LG set for smartphone AI push at MWC

13 FEB 2018

LG Electronics will introduce the first of a suite of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for its smartphones at Mobile World Congress later this month.

The South Korean company said it spent “more than a year” researching how AI should be implemented in smartphones “long before announcing LG ThinQ at CES 2018”. It said its research focused primarily on making AI-based solutions “with the objective to deliver a unique and more intuitive user experience”, focusing on the camera and voice recognition.

LG said the new technology will be featured on an updated 2018 version of its V30 smartphone. It also said “certain AI features will not be limited to new LG models only, but also to existing LG smartphones via over-the-air updates, taking into consideration various hardware specifications and stability of LG smartphone models for maximum user experience”.

Ha Jeung-uk, SVP and business unit leader for LG Mobile Communications, said: “As we communicated last month at CES, the future for LG lies in AI, not just hardware specs and processing speeds. Creating smarter smartphones will be our focus going forward and we are confident that consumers will appreciate the advanced user experience with the enhanced V30 that many have been asking and waiting for.”

It was previously reported LG was looking to step off the smartphone upgrade treadmill, to wring more life out of its (often well regarded) hardware.

Vision AI
LG said its Vision AI technology makes the camera of the V30 “even smarter and easier to use”. It automatically analyses objects and recommends the best shooting mode from a choice of eight: portrait, food, pet, landscape, city, flower, sunrise and sunset. The angle of view, colour, reflections, backlighting and saturation levels are all take into consideration.

This is similar to the enhanced imaging capabilities offered by Huawei’s Mate 10 line, which are powered by an in-house processor with dedicated AI capabilities.

LG said it collaborated with a partner in image recognition to analyse more than 100 million images in order to develop the imaging algorithms.

A new low-light shooting mode automatically brightens images in dim environments by a factor of two. Unlike other approaches, LG said Vision AI measures the brightness of the actual image which will be recorded, resulting in more accurate adjustment of brightness levels.

Other Vision AI features include automatic scanning of QR codes, image search, and shopping options for items.

Voice AI
LG said Voice AI allows users to run apps and change settings through voice commands. Working alongside Google Assistant, the 32 LG-exclusive commands – up from 23 in 2017 – remove the need to search through menu options to select specific functions.

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Steve Costello

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