LG has unveiled the Kizon, a wrist-worn device designed to let parents keep track of where their child is and listen to what they are up to.
The Kizon uses GPS and Wi-Fi signals to identify the wearer’s location and sends the information to an Android app.
LG is targeting the device at families with pre-school and primary school children.
LG’s Kizon is a wrist-worn device designed to let parents keep track of where their child is and listen to what they are up to (photo LG)
However, others have raised concerns about the idea.
LG is not the first to market such a device – start-ups including KMS Solutions, Tinitell and Filip have announced similar products – however, the South Korean company’s launch marks the entry of a tech giant into the sector.
The company says the Kizon can run for up to 36 hours between charges, is water resistant and works with 2G and 3G cellular networks.
The wearer can call a pre-configured phone number by pressing a button on its front.
The button also allows the child to accept calls from approved numbers, and if they fail to press it within 10 seconds the device will automatically let the caller listen in to the machine’s built-in microphone.
LG said it planned to launch the device in South Korea this week, and introduce it to Europe and North America before the end of September.
LG Electronics has announced it will begin deliveries of curved OLED television sets in May, making it the first to offer such a product to the public.
The use of organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) allows screens to be made thinner and more flexible than before.
The 55 in (140 cm) model will cost 15 million won ($13,550) and is initially limited to sales in South Korea.
One analyst said that being first to market gave LG “bragging rights”, but suggested demand would be limited.
LG Electronics and its rival Samsung Electronics both showed off curved OLED TV prototypes at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, but did not announce release dates at the time.
LG Electronics has announced it will begin deliveries of curved OLED television sets in May, making it the first to offer such a product to the public
The two businesses are part of larger conglomerates that have separate divisions manufacturing their own television display panels. Many of their competitors buy in the components from third parties, making it harder for them to claim such an exclusive.
OLED tech is based on carbon-based materials that convert electricity into light.
While LCD screens need a backlight to illuminate their crystals, OLED does not need a separate light source.
This allows the newer type of TVs to be made thinner, lighter and more energy-efficient than before, as well as offering the advantage of deeper blacks.
In addition, the OLEDs can be fabricated onto a flexible plastic substrate rather than a rigid glass layer, making it easier to manufacture them into a curved screen.
This has allowed LG to market the new EA9800 model as being only 4.3 mm (0.17 in) thick, weighing 17 kg (37.5 lb) and offering an “Imax-cinema-like” viewing experience.
“With more than five years research behind developing the optimum curvature, the entire screen surface is equidistant from the viewer’s eyes, eliminating the problem of screen-edge visual distortion and loss of detail,” LG Electronics said in a press release.
IHS Screen Digest, a market research firm used by television manufacturers, said it expected Samsung to follow with a similar product soon, although it noted that teething troubles with making large OLED TVs was likely to keep their prices high and output low in the near future.
The firm’s senior analyst Ed Border added that, in the short term, curved TVs were likely to be more valuable as a promotional tool rather than a profit-making product to their makers.
“There’s certain content which is great to see in different ways, but for a lot of what’s on TV seeing it curved is not necessarily going to improve the experience that much,” Ed Border said.
“But I think being curved is a good way of pushing the OLED technology to consumers and acting as a marketing tool.
“Looking forward, I think there will still be room for flatscreen TVs, especially if you are thinking of hanging an OLED screen on the wall or just want to buy a cheaper LCD set.”
LG said it was now accepting orders for the curved TV set in South Korea, and would announce the timing and pricing of versions for markets elsewhere “in the months ahead”.