Korean electronics giant LG has introduced its vision of the future to the tech world, and it received help from a bizarre guest to do it.
The company announced a suite of new products and concepts at the opening day of CES 2021, including a crazy rollable phone screen that could turn your LG smartphone (if you’re one of a small handful of Australians who own one) into a tablet.
Many of its new innovations across computers, home appliances and televisions were introduced by high-level LG executives, although towards the end of the conference audiences were introduced to a very different guest.
“Hello, I’m Reah, a songwriter and DJ,” the guest said, glossing over the more notable fact that they don’t exist.
RELATED: Bizarre thing missing from new song
“Being a musician you know, travelling is a big part of my life, and inspiration, which like so many of you I desperately want back,” Reah claims as an illustration of a jet flies across screen behind her.
To reiterate, Reah does not exist. Reah is a “virtual influencer” and if it needed to travel anywhere it could do it over the internet without having to worry about coronavirus or hotel quarantine arrangements.
Although Reah might not be a real person, it does have an Instagram with followers in the thousands and one half-decent song uploaded to a Soundcloud account, making Reah more real than some actual humans who claim to be influencers, DJs, or both.
In many ways LG has made a genius move. Over recent years the rise of the influencer economy has made it common place for brands to partner with influencers to promote their products.
These partnerships rarely feel authentic or natural so LG has decided to lean in and just replace the expensive influencers with computer code, which does a respectably passable job of approximating how a real person might act.
Samsung has made similar moves with its backing of the equally strange NEON digital avatars introduced at CES last year.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the “songwriter and DJ” was there to announce an exciting new push into music production or even consumption from LG — but strangely no.
Reah was instead excited about an “awesome new invention from LG”: A robot that can go around cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
The LG CLOi UV-C Robot is apparently the ticket for international travel to resume, and for Reah to continue its fake career as a pretend influencer and DJ.
“These amazing robots go around high-touch, high-traffic areas like hotels and use UV light to help reduce exposure to harmful germs,” Reah explains.
Although Reah isn’t real, it appears that it is at least somewhat grounded in reality, even conceding that the “awesome new invention” won’t be hitting the hard reset on our pandemic ravaged world.
“Looks like it’s going to be a while before we can have gigs and parties again,” Reah laments.
“So until then, I’m going to chill in my studio and work on my videos and stuff.”
Reah made that point in order to introduce LG’s new Gram laptops featuring 11th gen Intel core processors, a strained segue that at least makes some semblance of sense in Reah’s made up existence and job title.
LG’s presentation also included a look at its new range of televisions with an updated operating system as well as home appliances including air filtration, all of which integrate with LG’s ThinQ smart home platform.
The air-filtration offering has also been expanded with new portable offerings, including a wearable air purifier.
The company makes no claim it will help guard against coronavirus but a device like this could come in handy next time we have a horror bushfire season that blankets Australian cities in smoke for weeks on end.
LG also briefly teased another look at its expandable phone.
While other brands like Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have been looking at foldable displays that can revive the popular flip phone designs from the mid-2000s, LG has taken a different approach.
RELATED: Rumoured folding iPhone patent filed
Likely stemming from its work on foldable OLED displays to make hugely expensive televisions that can disappear out of your living room when you aren’t watching it, LG’s expandable phone offering aims for a device that can roll up like a ye olde scroll to expand the screen size into a tablet.
The device is still more of a concept and we don’t know if it will ever actually hit the market.