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Monday, January 06, 2014
LG Jumps Into Fitness Tech At CES With Lifeband Touch And Heart Rate Earphones


LG Electronics today took the wraps off LG Lifeband Touch and LG Heart Rate Earphones, two wearable products that mark the company's first foray into fitness tech.

Unveiled at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, both products incorporate comfortable designs and compatibility with other devices so that monitoring one's health requires no additional effort beyond strapping on a watch and inserting a pair of headphone earbuds.

Lifeband Touch is a smart activity tracker compatible with heart rate monitors (HRM) as well as smartphones. Meanwhile, the Heart Rate Earphones' dual-function design allows users to measure their heart rate while exercising. Lifeband Touch and Heart Rate Earphones can wirelessly link up to each other. Connected to smartphones (Android and iOS supported), the devices can transmit data to the LG Fitness app, or to a number of other third party apps such as MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper or MapMyFitness.

Lifeband Touch was designed to be asymmetric and flexible. Featuring a touch OLED panel to display time, biometrics, incoming calls and music controls, the built-in 3-axis accelerometer and altimeter allows the device to accurately measure key performance indicators such as distance, speed, number of steps, calories consumed and projected pace. All this information is visible with a swipe of a finger on the OLED display. Engineered to be lightweight and simple to use, it incorporates a motion-sensing algorithm that automatically turns on the display when the wearer rotates his or her wrist. Lifeband Touch also offers wireless connectivity via Bluetooth to transmit data to a smartphone or receive data from third party devices such the Heart Rate Earphones.

LG's Heart Rate Earphones feature PerformTek sensor technology which measures blood flow signals from the auricle, the external part of the ear to capture accurate biometric data such as heart rate and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max). As a continuous heart rate monitoring device, PerformTek has proven accurate during rigorous physical activity. LG employs a flexible ear piece design and a clip-on medallion connected to the earphones provides Bluetooth connectivity, enabling the unit to send data to a smartphone or the Lifeband Touch.

Lifeband Touch and Heart Rate Earphones will be available starting in the United States in the first half of 2014.

New webOS Smart TV Platform

LG also today confirmed at CES previous reports related to its newest Smart TV platform. The webOS platform, which LG acquired from Hewlett-Packard in March last year, has been reinvented and reintroduced as LG's new Smart TV platform.



The new operating system offers an intuitive user interface, makes it easy for developers to create applications and enhances the compatibility of LG's Smart TVs with other devices.

"We are extremely excited to be able to introduce webOS optimized for LG Smart TV here at CES 2014," said In-kyu Lee, Senior Vice President and head of the TV division at the LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company. "The beauty of webOS is that it provides so much freedom, and is so simple to use. We feel confident that consumers will find navigating, exploring and switching between different forms of content on webOS a truly enjoyable, not frustrating, experience."

The webOS platform, which will be implemented in more than 70 percent of LG's Smart TVs in 2014, makes content searching and viewing, connecting with other devices, and even the initial setup process smooth. The new Launcher, a left-to-right scrollable menu that runs along the lower portion of the screen is one of the most distinctive features of webOS. The Launcher makes it possible to switch between broadcast TV, smart TV content and media stored on external devices without having to return to the Home screen. It allows the viewer to simultaneously watch a show, play a game or browse the internet while searching or downloading other content. What's more, Live Menu, which can be opened while viewing the TV, keeps the search, recommendation and channel options within easy reach.

The webOS development team in LG's Silicon Valley Lab created the Today menu as a one-stop content recommendation service, suggesting popular TV shows, programs that have been missed as well as full-feature movies. Running horizontally along the center of the screen, the Today bar can also be scrolled up or down via the Magic Remote wheel to reveal more viewing options.

LG's webOS also offers access to the LG Store's collection of apps.

LG next-generation Smart TVs, powered by the webOS platform, will be also able to connect and interact with Android and iOS apps, enhancing the second-screen television experience.

The apps, which are being demonstrated with the new LG Smart TVs this week at the 2014 International CES, include:

- zeebox (linear TV discovery and social TV),
- Yidio (over-the-top content discovery and launch),
- Imgur (viral image posting),
- TalkLittle's "reddit is fun" (a popular reddit app),
- Stevie (social media-based personal TV channel creation),
- Neura's ACTV (personal health and fitness management), and - BuddyTV (OTT content and TV listing).

Each mobile app will demonstrate how, by simply being on the same home network as an LG Smart TV, users will enable a unique multi-device, connected experience. In the case of "reddit is fun" mobile app, users will be able to find a viral video and with one click, watch it on an LG Smart TV. The ACTV mobile app will launch a corresponding application on the LG Smart TV and connect a user's fitness band to the TV. With Yidio, users will be able to access a personalized streaming guide across multiple content sources and effortlessly launch selected content on the TV.

LG's 2014 line of Ultra HD TVs with webOS Smart TV platform will also support content streaming in Ultra HD 4K from Netflix.

LG's 2014 Ultra HD TVs are designed to include the latest standards for connectivity, content protection and program encoding, meaning they equipped to handle 4K streaming. Key to ensuring this capability is the built-in 4K HEVC 60p decoder. The LG TVs decode broadcast signals in both H.264 and HEVC H.265 formats, in either 30p or 60p.




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