LG has announced that three premium appliances featuring its HomeChat service are being readied for launch in South Korea. With HomeChat, the contents of the new smart fridge can be viewed remotely, washing machine cycles be started from afar and an oven set to pre-heat.
Similar to Samsung's recently launched Smart Home service, HomeChat lets users control and monitor appliances remotely. HomeChat works with LG's most recent smart appliances and sends messages via the Line messenger service.
Users can send simple messages, such as "start washing cycle," in order to control their washing machine. The aim, explains Seong-jin Jo, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Home Appliance Company, is to simplify the process for setting up and using smart appliances.
"Today’s intelligent home appliances offer a variety of useful functions, but many consumers still find setting them up an extremely complicated process," he says. "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 new premium appliances with which HomeChat can be used are the LG Smart Refrigerator, Smart Washing Machine and SmartLightwaveOven. The Smart Refrigerator has an internal wide-angle camera that takes a photo each time the door is opened. Users can pull up an image from when the refrigerator was last opened using HomeChat on a mobile device to see what food they have at home. The Smart Refrigerator also allows users to keep track of expiration dates and can recommend recipes based on a user's health requirements.
The Smart Washing Machine allows users to send text messages via HomeChat to control it or to monitor its progress. Users can text "what are you doing?" to find out where the washing machine is up to on its cycle. Appropriate wash programs can also be selected.
Finally, with the SmartLightwaveOven, users can say what meal they want to cook and the oven will pre-heat to the appropriate temperature. Recipes can also be suggested based on user preferences.
Following a successful launch in South Korea, the new premium smart appliances featuring HomeChat are expected to roll out elsewhere, including with the US.