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MWC 2015: LG debuts world’s first LTE smartwatch

LG has admitted that it is unsure which direction the fledgling wearable market will take at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The firm’s director of global communications Ken Hong made the comments as LG readies the launch of two new smartwatches: the LG Watch Urbane and the Urbane LTE.

Read more: MWC 2015: Huawei and Jawbone reveal wearable and phone partnership

“We just got into it last year into the wearable business. Even we are not sure which direction it will go but we will introduce new products because one thing we know is that the wearable can also be an accessory to fashion rather than a computing device,” Hong explained.

Both smartwatches look more like traditional timepieces than wearable gadgets, with the main difference between the two being that the Urbane LTE is the first smartwatch to offer LTE and NFC technology.

This means that the LG Watch Urbane LTE can make phone calls and send and receive information without being connected to a smartphone. It also boasts a 1.3-inch plastic OLED display, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.

Both watches utilises LG’s own Wearable Platform operating system and incorporate the usual fitness-orientated features like heart rate monitoring and motion sensors.

LG added that the decision to go with its own platform and not Android Wear is not to gain a competitive edge, but is simply a technical decision.

“We are not competing with Android Wear but supplementing it. Android Wear currently does not support LTE capability so we developed our own platform. It works only with Android phones,” Hong explained.

Read more: Wearables in 79 per cent of European workplaces

Although the wearable market is predicted for huge growth over the next few years, fuelled by the upcoming release of the Apple Watch, LG is not banking on the gadgets hitting the mainstream anytime soon, telling Gulf News that it doesn’t “expect the smartwatches to be for a mass market.”

Image Credit: AFP

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.