Handset and electronics manufacturer LG has launched a range of smart home appliances in its domestic market of South Korea in a bid to steal a march in the connected home sector.
The firm has incorporated its HomeChat messaging service into the appliances, which uses natural language processing as well as integration with popular OTT messaging services provider Line. Line claims over 300 million users worldwide.
The technology allows homeowners to communicate, control, monitor and even share content with the smart appliances. At launch, the firm has unveiled a camera-equipped refrigerator, a washing machine that can be controlled remotely and an oven that supports NFC and wifi connectivity to allow remote monitoring and control.
The appliances’ integration with Line makes communicating with them similar to chatting with a friend, according to LG. They also incorporate a Quick Button feature enabling customers to easily access their most commonly used functions.
“Today’s intelligent home appliances offer a variety of useful functions but many consumers still find setting them up an extremely complicated process.” said Seong-jin Jo, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Home Appliance Company. “Not only does LG HomeChat help simplify and enhance our products, they also deliver a unique user experience, adding even more value to our customers’ lives.”
The Connected Home market is gaining momentum in 2014. In January, web giant Google announced its acquisition of Nest Labs, the cloud-enabled thermostat and smoke detector startup founded by iPod creator Tony Fadell, for £2bn. Fadell said the company would continue to operate as a stand-alone entity, and the acquisition will likely accelerate both companies’ bid to dominate the connected home. Last year, AT&T also launched its M2M home security and automation Digital Life offering. Kevin Peterson, senior vice president for the Digital Life division, said at the time that the operator aims to “disrupt and remake the security industry”.