A visitor shoots video of an LG Ultra HD 3D wall display at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Friday. / AP-Yonhap
By Kim Yoo-chul
LAS VEGAS ― Samsung and LG fared well in this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (ICES) by showcasing new trendsetting technologies for wearable devices, and TVs with ultra high-definition (UHD) viewing quality.
The world's top two TV manufacturers displayed prototypes of bendable TVs along with their latest UHD TVs, drawing keen attention from the industry.
"The rise of wearable devices, connected vehicles and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions will provide a crucial chance for the Korean technology firms to lead over their rivals in the new wave of innovative products," said Kevin Tillmann, research analyst at the Consumer Electronics Association, the ICES organizer.
"People are taking about wearables and connected vehicles, meaning that Korean firms are positioned to spur innovation in these industries. Companies are rolling out smartwatches and smartglasses. Without customized displays and chips, those advanced devices are meaningless."
At the show, the "connected home" caught the eye of many visitors.
Smart appliances and connected systems are turning up in new, exciting contexts. Consumers are just diving into the world of smart ovens, refrigerators, thermostats and vacuum cleaners.
This year is shaping up to be the year of wearables ― a trend poised to significantly impact health and fitness industries.
Experts have no doubt that the development of these budding technologies will be accelerated by customized component solutions.
LG Display, the world's biggest flat-screen manufacturer, has confirmed that it will focus on plastic-based flexible screens to be used in wearable devices, including Google Glass and even Sony's latest Smartglasses.
LG Electronics is in talks with Kia Motors and Renault of France to supply its fine-tuned car infotainment system solutions to upcoming electric vehicle models by the car manufacturers.
"LG CEO Koo Bon-joon showed interest in strengthening partnership with car-parts solution-providers like Delphi and Kenwood, as well as Kia Motors," said an LG official.
Samsung Electronics also teamed up with BMW to supply its smart-controlling systems via its Galaxy Gear.
"As the auto industry evolves, technology is a key to future growth. The rise of connected car technology will clearly offer new business opportunities to Samsung," a Samsung official said.
"This will help Samsung lower our dependence on volatile and cyclical business-to-consumer (B2C) business."
The Samsung official said electronic controlling systems take up more than 30 percent of components installed in a single car. "More than 200 semiconductors are being used in a car," he said.
An executive at Audi said electronic devices accounted for 90 percent of the innovative car technology that is now being developed. "A car is now just like an electronic device," he said.
The widespread use of cloud-based solutions is also revolutionizing the consumer electronics sector.
An official at Sony said its smoother transition toward connected devices is powered by its decades-long experiences in component-related businesses.
"What's exactly happening now is that a new order prevails linking consumer electronics and the Internet and I think this is about a ‘smart revolution,' truly helping Korean companies, which are the leaders in semiconductors and displays," said an official at Huawei Technologies, adding Chinese firms are also investing more into component-related businesses.