LG puts WebOS on a smartwatch, set to launch in 2016

LG logoAudi hosted a Consumer Electronics Show press conference full of partnership announcements with the likes of Samsung, Qualcomm, and Nvidia, but the event's most interesting device was one that didn't receive much of an official shout out at all: a handsome-looking smartwatch made by LG. In order to stylishly summon the company's new Prolog automobile, company board manager Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg tapped through the watch's screen, at which point the car slowly wheeled its way into the event.

After some sleuthing, Android Central was able to confirm that the smartwatch wasn't based on Android Wear, in spite of Wear-related announcements at Audi's press conference, but rather a customized build of Open WebOS. LG acquired key parts of the open platform, along with some of its engineers, back in 2013; that move was advertised at the time to mostly impact the company's TV development efforts.

LG puts WebOS on a smartwatch, set to launch in 2016

Android Central posted hands-on video with the as-yet-unnamed watch, and it revealed an interface that supports third-party apps; this watch in particular contained an Audi-branded app that supported functions such as NFC-powered car unlocking. AC's report claimed the watch was made of both sapphire crystal and stainless steel, and its videotaped flicking through menu settings also uncovered cellular options, meaning this prototype didn't necessarily require pairing with a smartphone to connect to the outside world.

A Wall Street Journal report pinned an "early 2016" release window to this smartwatch; hopefully by then, this looker will have a name (and one that's better than this year's LG G Watch R, yikes).

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: automobiles, LG, smartwatch, webOS

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