Q&A: Andy Coughlin, LG’s head of mobile, UK & Ireland

LG’s Andy Coughlin, head of mobile for UK and Ireland, discusses the future of connected technology.

Andy Coughlin

Andy Coughlin
Head of mobile, UK & Ireland

Marketing Week (MW): Is the internet of things being driven by consumer demand?

Andy Coughlin (AC): I’m not sure the consumer is aware of all the technology available. As our lives become more complex, I think the need for simplicity and ease of use is driving that demand.

MW: Will connected devices be a key trend this year?

AC: In previous years, the early generation devices and technology were always quite expensive but now smart cookers, TVs and mobile phones are coming down in cost for consumers, which will allow mass adoption.

MW: How will this help you to get closer to your customers?

AC: It’s in terms of the marketing being more relevant to them. For example, NFC technology is coming in, where we see smart tagging on posters that allows organisations to connect with consumers in a more relevant way. That’s the opportunity we have and the benefit for the consumer.

MW: Will consumers worry about security or privacy issues?

AC: One of the features we will have on many of our smartphones is the ability to lock images or video content that you don’t want to share.

Bluetooth also gives you the opportunity to connect with various devices, so it allows you to interrogate which devices will receive the content once you have set it up. For example by approving the LG Smart TV at home, you don’t have to set that up again.

MW: Is the connected home something you are pushing this year at LG?

AC: At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year we had a vision of what a connected home would look like and that included intelligent refrigeration and ovens, which all sounds a bit strange. We have technology coming out and importantly it’s accessible in terms of pricing and ease of use.

MW: Do you predict that consumers will adopt this technology? Why do they need it?

AC: I’m not sure we need to but I think it’s a nice option at the moment. In 10 to 20 years’ time, it will become a hygiene factor and we won’t understand how we lived in a different way. I’ve been in mobile for more than 20 years and I remember when I first joined the business we called a location hoping someone would be there to pick up the phone. Now, of course, we call individuals on their smartphones. It’s just a question of time.

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