LG Electronics indirectly revealed the names of half a dozen features set to be offered by its latest Android flagship, the G8 ThinQ.
A number of trademark filings secured by the company last week reveal the names Z Lens, 3D Eye, Air Click, Audio Display, Face Code, and Display Sound, in addition to disclosing a moniker that appears to be unrelated to the firms’ next smartphone – Magic Speaker.
LG has been in the smart speaker game for a while now but has yet to debut any such intelligent gadget advertised as “magic.” The moniker in question at the very least suggests the Seoul-based tech giant will be making its next Internet-connected speaker compatible with the Magic Remote, hence offering tighter integration with the company’s webOS television sets.
Another possibility is that the Magic Speaker is simply an alternative name for Audio Display and Display Sound, i.e. LG’s in-house solution allowing for screen vibrations to produce sound. Similar tech has been explored by Samsung and Google in the past but has yet to break into the mainstream.
The Z Lens, on the other hand, appears to be the name LG chose for the Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor integrated into the display notch of the phablet. The technology in question will allow for a more natural bokeh effect in selfies thanks to improved depth-tracking performance compared to traditional cameras, whereas some of its more specialized use cases are bound to revolve around accurate face tracking enabling more advanced 3D masks and filters.
Even though such solutions have been available to consumers since late 2017 and Apple’s iPhone X, few Android manufacturers embraced them to date, presumably due to high implementation costs; the first phone maker that did so outside of the scope of the iOS ecosystem was Xiaomi with the Mi 8 flagship launched last May.
The 3D Eye is another key functionality of the same ToF sensor, described as a novel method of unlocking a device with a palm scan. It’s still unclear how close will a user’s palm actually have to be to the front of the handset for this feature to work, with the very concept appearing to have limited use cases.
On the subject of more traditional authentication solutions, the LG G8 ThinQ should still offer conventional facial recognition which the South Korean electronics juggernaut will call Face Code, according to the new trademark batch.
As for the Air Click moniker, it’s almost certainly related to the Air Motion framework of the Android flagship LG already talked about in an extensive manner as part of its late February announcement in Barcelona, Spain. Its name appears to be indicative of a confirmation technique of sorts, though a large cloud of doubt continues circling the entirety of the Air Motion platform; a ToF sensor could surely improve the accuracy of tracking hand gestures in-air yet the overall usefulness of such a solution remains dubious, as Samsung can surely attest given how many failed attempts it had at implementing such tech into its own Android smartphones.
The LG G8 ThinQ is available for pre-orders as of late last week, scheduled to hit the store shelves in the United States on April 11.