LG Electronics (LG) has plans to introduce the first of a suite of AI technologies for its smartphones at this year's Mobile World Congress, which takes place in Barcelona, Spain from February 26 to March 1.
The new technology will be featured in the 2018 version of the flagship LG V30.
LG says it spent more than a year researching how AI should be implemented in smartphones, long before the company announced the ThinQ platform at CES 2018. This research focused primarily on making AI-based solutions with the objective to deliver a unique and more intuitive user experience, focusing on the camera and voice recognition.
In addition to the dual lenses, wide-angle low-distortion lenses, and an all-glass Crystal Clear Lens, Vision AI further enhances the experience. It automatically analyzes objects and recommends the best shooting mode from among eight modes: portrait, food, pet, landscape, city, flower, sunrise, and sunset. The angle of view, colour, reflections, backlighting, and saturation levels are all taken into consideration as the phone analyzes images in its database to determine what the camera is focusing on in order to recommend the best setting. Pointing the camera at a plate of pasta, for example, will result in food mode being invoked, with warmer colours and heightened sharpening for an appetizing shot.
LG collaborated with a partner in image recognition to analyze over 100 million images in order to develop the phone's image recognition algorithms. Over one thousand unique image categories were created for more accurate image analysis, and this resulted in better shooting mode recommendations.
Another feature of Vision AI provides shopping advice through smart image recognition. By simply pointing the camera at an object, LG's Vision AI can automatically scan QR codes, initiate an image search or provide shopping options, including where to purchase the item for the lowest price, and other similar products that the customer might find of interest.
A new low-light shooting mode can automatically brighten images in dim environments by a factor of two. Instead of conventional methods of measuring external light levels, Vision AI instead measures the brightness of the actual image that will be recorded, resulting in brightness levels that are adjusted much more accurately.
Another new feature is Voice AI that allows users to run apps and change settings through voice commands alone. Working alongside Google Assistant, the 32 LG-exclusive Voice AI commands, up from 23 commands in 2017, eliminate the need to search through menu options and allows for direct selection of specific functions. French language support is to be confirmed. Some of the available commands include "take a picture on a wide angle," "open camera on a manual mode," or "take a romantic Cine Video." Several commands are pending for this year that would do things like open up time-lapse video, low-light photos, or QR code scanning.
Certain AI features will not be limited to new LG models only, but will extend to LG smartphones via over-the-air updates, taking into consideration various hardware specifications and stability of LG smartphone models.
"As we communicated last month at CES, the future for LG lies in AI, not just hardware specs and processing speed," says Ha Jeung-uk, Senior Vice President and Business Unit Leader for LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "Creating smarter smartphones will be our focus going forward, and we are confident that consumers will appreciate the advanced user experience with the enhanced V30 that many have been asking and waiting for."