Korean company’s ThinQ brand has AI at its heart as it seeks to deliver “even better life” to consumers

I.P. Park, President and CTO, LG Electronics is an industry visionary whose annual insights are one of the highlights of IFA Berlin. He spoke to IFA International about LG’s roadmap for the future.

LG has been thinking about home- based products for 60 years. Our goal is to use technology and innovation to upgrade to the next home experience. We have always used the term Innovation for a Better Life to describe this, but now with AI we talk about an even better life. We think there is a lot of value to consumers around AI and connectivity. We are even looking at how to bring the home to consumers wherever they go, including when they are in the car or at the office.


How is LG approaching AI?

We have a brand, LG ThinQ, that features products that are equipped with AI technology. At IFA, for example, our highlight was LG ThinQ Home, which imitated six distinct actual living spaces. LG ThinQ has expanded from its initial offerings focused on delivering AI capabilities of individual products to providing an integrated home solution.

What is the philosophy behind ThinQ and how is it applied?

There are three elements to our AI approach – evolve, connect and open. Evolve is all about delivering a more personalised product experience. We create products that use AI to analyse consumer patterns and learn. They then adapt to fit the user’s lifestyle, meaning they become more productive over time. An example might be a robot vacuum cleaner that learns how to clean a difficult corner.

Connect is all about how AI can be used to support consumer touchpoints and interfaces in a seamless way based on context. The user’s car, for example, might find out if there is food in the fridge and alert them to stop on the way home. Connect isn’t just about voice interaction, because there are times when using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistance can be annoying. So we are looking at how visual intelligence, based on cameras, can be used in consumer’s lives.

One future application LG is exploring is a smart mirror, which can scan the user’s body and face and calculate their measurements when dressed. The data can decide the size of clothes the user should be wearing and give them an option to purchase online.

As for open, one company can’t do everything on its own because it is too complex and connected. An open system provides the best solution to create a coordinated ecosystem rather than an alphabet soup. That is why LG ThinQ has an open approach. We want to work with other players to serve customers in a seamless way.

How does 5G fit into your overall strategy?

5G is a major game changer on several fronts. We are seeing the rollout of phones in markets like Korea and the US, which provide more bandwidth and lower latency than LTE or 4G, thus allowing consumers access to more immersive content. 5G will also transform automotive. The car industry needs a bigger pipe to help with things like safety alerts. 5G also means more content delivery into autonomous vehicles. The car cabin can be a professional or entertainment space, streaming everything from video conferencing to movies.

Photo: I.P. Park, President and CTO, LG Electronics