LG announced today that it has managed to sell one million of its WebOS-enabled smart TVs since launching the line just three months ago. The Korean company further predicts it will surpass 10 million units sold by the first half of 2015. We were able to experience first-hand just how potent and robust LG’s resurrected WebOS had become at CES back in January, and we’ve been enamored with the technology ever since.
When LG bought the failed WebOS from Hewlett-Packard back in February 2013, the acquisition left many baffled and scratching their heads. But the move, and the larger, long-term strategy behind it, seems to be nearing its fruition. After our brief introduction to the technology last January, we knew almost immediately that LG’s reworked version of HP’s WebOS would be a force to be reckoned with, considering the generally clumsy state of smart TV platforms/operating systems today. Now, within months of launching, the platform appears to be catching on.
And why not? We were blown away again upon visiting LG’s Silicon Valley Lab in April to take a more in-depth look at the smart TV. LG’s WebOS retained the card-based interface from HP’s original design. These “cards” are essentially app/service logos spread across the bottom of the screen on a one-layer timeline (akin to the anchored scroll bar at the base of Apple’s OS X UI). Users can flip between them using the Wii-style Magic Motion Remote. There’s no lag and all the components appear to be seamlessly integrated into one another, making it extremely easy to cycle, lag-free, between apps and various forms of content. But perhaps most impressive is the WebOS user’s ability to change picture settings on the fly without backing out of what you’re watching. This might not seem particularly mind-blowing, but the feature is a first among TVs, and one that signifies an exceptionally vigorous device.
LG has raised the bar in terms of what customers will inherently begin to expect, as a minimum, from their TVs. Currently there’s a clear distinction between traditional TVs and their “smart” counterparts, but innovations such as this continue to push us toward a future ripe with interconnected and intelligent technology.