LG showed off an unannounced smartwatch at CES and a hands-on video revealed the device was running webOS. A new report claims LG is planning to release the device in early 2016.
Most companies making smartwatches are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from competitors. Pebble uses an e-paper monochrome LCD display, which allows the device to get up to 7 days of battery life, and it's also one of the few smartwatches that supports both iOS and Android.
Samsung started out its smartwatch journey with the Galaxy Gear, which it released in 2013, and the device originally ran Android before Samsung released a software update that changed its OS to Samsung's Tizen OS. The same OS powers its Gear S smartwatch and Samsung returned to Google with its Android Wear-based Gear Live. Motorola has differentiated itself from other Android Wear smartwatch makers by using a more traditional round watch display for its Moto 360.
LG has released two Android Wear smartwatches and its most recent G Watch R has adopted a round display just like the Moto 360. The company was showing off an unannounced smartwatch at CES, which was a collaboration between LG and Audi. A demo by Audi showed how the smartwatch when NFC-paired with the new Audi S7 could remotely unlock the car with a tap. The device looks like a more premium version of its G Watch R. Android Central was able to track down the still yet unnamed smartwatch and the site discovered the smartwatch wasn't running Android Wear as previously thought. Instead, as you can see in the above picture, the smartwatch is running webOS, the smartphone and tablet OS that ran on Palm and later HP smartphones and tablets.
LG purchased webOS software from HP in 2013 and the company debuted the OS on some of its smart TVs unveiled at CES 2014. LG showed off webOS 2.0 on even more of its smart TVs at this year's CES. As you can see in the video below, the LG webOS smartwatch fully supports third-party applications and has cellular capabilities built into the device, allowing it to be used without a smartphone.
A new report from The Wall Street Journal claims that LG is planning on releasing its webOS-based smartwatch in early 2016. A source told the publication that "We're going to slowly try to build an (software) ecosystem around areas we can have more control over."
It looks like LG is taking Samsung's approach of using its own OS to lessen its dependence on Google. Check out the video below to see the LG webOS smartwatch in action.