LG's Smart Home Gets A Lot Smarter In 2013, The Company Reveals Its Vision At CES

LG held its press conference this morning at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, and while there wasn't much unveiled that we haven't seen before from the Korean company, there were smart home appliance updates that promise to make the connected home a much more easy-to-use experience for the average consumer. LG was clearly pushing smart home tech, and made a point of illustrating what it means by the concept of "smart," vs. what the term is generally used to imply. The LG smart appliances shown off at the company's press event included connected washers and dryers, refrigerators, an oven and the company's new HOM-BOT successor, a Roomba-type vacuum with more advanced features than the version originally debuted in 2011. All of the devices are also now able to accept natural language input, a big step up in making them more user-accessible. The new line all include features that make it easy to connect your appliances to your smartphone without having to worry about complicated pairing processes. NFC means you can simply wave your smartphones over your devices to connect them to get them tied to one another. The idea, according to LG North America President and CEO Wayne Park is to make it so that consumers can engage with their smart home in a way that's natural and automatic, rather than convoluted and anti-intuitive. The new washer and dryer in the LG smart appliance line offers self-diagnosis capabilities, so it can tell a user via their smartphone when and why it's experiencing a problem. It can also allow the machine to get better over time via washing cycle downloads – so if LG engineers a better way to wash your undies, theoretically they'll be able to push it out to your smartphone and your washer whenever you choose to connect. All of this can also take place remotely via any data connection using LG's smart home apps. The smart oven also offers self-diagnosis capabilities, as well as downloadable recipes and new cooking modes. The 2013 smart refrigerator can grab recipes, too, as well as provide health information, do self-diagnosis, and work with smart grid tech in order to be able to maximize energy efficiency. It also gives you a look at what is or isn't in your fridge for shopping trips. Finally the new HOM-BOT robot vacuum can be remote-controlled via smartphone, and features an onboard camera to allow you to check its cleaning progress remotely from your devices. All of the above appliances are also tied into LG's Smart TV platform for home control and monitoring, too. Smart home used to be more of a tech demo, but LG is turning it into a shipping reality. They've laid the groundwork in the past, but these new systems (all of which appear to be Android-based, though a rep couldn't confirm) take things a step further towards wide adoption thanks to easier setup and more intuitive implementation.
Darrell Etherington

Darrell Etherington is a Writer at Gigabuzz, focused on covering early-stage startups, especially those with a technology focus and great perks.

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