|Ha Hyun-hwoi, CEO and vice chairman of LG Uplus, speaks during a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Thursday. / Courtesy of LG Uplus|
The telecommunications arm of LG Group has been building a nationwide infrastructure for its fifth-generation (5G) network and plans to offer the super-fast service for smartphones from March.
To provide enjoyable content for its 5G network, LG inked a deal to co-produce VR content and will distribute it via its own VR content platform app, scheduled to be launched soon.
"As a telecommunications firm, building a nationwide infrastructure for our 5G network is a priority for us. After that, we need to have a service platform to offer VR or augmented reality (AR) content. The partnership with Google is in line with this plan," said Ha Hyun-hwoi, CEO and vice chairman of the firm.
With the agreement, the two firms will co-invest in producing VR content. LG will have distribution rights in Korea via its VR platform app and Google will distribute it through YouTube.
LG Uplus has been expanding its media content service by launching a series of media apps such as Uplus Pro Baseball that allows users to watch replays of scoring moments while watching baseball games in real-time.
Its golf streaming app Uplus Golf and Uplus Idol that offers K-pop artists' performances have also been well received. For its IPTV users, the firm also has been partnering with Netflix.
Stating that Google showed great interest in producing 3D versions of K-pop content, LG said the two sides reach a mutually beneficial deal.
"Google wants to remain achieving success in the era of 5G and LG Uplus wants to expand its contents lineups with VR content," said Lee Sang-min, chief of the firm's future and converged division. "Google showed great interest in making 3D contents related to K-pop. As it is doing its business across the globe."
Besides launching the VR content platform, LG said it is preparing to introduce its VR headset when the firm starts offering 5G services in March.
VR gained consumer attention a few years ago as it can visualize the outside world right in front of users. However, because users had to wear a bulky VR devices to enjoy content, it didn't meet market expectations.
LG reportedly filed a patent for its VR headset with the World Intellectual Property Organization and United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent document shows the VR headset features six cameras and haptic sensors to provide feedback when touching objects.
"For the VR service, we need a device and platform. The content platform is almost ready to be made public, and we plan to introduce our VR device when launching commercial 5G service in March," Lee said.
|Ha Hyun-hwoi, CEO and vice chairman of LG Uplus, tries on LG Electronics' W7 smartwatch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Wednesday. / Courtesy of LG Uplus|
Ha, who has said he would seek new business opportunities at the CES, said he was impressed with the fast-growing mobility technologies.
"With the advancement of technology, vehicles also have become a space for entertainment and a moving meeting room. This applies not only for Korean firms but also Japanese and U.S. companies. These changes couldn't be possible without 5G services," Ha said.