When Apple unveiled the iPad Pro late last year CEO Tim Cook called it a “piece of glass that instantly transforms into anything you want it to be.” A few months later LG is taking a similar strategy with its latest TV, a super-thin ultra high-definition OLED display which the company called “a picture on glass” during its keynote CES presentation on Tuesday morning.
So is LG fashioning its new Signature series as the Apple of home technology? Everything from design to marketing plans suggest that’s exactly what the South Korean giant has in mind.
The new LG Signature OLED TV is designed to be beautiful to look at and simple to use. The display docks into a speaker that doubles as a stand, and it’s just 2.57mm thin (roughly the same thickness as four credit cards stacked together). If Apple ever made that long-rumored television set it might look like this.
The Signature series also include a new refrigerator, a washing machine and an air purifier, with plans for a dishwasher and an oven down the line. They all feature premium designs with plenty of stainless steel and glass, along with some clever new features. For example, the fridge includes a glass window that lights up inside when you knock on it, while a small sensor near the bottom can register your feet and open the doors automatically. The Signature washing machine boasts the first ever controls built right into the glass, and a push-to-open feature so you can open the door even if your hands are full.
LG wants each Signature product to be more than just a high-end appliance. If the company has its way you’ll get as much pleasure unwrapping a new LG TV or refrigerator as you do unwrapping a new iPhone. “Products should be treated like a gift,” said designer Torsten Valeur, who helped develop the new series. “When you receive the perfect gift it feels like it’s given by someone who understands you.”
But the most obvious comparison between LG and Apple may be the company’s plan for its first-ever Super Bowl ad next month. To celebrate 50 years in the TV business LG is running a new commercial directed by Ridley Scott, the same celebrated filmmaker who produced Apple’s iconic 1984 Super Bowl spot. Whether LG’s new commercial can ignite interest in its new TVs and home appliances is still up for debate, but with its Signature series the company actually has us excited about these products. That’s a pretty good start.