LG Electronics who has struggled in Australia up against Samsung is set to throw down the gauntlet to their Korean competitor in the appliance market, with a new range of smart appliances which will be shown for the first time at the International CES in Las Vegas.
The new devices can be monitored and controlled remotely allowing users to adjust, diagnose, update and regulate their white goods at home or online via a smartphone or tablet PC using a new Internet based technology platform called “Thing”.
TWICE Magazine in the USA reported “With our innovative Thinq Technology, consumers will be more empowered when doing household tasks thanks to more efficient, controllable, and eco-friendly appliance options,” said Young-ha Lee, president/CEO of LG Electronics Home Appliance Company. “This isn’t a gradual evolution — LG Thinq Technology essentially transforms how consumers take care of their home and makes it easier and smarter than ever before.”
The program’s smart grid component deploys a smart meter to ensure that appliances use the minimum amount of energy at the least expensive rates possible.
For laundry products, the feature gives consumers the choice of using “recommend time,” which does the washing at the nearest, most cost-effective time or immediately if there are no off-peak electricity options available anytime soon. Alternatively, users can opt for “lowest rate,” which finds the time when electricity rates are at their lowest. Consumers can also select the washing time themselves, and if they have to do the washing at a peak time, the washing machine will recommend the most energy-efficient cycle.
In cooking, LG ovens will offer three cost options — low, middle and high — that take into account both the duration of the cooking cycle and varying costs of electricity.
Similarly, LG’s smart refrigerators can use a unique algorithm to adjust various functions, such as defrost time control, to offer further savings on energy bills at peak times.
LCD displays on LG’s smart appliances shows daily, weekly or monthly reports detailing the products’ overall levels of energy consumption and associated costs. Daily totals for electricity usage and subsequent charges will be accessible on smartphones and tablet PCs.
The platform’s Smart Access feature also allows consumers to monitor and control appliances outside of the home. Using a smartphone or tablet PC, users can manage their washing cycle or set their refrigerator temperature, while alert messages will be sent to the user’s smartphone or tablet PC to signal the end of a washing cycle or a potential product issue.
Controls will extend to LG’s new Hom-Bot robotic vacuum cleaner, which can be activated remotely to clean or even feed a pet, the company said.
Another Thinq feature, dubbed Smart Adapt, allows consumers to download the latest services and technology upgrades for their appliances via a Wi-Fi connection, including new pre-programmed microwave oven cook times, as well as advanced cycles for washing machines.
A fourth smart element, LG’s food-management solution, allows consumers to identify, locate and determine the expiration date of food items within their refrigerators via an external LCD display, through voice recognition, or remotely by smartphone or tablet PC while grocery shopping.
In addition, LG’s previously introduced smart diagnosis feature, which allows technicians to troubleshoot mechanical issues over the phone, will now alert owners to minor problems via the units’ display panels, will on later models contact them by Wi-Fi connection via the consumer’s smartphone or tablet PC, and allows them to diagnose their washing machines at home via a downloadable mobile application on their smartphone.