Feeds

LG to bring Palm's webOS BACK FROM THE DEAD in TVs next week – report

Can Korean chaebol succeed where Palm and HP failed?

Mobile application security vulnerability report

South Korean electronics giant LG plans to debut its first smart TV based on the webOS operating system next week, industry insiders claim.

Citing an unnamed source, the Wall Street Journal reports that the webOS-powered boob tube will be unveiled at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, due to run from January 7 through 10.

LG bought the rights to the webOS platform in February from HP, which had struggled to find a use for the technology since landing it as part of its 2010 acquisition of Palm for $1.2bn.

Palm developed the OS for use in smartphones and fondleslabs, but the devices it brought to market met with lukewarm reception among consumers and app developers alike. HP's follow-on TouchPad tablet barely got a chance to prove itself before then-CEO Léo Apotheker binned the entire product line.

For a while, HP pretended webOS still had a bold future at the company, going as far as to claim the technology would ship as a UI for every HP-branded PC and printer. But those plans never came to fruition, and it soon became clear that HP's webOS efforts were essentially stillborn.

Enter LG. The Korean chaebol announced in February that it had spent an undisclosed sum to acquire not just the source code, documentation, and intellectual property rights to webOS, but also the team of HP engineers that had been working on the platform.

The catch was that, contrary to assumptions, LG said it wasn't interested in webOS for its smartphones, which so far have run Google's Android OS. Instead, it planned to use the technology to revamp the UI on its line of smart TVs.

"The open and transparent webOS technology offers a compelling user experience that, when combined with our own technology, will pave the way for future innovations using the latest Web technologies," LG CTO Skott Ahn said in a statement at the time.

Here at Vulture Annex in San Francisco, we can't help but think the move could be a step in the right direction. Smart TV is still a relatively young market, and we've yet to see a UI for one of these devices that we'd describe as user-friendly.

According to the WSJ's sources, LG plans to retain webOS's "cards" UI approach, which was one of the more popular aspects of Palm's latter-day smartphones.

Then again, maybe LG should worry less about the "user experience" of its devices and do more about fixing the hidden, invasive aspects of its smart TVs. Recent reports have revealed that LG TVs regularly "phone home" to report on user viewing habits – a fact that LG has reportedly marketed to advertising partners.

LG has promised to disable some of these "features" on its existing TVs with firmware updates. What data it plans to collect from its webOS-based sets, however, remains to be seen. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
DARPA-derived secure microkernel goes open source tomorrow
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.