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No WiFi, But LG 'SmartWashers' Hang Rivals ...Out To Dry?

By Oonagh Reidy | Monday | 08/04/2013

They don't have Wifi just yet. But they have the next best thing - 'Smart Diagnosis'.

As the new leader in the fridge market as of last month, LG is now turning its attention to washers, a category which it is the No. 1 player since 2010.

But still, the giant can't afford to sit on its laurels and have come up with new smart formula and "size matters" with washers, says LG Marketing Manager, Lambro Skropidis at today's plush SmartWasher launch at The Ivy in Sydney.

The "onus is on LG to continue to innovate as market leaders" he said, and revealed a slew of new large machines including  10kg front loaders, a deep 10kg top loader and combo washer/ dryer, as well as 8kg front loader.

The hero 10kg front-loader range boasts Smart Diagnosis, 6 washing motions in the one cycle and steam cleaning, while the hero 10kg top loader (WT-R10856) has all of the front loader smarts but with its own built-in heater.

LG 10KG hero SmartWasher

So what the hell is a 'smart' washer, anyway?

"Just as smartphones created discontinuity in the phone category and smart TV's created discontinuity in [that] category, today LG is introducing SmartWashers" declared Skropidis, including the biggest 10 kg front loader washing machine in Australia.

The first washing machine with a drum was made in 1851, which was a big innovation for its time but today, it's all about smart, Internet enabled washing machines, and appliances 'talking' to each other and remote functionality (so you can turn on your machine on the way home from work).

The new LG SmartWashers are "smart in the true sense of the word with features that consumers are asking for."

They are "ideal for larger families" and although they are pricey - starting at $1599 for 10kg from loader save time and cash in the long run and may chop the maintenance bill to zero thanks to smart online diagnosis.

LG 10kg Top loader
The hero front loader (WD14070SD6) costing $1899 has a whopping 14 Wash Programs including - Skin Care, Wool and  Sports (handy for kids), 6 'Motion Wash Technology' combines up to 6 different wash motions in a single cycle - strong force (for tough stain removal), filtration, rolling, stepping and swing (for gentle care items).

But perhaps the most "innovative and unique" smart credential which the LG Marketing Manager highlighted was smart diagnosis "which rounds out the smart offering" and basically puts the appliance guy out of a job as you're SmartWasher "can literally talk to the LG service centre" via a smartphone app.

All you have to do is hold the app up to the washer - "it's that easy."

LG is the the only brand to have this feature, it was claimed today, although Samsungs may soon have a very similar smart tool.

Another cool feature of new LG washers TrueSteam, which basically steams clothes without washing - temperatures inside the drum stay at 50-60 degrees - and takes a fraction time compared to putting items through a full wash.

It also has a Steam Refresh Cycle removes smells, wrinkles from clothes and Allergy Care, which removes common allergies.

TrueSteam also stops you having to iron clothes - handy if you need something clean in a rush and for delicate items. The top/front loaders have 2 years parts and labour warranty and eight years on the direct drive.

'Size matters'

Trends in washers are veering towards bigger and better machines in Australia - 1 in 5 sell for over $1000 and demand for machines under 9kg has slumped in recent years. +9kg machines account for over 90% of washing machines sold, LG said today.

And if you're a top loader lover, the hero 10kg also has all the features of the front loader except the true steam clean motion, but has a built in water Heater (up to 60 degrees) to remove stubborn stains without the need for pretreatners and 11 wash programs with 8 washing options.

This front loader is one of the deepest machines we've ever laid eyes on.

The Combo washer/dryer costing  $2599 is a good options for those that have little space for two separate machines and for apartments dwellers.

LG also got a panel of SmartWasher users, hosted by the hillarious Claire Hooper, to speak at today's event about their smarter washing experiences, and all were happy to wax lyrical bout how the machines made life easier.

Where art thou WiFi?

But is LG falling behind by not having WiFi built in to washers - as Samsung last week revealed it will launch a WiFi enabled machine in OZ this year, which can 'talk' to other appliances in the home?

"We hope so, certainly in the future... we want to tell the connected story," Philip Anderson, LG Head of PR told Smart House at today's event, adding rival Samsung "tried to tell that connected story, but failed to do so in a compelling way."

Over 822K washers sold in 2012 - the market's worth over half a billion dollars.

So if other brands are going there you can be guaranteed LG will be.

My, how deep you are! LG 10kg Smartwasher, front loader

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