CES: LG’s watch a secret agent could love

January 7, 2009

Mention a watch phone and many people will say the same thing: “sounds like something out of a James Bond movie.”

So when Woo Paik, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics, introduced LG’s new wrist-wrapping, touch-screen communications device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, he couldn’t let the moment pass without the obligatory 007 reference.

And it’s true, there was certainly something Bond-ish when Paik lifted his wrist to his mouth and placed a call to someone across the room.

Still, there is considerable question – secret agents notwithstanding – over whether anybody wants to actually buy a watch phone. But that doesn’t take away from the device’s curious appeal. The GD910, which Paik called the world’s smallest 3G-enabled watch phone, has a screen smaller than 1.5 inches, a camera for video calls, Bluetooth, and a music player

It will be available later this year.


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This guy (Woo Paik) is a genius and isn’t even listed on Wikipedia. He is clearly the father of HDTV, which means without Woo Paik, no one would be watching flat-screen digital TV.

True, he didn’t invent flat screens, but he convinced the world that he could compress video to do what most — if not all — scientists believed was utterly impossible: transmit TV in digital format.

Without Paik there would be no DVDs at all, because they use the video compression algorithms that he pioneered while working on cable encryption years ago.

It’s amazing he’s not even mentioned on Wikipedia. Even my old high school has a page. Even the smallest jerk-water town has a Wikipedia listing. But not Woo Paik. Maybe the PR department at LG is too busy to help out.

Posted by Doug Ferguson | Report as abusive

The author(ess) is showing her(his) age, or lack of such.

Dick Tracey (Michael Killian) invented this Many years ago.

Posted by jhebbard | Report as abusive

Exactly what I was thinking while reading the article. It wasn’t James Bond or Maxwell Smart who came up with the wrist phone. It was plain old street detective Dick Tracy!

Posted by Bob Rauscher | Report as abusive

Avoid LG mobiles at all costs! I was the first in Australia to buy LG910 watch phone, being the coolest trendy gadget out there. paid over $2000 to get straight from it’s launch in Europe and paid another $400 for the customs, sales and duty taxes. A month later stopped charging and had calls dropping, hence went to LG Repairs. Came back fixed under warranty saying “hardware issues”. The service and communication is as tough as trying to find the Nigerian spammers. The service was poor and the technician used the actual tools in the kit rather than their own plus ended up leaving a test SIM inside…must be in a rush. After the repairs, the LG910 worked day on day off, and could switch off when it wanted, or would refuse to be charged up. After several weeks of pain it was sent back to LG for repairs. Weeks later they asked to pay for a new charger saying the issue was the charger not the phone and it was a “typical problem”. Since I received the $2000 mobile which by now had been repaired twice in a short period, I contacted LG Australia and they did not want to know anything about my “excitement”. After 6 months of writing to LG Global and getting generic responses I used Social Media to blog and Tweet about my worst ever experience – using LG. Finally someone in HO realized that 40,000 Tweeter and 17,000 Linkedin followers were commenting and RTing sharing my distress and DM’ed me back asking to bring it back for repairs. After trying to arrange it again for the past 5 months (while the LG910 drama machine was asleep in the box all this time) I got fed up and couriered the watch phone to LG Head Office in Sydney addressed to Customer care, with a letter, business card and all trail of past correspondence. Dead silence for 10 days. Getting used to the fact that LG is not Apple, where I bought my iPhone, iPad2 and will keep buying items just for the sake of getting awesome service, I called LG ten days later and Angela, the Manager for Electronics, said they would look for it as they “do not open mail addressed to the office for privacy reasons”. She restated that if you want the correspondence opened you must know the name of the proposed addressee, and if you send it addressee to a business it would be archived without reading. Sounds very silly, doesn’t make sense to me. She promised to locate the phone, and “as a one off favour” open the parcel with the phone and resolve my complaint. The next day I got a message from Angela saying “the phone was tested and worked perfectly”. I called back stating that unless we were communicating in different vocabularies, the LG phone did not charge and had call-drop issues. Angela responded: “we tested the phone for over a week with expert technicians non-stop with a dozen of locations and sim cards and the phone worked 100%.” I asked how this could be true if she only opened the box today and Angela said “it does not matter, what matters is that we tested it continuously and it worked 100%. In any case, we suspended sales of this item in Australia so there is no replacement, and we will not repair it as you will need to fly to Europe to fix it being out of warranty”. Great, I will be sure to check the webjet and fly for 28 hours to follow this advice. Not. Seeing our conversation was going nowhere I asked Angela if she could escalate it further. She said she was the head of the Electronics and that “we mailed it back to you as we cannot find the issues that you [that’s me and the service technician twice before] are experiencing. You can quote me that we spent enough time on testing and our item was 100% perfect and in working order. We will not test it again as per your request, and we will not look for faults as per your request. You are welcome to throw it out if you don’t want it- that’s your decision”.
This is the finale of the saga that started in 2009 and now, 2 years after chasing LG attempting to fix the expensive item, they finally gave me a gift of time exposing absolute disregard to care and competence. My advice is that you never ever buy any LG products as this is clearly LG’s corporate culture and they see any complaint as a challenge, dealing with it as with Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989. Sad and expensive experience.

As an MBA and a CFP my suggestion to the LG corporate is to look at their supply chain and customer retention,. The LG stock price dropped – 50% in the 6 months since May 2011 and technical charts show it could be down another 30% if it were to test the 2009 levels from where we are today.

Apple Inc. is actively taking the market dumped by LG and it’s shares are up about 25% in the same period, making the out-performance 75% all up. As an investor and a user, I’ll be staying away from the products and the stock.

Posted by inkom.com.au | Report as abusive