everyone has a big screen and everyone has many features that others have. I think this year could be the year of the update in the smartphone industry because of the 5G.
The 5G will be available this year and people will be coming out with 5G phones. And 5G is different from LTE, not only for bandwidth, but also for latency. You may want to have even bigger screens on 5G phones because of the more content you can get. This could trigger various killer apps that run on phones.
OTHER: All folding phones coming in for 2019
Robots are starting to evolve to the point where consumers feel more comfortable with the concept of having robots in their home Do you feel like the robots were at a critical point?
We have robots in five different categories. [The] The first is service robots in public areas. For example, if you come to the airport in Korea, we have 14 full-service robots. These robots will help you with anything. He speaks four languages; has many different sensors, camera, light and ultrasonic sensors; It is very smart in navigation, so do not run into people, but it goes very quickly to a destination. You can ask yourself to guide you to Burger King and he will accompany you there.
Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty
If you are at the baggage claim, you will come to your place and ask for help, it is almost like someone approaching you, you do not have to try to find a more information desk
How much do you think it will be before the robots are used in the United States?
We have much more demand than we can produce correctly Now, as soon as we launch, we receive calls from all the airports out there, perhaps shortly we can see them here, but in reality it depends on priority. These robots can be used in other large public areas such as shopping centers, banks, hotels and others, and the variants of these can carry stuff: luggage, food and drinks, in fact, during my intervention, I had u n robot that delivers beer.
OTHER: Beer me! LG Launching Home Brew Kit at CES
You are using the ThinQ brand on everything from TVs to phones and even refrigerators. What is the easiest way to define ThinQ for consumers?
When I talk about ThinQ, I talk about three different aspects of ThinQ. It's called Evolve, Connect and Open. Evolve means that in any product you have ThinQ, the product will evolve over time learning from you, learning about the environment, learning about the situation. So the more you use our products, the more you know about yourself. It fits you, rather than you need to know our device. So, in practice, the value of the product will increase as you use it more.
Credit: David Becker / Getty
The second is what I call "Connect." What it means is that LG creates a diversified portfolio of products: home, on the road, in the office, in public spaces, even robots, and we want the AI experience to be perfect on all devices.We suppose you have 10 different devices and each has its own artificial intelligence that works differently, you can not use it.We want AI experiences seamlessly all 19659003] The third is Open It means that we want to provide the best service to our customers, whether the solution service comes from LG or one of our partners.
What is a good example of how an LG The ThinQ product evolves and best iora as it is used
Our air conditioners will evolve according to their usage pattern, how many are where and everything else, so it will optimize its efficiency to use less and less energy. So you know when you're home; know when you're not home. He knows when more people are in one position than the other. So it will become more and more efficient.
OTHER: How to configure ThinQ AI on LG TV
With our robot vacuum cleaner, if you let it run a few days at home, it will optimize to focus on where you have more traffic. You can avoid obstacles based on the fact that you think you are coming across a piece of furniture, a person or a dog. So it becomes smarter.
What are some of the other great trends you saw at CES 2019 that will continue throughout the rest of the year?
The automotive industry is changing. It is no longer just the OEMs who create a new model and announce it. It is self-driving. And what happens when you have an autonomous car? The interior of an automobile is another huge opportunity for companies like LG because we have so many different technologies and products to use as entertainment and productivity at home. All of these can be transferred directly into a cabin space inside a car – because you do not need to drive at all, right? – how autonomous driving technology matures.
Some say that this year's CES was more than an iterative year, that there was nothing revolutionary about it. Do you agree with this? And where do you think technology should go and get people excited?
I think if I was at CES 10 years ago, 15 years ago, I think the change was much more incremental. Everything was about TV. Nothing else was visible except TV. Each year the screen size would increase from 42 inches to 50 inches, whatever the size. There was nothing else. But recently, it was all about the automotive industry, it was all based on artificial intelligence, the smart home, and so on. I think we are moving a lot faster than before. And you'll see more interesting things coming up. Who would have guessed that a robot would host a CES keynote, right?