LG is set to unveil a new flagship smartphone at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. Rumour has had it that the device will be called the LG V30s. In what is an apparent confirmation of the rumours, LG has not only confirmed the device’s existence and imminent release, it has also confirmed what is likely to be its main feature: Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Artificial Intelligence is, simply, the intelligence exhibited by machines. A machine’s ability to “think” and make decisions just like human being do using their brains. It’s, apparently, a big thing in the smartphone space now that what were out-of-this-world features in previous years like fingerprint sensors, dual-cameras etc are now mainstream. Huawei, as far as I can remember, was the first device maker to go all out and make noise about the Artifical Intelligence smarts in its device when it launched the Mate 9 in early November 2016. 2017 saw more and more device makers join the fray. Even Apple’s iPhone X packs a processor, the dual-core A11 Bionic, dedicated to AI. We even have the feature making its way to entry-level devices.
As such, it was expected that sooner rather than later, a device maker as big as LG, would join in on the fun too. Join in they will at the end of the month when we get to see what the company is calling a “2018 version of the LG V30”. By all means, that is PR speak for a refined LG V30, the flagship smartphone for the second half of 2017.
Just like its contemporaries in the industry who are using the so-called “AI smarts” to improve the capabilities of the image sensors on devices, LG will be using the advanced capabilities of its new device to make the camera “even smarter and easier to use.” The feature, called Vision AI, “automatically analyzes objects and recommends the best shooting mode from among eight modes: portrait, food, pet, landscape, city, flower, sunrise, and sunset.” For those who can remember (or have interacted with the device), this is just like what the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro offer.
That’s not all, though. By taking advantage of the AI baked into its new phone, LG also plans to integrate Samsung Bixby-like functionality. The blog post announcing these developments notes, “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.”
Like Bixby, there will still be a voice assistant of some sort from LG that is powered by the AI and that works alongside Google’s Assistant which is enabled on every Android device running recent versions of the mobile operating system. I don’t know about you but that awfully sounds like the same old problem of duplication that we’ve been trying to run away from on Android for years. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Sigh.
If you own one of LG’s more recent high-end devices (read: V30, G6 or something close), you might be lucky to get some of these AI features on your device since LG is saying that not all AI-centred features will be limited to the 2018 V30. As far as I can tell, that’s the only silver lining in LG’s cloud (excuse the pun).