Korean firms to showcase smarter, wearable tech

By Kim Young-won
  • Published : Feb 23, 2014 - 20:11
  • Updated : Feb 23, 2014 - 20:11
Samsung Electronics will unveil its LTE-enabled mid-range smartphones with wider screens at the Mobile World Congress 2014. (Samsung Electronics)

Major Korean smartphone makers and telecommunications companies, including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, SK Telecom and KT, are all set to show off their latest technology at the Mobile World Congress 2014.

The world’s largest mobile trade show will begin on Monday (local time) in Barcelona, Spain, for a four-day run.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest mobile manufacturer, is expected to unveil its long-awaited flagship smartphone Galaxy S5, along with wearable products including the Samsung Gear 2 and Samsung Gear 2 Neo smart watches on the first day of the conference at Fira Gran Via, the main venue for the trade show.

The Galaxy S5, expected to improve upon the S4’s hardware and software, will likely be equipped with biometric sensors such as a fingerprint scanner and bring change to the overall design of the Galaxy lineup, including an on-screen home button rather than one in the hardware.

Improved compatibility with other Samsung products including the smart watches is also expected.

“Samsung continues to lead innovation in the wearable market by creating devices that are completely integrated into the lives of consumers through extended connectivity features, stylish customization options and a robust application ecosystem,” Shin Jong-kyun, CEO and president of the IT and mobile division, said in a press release.

The new smart watches, running on Samsung’s own mobile operating system Tizen, will serve as an extension of a consumer’s daily life, according to the tech behemoth, as they allow customers to seamlessly control the electronic products they use every day, such as televisions and set-top boxes.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s local rival LG Electronics will boast a range of high-end and budget smartphones including the G Pro 2 and the G2 Mini.

Fitted with a 5.9-inch display, the G Pro 2 phablet comes with 3 GB RAM, Qualcomm’s 2.26 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 and a 3,200 mAh battery.

Easy-to-use functions such as unlocking the phablet with a combination of up to eight taps on the screen are expected to garner much attention, congress organizers said.

Meanwhile, Korea’s major three telecommunications firms will showcase the latest Long Term Evolution technology.

SK Telecom will introduce the LTE-Advanced tri-band carrier aggregation that combines three 20 MHz frequency bands and offers a network speed of up to 450 Mbps.

Both SK Telecom and KT will demonstrate femtocell solutions, codeveloped with Broadcom Corporation and Intel Corp., respectively, which will offer data network services up to twice as fast.

LG Uplus, Korea’s third-largest mobile carrier, will display digital signages incorporating face-recognition technology.

By recognizing the user’s face, the digital signage would offer advertisements that would best fulfill their needs, LG Uplus said. For maximized effect, the signages are to be later utilized at department stores, shopping malls and movie theaters.

By Kim Young-won (