It will arrive in India this year and in other countries starting from 2022: River OS is a different operating system from the already well-known and popular LG WebOS, here's what changes
With the increasing diffusion of Smart TVs in homes around the world, television is becoming the new smartphone. At least for advertisers, who are no longer able to insert advertisements in movies and TV series (which are now pay-per-view, therefore without commercials), they must now find alternatives.
The operating systems of televisions are the key to success and, just as Android now dominates among smartphones, Android TV is in pole position to become the standard operating system for TVs. But it's by no means the only one, and among its top contenders is LG's WebOS. Many, therefore, jumped out of their chairs when news broke that LG has made a new operating system for TVs: River OS. This is not a "rebranding" of WebOS nor, at least at the moment, a replacement for it: River OS is a completely new software for TVs, with some fewer features and some more than WebOS.
How River OS works
First of all, it must be pointed out that River OS is developed by LG Ads Solutions, a company born from the partnership between LG and Alphonso, a company that collects data on TV audience and sells them to advertising investors.
Advertising will be at the core of the new River OS operating system, which will be tailor-made for the user. The watchword of River OS, in fact, is personalization: the behavior and tastes of the viewer are tracked and processed to offer him specific content, targeted suggestions, and, of course, more effective advertising.
Aesthetically River OS reminds Android TV much more than LG's existing WebOS: full-screen interface with easy-to-navigate menus, very large icons and readable even on not huge screens.
Customization of River OS is fundamentally based on user profiles, but instead of requiring each user to log in every time they want to find their favorite content, River OS uses voice to recognize who is watching TV.
"We provide personalized content recommendations," explains LG Ads Solutions, "regardless of the app, HDMI input or streaming service. We manage all devices, inputs, channels, services, and app switching automatically in the background."
The user basically doesn't have to do anything other than create his profile, set up voice recognition, and then he can even leave the remote on the couch: all he has to do is say natural language phrases like "Let me hear the news" or "Put on a funny movie" and River OS will accommodate him.
What will happen to WebOS
The question, legitimate, is whether River OS has been presented to supplant, perhaps in the future, WebOS. At the moment the two operating systems are destined to coexist, also because WebOS would seem to be a more complex and complete operating system than River OS.
It can't be excluded that River OS, which will be licensed also to other TV manufacturers besides LG, is destined to low range TVs, for which the collection of user data could help those who produce them to keep down the selling price of the TV.
It's not for nothing that River OS will initially arrive in India, as early as 2022, and then will also be rolled out in the U.S. and other countries starting in 2022.