LG Launches Smart Appliances with HomeChat

At launch, the line will include a camera-equipped refrigerator, a remote controlled washing machine, and a Wi-Fi/NFC oven.

Recently, we’ve talked a lot about smart TVs. Now it looks like the next thing to smarten up in your home will be the appliances. Oh sure, we’ve seen a few announcements and gadgets in the past. However, LG Electronics has just officially announced plans to launch a few smart appliances with HomeChat.

LG first showed off the technology back in January at CES 2014. The idea is that users can tap into the HomeChat feature to monitor and even talk to different appliances.

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It does this using HomeChat, which combines Natural Language Processing (NLP) and the Line messenger service. So yes, you’ll use your smartphone to text the refrigerator, the oven or the washing machine. It works whether you’re on the other side of the house or the other side of the world.

Text the fridge? Why would someone want to do that? HomeChat users will be able to get a status of what’s in the fridge, as well as what’s about to go bad. It will even provide recipes based on what’s available. You can also text photos, which will be displayed on the refrigerator’s LCD display.

At launch, LG will have a camera-equipped refrigerator, a washing machine that allows users to start and download washing cycles remotely via HomeChat, and a Lightwave oven that has both NFC and Wi-Fi.

Other features on all three appliances include a Quick Button for instant access to the most commonly used functions, as well as Vacation, Away and Return-home modes.

“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.”

Once the HomeChat-enabled appliances launch in Korea, LG does plan to put them out in the U.S. — but there’s no word on when that will actually happen. The company also has plans to put HomeChat into the HOM-BOT SQUARE vacuum at some point as well.

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