It wasn't so long ago that webOS went to open source in the face of cuts at HP, but more than a few have gotten to wondering just what would happen to the widely unheralded operating system in the wake of its change in classification. A new idea has emerged that will likely be more fleshed-out in the coming days, but it may well be the most unexpected of ideas: a new kind of smart television from LG that is set to use webOS as an operating system.
The early word suggests that Gram and LG are working together to get a line of televisions packing the open source operating system in place. There have been some reports, previously, that LG was looking to replace its NetCast system, and Google's (News - Alert) Google TV system had somewhat disqualified itself thanks to slow adoption rates and unfavorable terms of usage from Google. A different system would be, therefore, of great interest to LG, but why go with webOS?
Considering that webOS was, at one point, spotted as part of an HP TouchSmart computer screen with a slated use in hotel kiosks--a market in which LG is already well-represented--it does make at least some sense that LG would look to further adapt the technology for smart televisions. Since many of LG's televisions pack a dual-core L9 chipset, power shouldn't be an issue, and LG is constantly in the hunt for ways to improve its technologies over its many competitors in the field, including offering Plex support as well as voice control and motion control systems. LG was even a founding member of the Smart TV Alliance to help improve the concept.
Just walking into a Best Buy (News - Alert)--or spending a couple minutes on Amazon--will readily show the wide array of choices facing television buyers. Trying to maintain anything resembling a competitive edge is next to impossible, and requires a lot of thinking outside the box in order to produce an experience that's in line with content providers' wishes--a problem that even Apple (News - Alert) is running into of late--and yet still provides a user experience that's sufficiently distinctive as to draw interest. LG's idea to bring in webOS has some very interesting possibilities to it, potentially going so far as to turn televisions into ultra-specific types of all-in-one PCs with limited feature sets and enormous monitors. That would actually fit in rather nicely with the current state of the market, as more and more users turn to Internet-based sources for entertainment programming, and would certainly give LG something of an edge in the marketplace to make web-based programming as easy to access as it would be on a PC.
Only time will tell if this potential move becomes an actual move, and when CES (News - Alert) 2013 rolls around, that will likely be the time that tells in earnest.
Edited by Brooke Neuman