LG’s 4K monitor physically adjusts itself so you don’t have to

LG’s 4K monitor physically adjusts itself so you don’t have to
Written by Techbot

LG UltraFine Display Ergo AI 32UQ890 —

LG claims a camera and AI help ensure good ergonomics.

Enlarge / LG Ergo AI Monitor 32UQ890.

LG last night announced plans to demo a 4K monitor that it claims will help workers maintain an ergonomically friendly view by automatically adjusting itself based on the user’s positioning.

LG will demo its UltraFine Display Ergo AI 32UQ890 (which it first lightly announced with minimal details at CES 2022) at IFA 2022 in Berlin from September 2–6, it said.

The monitor gets its name because it uses AI via an integrated camera to interpret a user’s eye level. It leverages an AI algorithm to collect and analyze video frames, using a neural processing unit to make what it determines are appropriate  adjustments to the screen’s height by up to 6.3 inches (160 mm) or angle by up to 20 degrees forward or backward. The monitor does not use deep learning, an LG spokesperson told Ars Technica.

There are three different auto-adjustment modes available. LG said it will demo AI Motion, which adjusts the monitor whenever it notices a change in eye level.

LG’s announcement also claimed that the feature could stop users “from remaining in a single position for too long or from falling into poor posture over time,” likely primarily from use of the other two modes, Continuous Motion and Periodic Motion.

Plenty of people will dislike a monitor that shifts itself solely to force you to move, while others may be too engrossed in their work to adjust their posture simply because their monitor has moved.

But if the 32UQ890 could successfully keep the top of the screen at user eye level and the display’s center 15 to 20 degrees under the horizontal view, that would keep in line with advice from ergonomics experts, such as the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

At this point, we can’t help but note how easy it is for most people to reach out and adjust their monitor, especially a 31.5-incher like the LG or smaller. Maintaining a level view with the top of the screen is likely frequently forgotten in the throes of serious work, but hand adjustments can take other things into account, like current lighting and the part of the screen you’re focusing on.

The IPS panel claims 1,000:1 contrast.

Enlarge / The IPS panel claims 1,000:1 contrast.

Still, we’ll be interested to see if LG’s monitor makes its adjustments in a way that feels fluid and not overly distracting. Adding or removing up to 6.3 inches of height is quite noticeable, and it’s unclear at what pace the monitor will make its movements.

There’s also the question of how loud a monitor adjusting itself will be. The feature would also need reliable AI and a willingness from users to be watched by a camera frequently for it to be considered helpful.

The feature should be optional, and when not in use, the 32UQ890 is specced as a pretty decent 4K monitor. The IPS panel is said to cover 95 percent of DCI-P3 and also supports HDR10; although, LG didn’t share any specs around brightness or any VESA DisplayHDR certifications, yet. Contrast is said to be 1,000:1, which isn’t bad for IPS, but you can get notably higher contrast from other technologies, even IPS Black.

Besides its AI-based auto adjustments, the 31.5-inch screen also supports 270-degree swivel in either direction and extends/retracts up to 11.8 inches (300 mm). There’s no pivoting into portrait mode, though, which feels like an oversight, considering the monitor’s focus on mobility.

There is, however, a claimed 60 Hz refresh rate, 5 ms gray-to-gray response time, a pair of 5 W MaxxAudio-tuned speakers, and, always fun, a remote.

For I/O, there’s HDMI (version not specified), DisplayPort 1.4, two USB 3.1 downstream ports, plus one upstream, and a 3.5 mm jack.

LG didn’t share a release date for the monitor, but a rep told Ars it expects pricing to be around $999.

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