LG Wants to Expand webOS Beyond Smart TVs
LG has big plans for its webOS platform, and they exist well beyond just the TV.
Thinking about all of the moves and product launches LG has been a part of over the past several years, the company’s move to get webOS to extend beyond their smart TVs is a logical one. On Monday, the South Korean-based manufacturer of consumer electronics and home appliances announced that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with a federal government body to “more actively address its philosophy of open platform, open partnership, and open connectivity.” Essentially, LG is looking to others in the tech world to help it advance its webOS platform.
The National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) is an agency within the South Korean governments Ministry of Science and ICT that is responsible for developing the country’s IT sector. Together with LG, they will solicit webOS business proposals from an endless list of startups recommended by NIPA, and shortlist the ones the most viable ones. From there LG and NIPA said they would provide logistical and technical support with commercialization as their ultimate goal.
“When LG adopted webOS for our popular smart TV lineup in 2013, it did so with the knowledge that webOS had tremendous potential,” Dr. I.P. Park, Chief Technology Officer at LG Electronics, said in a statement. “webOS has come a long way since then and is now a mature and stable platform ready to move beyond TVs to join the very exclusive group of operating systems that have been successfully commercialization at such a mass level. As we move from an app-based environment to a web-based one, we believe the true potential of webOS has yet to be seen.”
Towards that latter point about a web-based version of the webOS platform, LG announced an open source version of the platform, webOS Open Source Edition, which is available to the pubnlis at http://webosose.org. There, developers can download the source code for free and get access to a suite of related tools, guides, and forums.
There was no clear roadmap drawn out in the statement, but given LG’s deep dive into artificial intelligence—as discussed at CES 2018—and creating a fluid experience between all of its products and appliances, it’s not hard to imagine the platform extending to emerging products under the LG umbrella and more that have yet to be announced.
As noted by The Verge, this isn’t the first time that LG has open sourced its webOS. But the company seems in a much better position now than it was even six or seven years to take advantage of a webOS experience that unifies all LG smart products.