LG Electronics: Part 2 – The Grand Challenge Program with Dr. Sokwoo Rhee

Markus Levin - XYO (23)

LG Electronics: Part 2 – The Grand Challenge Program with Dr. Sokwoo Rhee

At The Metaverse Insider, we had the pleasure of interviewing a respective Senior VP of Innovation at LG Electronics – Dr. Rhee. He leads the North American Innovation Center, LG Nova, located in Silicon Valley. LG Nova is focused on generating new businesses for LG Electronics, a company that is valued at $70 billion and known for manufacturing appliances and TVs. Dr. Rhee’s responsibility is to develop new businesses or partner with existing ones in domains that promise future growth, such as healthcare, the Metaverse, and clean tech.  

In Part 1 of our conversation with Dr. Rhee, we addressed the importance of innovation, the current market for Metaverse initiatives, and the greatest barriers to user adoption. In this continuation, we address LG Nova’s trajectory within the Metaverse space and what they are looking to achieve within the next few years.  

What is LG Nova currently doing in the Metaverse ecosystem?  

Dr. Rhee explains that LG Nova is currently working with promising startups in the industry to create joint businesses and collaborations: 

“We believe startups are at the forefront of innovation. And they are the experts both in technology and the market. So, we want to work with them.”  

To achieve this goal, LG created the grand challenge program. This call for proposals is meant to source, test, and invest in startups that hold potential in the Metaverse ecosystem – allowing them to work with LG and determine what type of business they want to create. 

Last year, LG selected 10 companies in the first batch of the program, including a prolific startup called IQ3. Dr. Rhee highlights IQ3’s technology and how it can be used in industrial training: 

“They have a very interesting technology to reduce the time to build a Metaverse, a program – [effectively speeding up] Metaverse processes.” 

Creating metaverse content is a time-consuming and expensive part of industrial training, but IQ3’s technology allows for content creation to be almost like “drag and drop,” making it easy for anyone to create training content. LG chose to work with IQ3 because of its technology’s potential in industrial training. Creating content manually is costly and time-consuming, so IQ3’s technology is a game-changer. 

“The reason we picked IQ3 to work with us is because of their industrial training [application]. The biggest, most time-consuming, and expensive part is creating the Metaverse content.” 

Creating an ecosystem for the Metaverse 

“When we set a theme or market, we want to work with startups that can bring in the missing pieces to make this work.” 

Dr. Rhee spoke to us about the importance of collaboration in innovation, which he believes is particularly relevant in the context of the Metaverse. He argued that innovation is no longer the sole product of a single company’s R&D efforts, as it was in the past. Instead, he believes that innovation in the current climate is more likely to arise from collaboration between different stakeholders, including experts and companies alike. 

It is clear that LG Nova understands the importance of the work they are conducting; revolutionizing the internet is not a simple feat one company can achieve alone. This is especially important if the Metaverse is truly going to be decentralized:  

“Innovation comes from collaboration.” 

Furthermore, Dr. Rhee suggested that the necessary components of a functioning Metaverse are currently fragmented, and no single company can bring everything together: 

“It’s going to be much more effective to create an ecosystem or collaborate with others. Not all of these collaborations are going to be successful, but some of them will be successful. And that’s what is going to be like – come the Trailblazer of that original Metaverse.” 

How will the Metaverse influence LG as a company?  

The Metaverse is frequently viewed as a versatile tool that can be applied in various industries beyond just entertainment. This belief is shared with Dr. Rhee and his team at LG Nova; as mentioned in Part 1, industrial training will certainly revolutionize healthcare by providing innovative solutions and improving patient outcomes. LG Nova sees this as one of the main future applications of the Metaverse, and they are out to make this a reality.  

LG Nova has already seen numerous healthcare startups that are utilizing Metaverse technology to improve the overall level of healthcare – believing that the Metaverse will continue to grow and be utilized in various ways, even beyond current technologies like VR. It would be no surprise if the Metaverse eventually incorporates tactile sensors and other devices to create a more immersive experience. 

Dr. Rhee also believes that Metaverse can play a significant role in home healthcare by providing patients with a way to monitor their health from the comfort of their own space. This could include virtual appointments with healthcare professionals or remote monitoring of vital signs – the combination of Metaverse application and home healthcare has the potential to improve patient outcomes and drastically reduce healthcare costs.  

“It is no secret that healthcare is one of the big chunks of our work at LG Nova. Adding Metaverse components with potential sensors, and not just medical sensors, but also haptics or tactile sensors that are combined with an additional modality for communication, like screens or glasses. I cannot pinpoint what it will be right now. But I feel that there may be something there in the next few years.” 

The industrial Metaverse is certainly an aspect of the Metaverse which is often overlooked by the general crowd; it does not tend to generate hype or induce false promises of wealth, but it certainly will help the world in ways that entertainment cannot.  

The Metaverse Insider is extremely excited to see further down the LG Nova pipeline; there is so much potential in their vision and we have little doubt in their ability to execute this tremendous task. Keep an eye out for Dr. Rhee and his team at LG Nova; there is more to the Metaverse than games and entertainment.  

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