LG Electronics has introduced a suite of smart appliances that can chat to users over an instant messaging app.
The firm’s HomeChat messaging service, due to be first introduced in its native South Korea, employs natural language processing (NLP) and mobile messaging app LINE to let homeowners communicate with, control and monitor their appliances remotely.
The new product line-up includes a camera-equipped refrigerator that can send photos of what is inside, a washing machine that allows users to start and download washing cycles remotely via HomeChat and a Lightwave oven that supports near field communication (NFC) and WiFi.
“Today’s intelligent home appliances offer a variety of useful functions but many consumers still find setting them up an extremely complicated process.” said Seong-jin Jo, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Home Appliance Company.
“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 fridge also features Smart Manager, which allows users to check the content of their refrigerator without opening the door either via an built-in LCD panel or a smartphone app, as well as track the freshness of food if users enter details of the items contained within.
The appliance can even recommend meal options based on the ingredients stored within and
LG’s Health Manager can make recipe recommendations as well as daily and weekly meal plans based on the user’s body mass index, determined by their age, sex, weight and height information.
The smart washing machine allows homeowners to start a washing cycle by simoply texting the device over HomeChat and they can receive real time updates on the washer’s progress by texting ‘what are you doing?’ to the machine.
And the oven can asked for recipe suggestions when the user indicates they have returned home and then be instructed to preheat the equipment to the appropriate temperature for the chosen selection. Users will also receive alerts on their smartphones when new recipes are available.
LG plans to introduce the HomeChat-compatible refrigerator, washing machine and oven in other markets including the USA in the future.