LG’s Home Chat lets its Smart Appliances talk to you


Home Chat is one of the latest features LG has designed into its range of Smart Appliances, and it allows select LG fridges, TV sets, air conditioners and even microwaves to send you messages telling you all kinds of useful information via the Home Chat app.

So essentially, they talk to you via an app, just like your friends do now over WhatsApp and other chat applications. But more than that, they grant you remote control from your smartphone that you just don’t have with regular appliances that have no built-in intelligence. You could even remotely turn your TV off after being notified that it’s on when you’re not around, putting an end to kids watching when they shouldn’t.

LG representatives demoed Home Chat in Seoul, Korea for a group of South African journalists this week. One of their most recent fridges has built-in cameras and sensors that are able to capture an image of its contents, and send that image to the Home Chat app so you can see, at a glance, what’s in the fridge and therefore what you must buy – very handy for double-checking what you already have at home when you’re at the supermarket.

They also showed off Home Chat’s ability to turn on and set the temperature of an air conditioner unit, a useful feature that people can use to make sure their homes or offices are cooled or warmed to the right temperature even before they get there.

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LG’s Smart appliances aren’t yet available in South Africa, but LG commented that they are certainly considering bringing them into the country, and that they will do so in line with the demands of the South African market.

Naturally, for Smart Appliances to talk to us requires that they are connected to the internet. As such, they will have WiFi access built in, and NFC chips embedded to make pairing with smartphones just that much easier for end users.

Security is also a concern to LG, and the company has measures in place to secure their Smart Appliances including Smart Appliance servers protected by strong firewalls, and a policy that ensures no customer data is ever stored on the appliances themselves.

So we’re one step closer to a truly connected, Internet of Things future, where nearly everything we use has some sort of built-in intelligence.

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