LG brings 3D interface to the phone

LG Electronics Monday unveiled an upgraded user interface that leverages the advantages of touch-screens and acts as a simplified gateway to its smartphone features. The S-Class UI is debuting on its new Arena handset (the KM900) and will be standard on its high-end handsets.

LG's Mobile Communications CEO Skott Anh said the intuitive 3D interface was developed in response to surveys that found consumers wanted a simple, fast and fun way to use multimedia features. "The S-Class UI will set the new standard for functionality and fun."

Based around a 3D cube layout with four customizable home screens, the UI eliminates unnecessary menus and steps whenever possible, providing easier access to applications and features by flipping the cube with the flick of a finger. With multiple faces, the cube allows four times the number of shortcuts compared to a single-screen interface.

The UI's "elastic lists" makes browsing through contacts and other cataloged information easier by stretching like a rubber band when touched to display more details information or additional options. This eliminates the extra step of switching to a new screen. 

LG also unveiled its flagship model for 2009, the Arena multimedia handset with a 3" touch-screen display with WVGA resolution.  The model also comes with 8 MB of internal memory and Dolby Mobile surround sound.

Despite the downturn, LG saw shipments grow 25% last year and net sales increase 30%. It shipped 100.7 million handsets last year, with premium models accounting for a higher percentage of sales than in 2007. Its operating margin expanded to 11% from 8.5% in 2007.

Anh said the company is responding to the challenge of continuing to grow in the current environment by "giving customers exactly the products they want. We are not content to lead in one category but aim to be a leader in all categories - such as smartphones, user interface, wearable devices and LTE."

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