Are consumers ready for curved technology?

Are consumers ready for curved technology?

Electronic manufacturer, LG, says they are

Electronics manufacturers are always looking for the next trend to conquer, and at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), curved technology was certainly a potential next big thing.

LG is one manufacturer that is aiming to get its foot in early with the technology, announcing its first Flexible OLED TV at CES, as well as the upcoming launch of its curved G Flex smartphone in Australia.

As to why LG is going in this direction, LG Australia general manager marketing, Lambro Skropidis, said it is about delivering a “more immersive and human centred” user experience via devices.

“People nowadays are looking for modern furniture and technology products with a design to suit their homes and lifestyles,” he said.

In addition to its upcoming implementation in TVs and smartphones, Skropidis said it is also interesting to see how the curved technology will evolve over time from its beginnings.

“We believe it is only a matter of time before curved technology is featured across the industry,” he said.

Skropidis foresees the curved OLED TV as becoming an instant talking point for anybody who sees one sitting in a living room for the first time.

Adoption curve

In recent years there have been a number of ambitious new technologies that have attempted to stimulate interest in TVs and other devices.

The move to digital TV and HD resolution gained mass market adoption, but the introduction of stereoscopic 3D did not quite catch on with consumers.

The one thing that is working in the favour of curved TV technology locally is the strong appetite of Australians for innovative technology devices. Skropidis said this was recently demonstrated following the launch of OLED TVs in 2013.

“We believe there is appetite in the marketplace for this kind of innovation and we are excited to see how consumers react to our devices in 2014,” he said.

By combining the technology of OLED TV with a curved display, Skropidis said the aim is to give customers “the best of both worlds” and a better viewing experience in the process.

LG already had the opportunity to gauge the public reaction to its curved OLED, curved Ultra HD and G Flex smartphone products at this year’s CES, and Skropidis said the results point to consumers being “ready to make the jump”.

The size and clarity of the curved screens were some of the common talking points, though some people are expected to stick with flat screen products.

“The market expects to see more curved offers in 2014, and so we would expect there to be good take-up,” Skropidis said.

“Personally, I think our curved OLED TV is the most stunning TV in the market.”

First to market

In recent months LG has shown itself willing to jump onto early adopter technologies, such as introducing its first Ultra HD Smart TV.

Although introducing new technologies can be challenging, Skropidis said developing devices that create “new and exciting experiences for consumers” is worth it in order to be at the “forefront of the technology innovation.”

“We want to set the standard for the rest of the industry, and by doing so we aim to remain ahead of the curve,” he said.

Skropidis adds that being a market innovator also has a positive effect on brand image, and helps to build consumer trust.

Though early adopters are usually the first to pick up these types of new and sometimes experimental technologies, Skropidis said many products eventually move into the mainstream.

“The introduction of curved technology opens up a whole new world of possibilities, whether it is technology that’s relevant for the consumer, business, retail, government, or engineering,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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