LG ELECTRONICS kicked off its annual "Innovation Festival (InnoFest) 2015" last week in the Malaysian city of Kota Kinabalu, showcasing to some 330 trade visitors and media members LG's newest products that had wowed audiences at the "2015 International CES" event in Las Vegas early last month.
"LG is taking a huge leap forward to strengthen our status as an industry-leading company in regional markets the world over," said Wayne Park, executive vice president and head of LG Electronics global sales and marketing.
"We are committed to making local consumers' lives more convenient and LG InnoFest will help us get off to a great start this year," he added.
At the Asia-based event, which was in its second year, LG - under the banner of "Innovation for a Better Life" - announced its aim to be a key player in interconnected products for the 'Smart Home' concept, a major business trend this year.
Presenting LG's strategy for open platforms, connectivity and the ecosystem to deliver customers a great user experience, Eugene Yoo, LG Electronics's general manager for Strategic Alliances and Investments in the Smart Business Centre, said the South Korean giant had developed the Cloud Platform and the Home Chat Platform to enable people to monitor and control connected devices via an application on the smart-phone system, or even text instructions to devices via a messaging service like Line.
The Home Chat feature extends to wearables like the G Watch R, Yoo said, adding that LG had also integrated the feature with the popular Nest Labs' products.
For open connectivity, LG is a founder member of the AllSeen Alliance - the open-source software alliance that allows any device to connect with, understand the capacity of, and have access to basic control of other devices - and a supporter of One M2M, the global standards initiative for Machine to Machine Communications and the Internet of Things, he said.
Maintaining Thai production
Eco-innovations, meanwhile, could be seen from the latest IG products on display in Kota Kinabalu, like the company's eco-friendly washing machines with TurboWash and 6 Motion Direct Drive technology for greater energy and water efficiency and faster load washes; the multi-door refrigerator equipped with an Inverter Linear Compressor to ensure lower energy consumption and greater durability; and Double Door-in-Door technology to allow quick access and reduce cold-air loss by up to 47.3 per cent.
The LG brand, Thailand's leader in washing machines every year since 2001, also highlighted its front-loading revolutionary TWIN Wash System, which lets users wash two loads at once - in the main washer and in the world's first compact mini-washer underneath. At the forefront of the event were LG's flagship 4K OLED TVs, offering what the company describes as "perfect blacks, perfect colours and infinite contrast ratio" in screen sizes ranging from 55 to 77 inches, with curved and flat-screen options.
Also to the fore was the expanded ULTRA HD TV line-up in screen sizes from 40 to 105 inches, including its new ColorPrime series.
All of LG's 2015 4K OLED TVs and 4K ULTRA HD TVs feature the latest webOS 2.0 platform.
LG is also planning to launch a gaming TV line-up for Asian customers without adequate Internet access, the company announced.
Chris Yi, executive vice president and CEO of LG Electronics, Asia region, said the company would maintain current production facilities in Indonesia and Thailand, while also building up combined production facilities in Vietnam under a US$1.5-billion (Bt48.78 billion) investment programme through 2023.
Initial production in Vietnam is scheduled to commence this quarter, he said. LG, meanwhile, will retain the current proportion of marketing investment among its eight marketing units, he added.
LG Thailand executive Nipon Wongsaengarunsri said his office aimed to achieve a 15-per-cent increase in sales to Bt23 billion this year. Sales income is expected to break down into the usual ratio of |40 per cent from home entertainment, 30 per cent from home appliances, 20 per cent from air-conditioners, and 10 per cent from mobile phones.
The Thai subsidiary will emphasise the "newness" of LG's latest products with smart features, and will invest Bt1 billion in display and marketing activities highlighting the 4K Ultra HD OLED TVs, mobile phones like the G4, washing machines and air-conditioners, said Nipon. He confirmed that many new products, including the company's 4K OLED TVs in the third quarter.
Other major arrivals will be the 105-inch 21:9 Curved Ultra HD TV in March, with a Bt2.9-million price tag; 4K Ultra HD-TV Color Prime TVs, in April; the CordZero series in the second quarter; Double Door-in-Door fridges, with a six-digit price tag, around mid-year; the Mosquito Away air-conditioner, also in mid-year; and the TWIN Wash machine, costing Bt99,000, in July.