Have you ever felt that your appliance were too cold, too distant? Have you longed for a closer relationship with them? If so, LG can put you on texting terms with your stainless-steely friends, with new innovations that will be on display at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.
LG’s HomeChat will feature prominently in the lineup, a platform that works with the popular free mobile messenger, LINE (310 million users worldwide), to let you control appliances from your mobile device.
For example, you can text “I’m going on vacation” in HomeChat, and you’ll get a text in response, “Should I convert to vacation mode?” If you reply in the affirmative, the refrigerator will go into power-saving mode, the robotic vacuum cleaner will sweep the floor at 9:00 every day, and the washing machine will run a wash cycle on the day before your return. If you wanted to know what was happening with your fridge while you were away, HomeChat will give you status updates wherever you are. You can also upload photos from your smartphone to be displayed on the refrigerator’s display panel.
While features like Smart Manager and Freshness Tracker aren’t new to LG smart appliances, the ability to see them on your smartphone is. Smart Manager now tells you what’s inside without opening the fridge or lets you get recipes based on the fridge’s contents from either your phone or the display panel.
Likewise, LG’s HOM-BOT has been out for awhile, but the HOM-BOT SQUARE let’s you chat the little guy up. If you can’t remember the last time the HOM-BOT cleaned and are wanting to figure it out, for example, just text it: “When did you last clean?” using HomeChat, and the HOM-BOT will text you back.
HomeChat can be used to remotely start a load of laundry on an LG smart washing machine, giving you alerts via your smartphone or your LG Smart TV when the wash is complete. Pretty convenient if you tend to forget about your laundry. The Smart Oven is also HomeChat equipped, so features like Recipe Search and setting the oven to the appropriate temperature can be done from your mobile device, not just the oven itself.
While all the features of LG smart appliances are nothing new, the ability to manage them from the convenience of your phone, increasingly the quarterback of your digital life, is the new twist. We’ll report back during CES to give you the skinny on how it all performs.