LG HomeChat – you text, the appliances listen


In the recent past, talking refrigerators, ovens and other appliances were a thing of horror movies and anecdotes. Not any more! At the ongoing CES 2014, LG announced a new generation of smart home appliances that are able to communicate with their owners via the company's new HomeChat service, or the popular mobile messenger LINE. That's right - owners of LG's 2014 appliances will be able to receive status updates and notifications from their digital brains, as well as issue commands to them with the simplicity of texting.

In one of the scenarios, messaging "I'm going on vacation" on HomeChat will result in a prompt to activate "Vacation mode". Say yes, and the fridge will automatically enter low-power mode, the robotic vacuum will sweep the floor at a set time, the washing machine will wash and dry your clothes, and everything will be in blissful harmony when you return. Unless the machines have become sentient and decided to take over your house in the meantime. But this only happens in the movies, right?

By the way, LG's service doesn't only handle automation. It's a full-blown messenger between the user and the appliances as well. For example, the refrigerator can display a list of its contents on your smartphone when you're out shopping. This way, you won't end up buying food items which you already have, but forgot about - an all too familiar experience. In another example, a "Freshness Tracker" monitors the food inside the fridge's expiration dates (entered manually by the user) and alerts you if something is starting to spoil. These features are part of LG's Smart Manager app, which also makes recommendations for dishes to prepare, based on the ingredients you have inside the fridge.

The smart-abilities are not exclusive to refrigerators, of course. LG's 2014 vacuums, washing machines, and ovens have all gotten smarter. The HOM-BOT "robotic" vacuum cleaner can be programmed to sweep on set times, and interacted with by asking questions such as "When did you last clean?”. The HOM-BOT's movement can be controlled via the messenger as well, which probably turns the unsuspecting vacuum into an awesome RC-toy.

HomeChat commands can also make your new washing machine download up-to-date wash cycles, start washing, and push alerts to a connected smartphone or LG Smart TV when a cycle is over. Cooking has also gotten easier - with HomeChat and Recipe Search, LG's smart ovens can recommend recipes for dishes, find out which ingredients you need, automatically select cooking settings, and alert you about the meal's progress or the availability of new recipes.

All in all, it seems that both LG and Samsung are set on turning your smartphone or smart-TV into the most versatile remote control in existence. And the comfort which the integration of smart appliances and mobile technology will provide makes our plain old appliances look not merely outdated, but ancient in comparison.

source: LG

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17 Comments

1. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

great innovations but poor support....

6. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Cool, you already bought all this stuff? You must love LG to try it so early.

2. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Amazing!

3. Kishin

Posts: 706; Member since: May 30, 2013

Great, its so future like!!!

4. JewBakaUCFG

Posts: 176; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Wait wait ... How does it know what you have in the fridge and when it spoils? Do you have to manually list items and dates? Is the NSA watching what we put in our cold storage via cameras tied into the light inside the fridge? Does that light infact turn off when the door is closed? How many licks does it take to ... err ... But seriously, I am curious to know how a smart fridge keeps track of its contents in order to let us know what to buy and when to throw out spoiled items. And I am curious how it will make recommendations on this to buy or prepare. I feel that may become annoying so I would hope that feature has a toggle.

5. JewBakaUCFG

Posts: 176; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Comment was originally going to involve an amusing hypothetical about sexting with a toaster.

10. luis.d

Posts: 354; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

Hi, JewBakaUCFG. It seems the user has to enter the expiration dates manually when storing the food. We updated the article to make it a little clearer. Thanks and take care!

11. JewBakaUCFG

Posts: 176; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Thanks very much.

7. dwillopp

Posts: 18; Member since: Jul 08, 2010

I would imagine the UPC codes would be read.

8. hafini_27

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

Fridge get me a beer... Oh, who am I kidding

16. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

one day hafini_27, one day... o wait! we already have that !! its called a woman!! +1 for meeeee!!!

9. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

So when a guy is banging some dudes wife in their kitchen, the fridge rats you out?

17. reckless562

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 09, 2013

LOOOOOLLLSSS na, kuz its Fridges B4 Bitches!!!! :D

12. blinx

Posts: 23; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

lol @ comment 9

13. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

I don't see the point of automation. Yes, it may ease my life a little, but being the paranoid person I am, I'd much rather be able to see my appliances being operated by me than let an app do it

14. TheMan

Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

"Make me a sandwich" "Make it yourself" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqj4aRfOjXI

15. TisaTsir

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

poor marketing.

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