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LG's HomeChat will let you text your appliances as if they were people

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January 13, 2014

LG HomeChat will allow users to issue commands and receive status updates from their smart...

LG HomeChat will allow users to issue commands and receive status updates from their smart appliances by texting them and using simple, conversational language

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LG had plenty of eye-catching gadgets at this year's CES, from a massive 105-inch curved 4K display to the bendable G Flex mobile phone, but probably one of the most intriguing new innovations it revealed was the upcoming HomeChat service. LG HomeChat will allow users to issue commands and receive status updates from their smart appliances by texting them and using simple, conversational language. According to the company, you will literally be able to ask your washer "What're you doing?" or your fridge “Do we have beer?” and they will respond just as a person would.

Naturally, the service will only work with LG products, but the company seems intent on rolling it out to most of its major home appliances – refrigerators, robotic vacuum cleaners, ovens, washers, dryers, etc. – in the next year. LG stated it has spent a lot of time researching and implementing as many different phrases as possible into its software to ensure users can communicate with devices using natural language instead of learning pre-programmed commands. The company also presented a wealth of examples for how talking with your home appliances could come in handy.

When used in conjunction with the Smart Manager software for refrigerators, HomeChat users will be able to message their fridge from a grocery store to find out what they already have in stock, what they might need, and even if anything is about to expire. By texting a Hom-Bot Square robotic vacuum cleaner, homeowners can find out the last time it cleaned, program a new vacuuming regimen, and designate specific areas of the house for it to reach. You'll even be able to tell the washing machine to start or the oven to begin pre-heating before you get home from work. Again, this will all be possible using the same language you'd use when talking to a person.

HomeChat also allows for broader programs that initiate a series of commands across all smart devices in your home. For example, if you tell your appliances “I'm going on vacation,” the refrigerator might automatically go into power-saving mode and the robo-vac might clean the house at a pre-set time right before you return. The oven may even respond just to say it will miss you.

For now, the service requires the popular LINE messenger app to function, which is available on Android, iOS, Windows, and other smartphone platforms. LG has stated, however, that it is working on integrating HomeChat with other messenger services, as well as other languages besides the current English and Korean settings.

Source: LG

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.   All articles by Jonathan Fincher
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9 Comments

"Are you awake?... I've been watching you" - Lamp

JSmith
13th January, 2014 @ 06:54 pm PST

All I really want is a dishwasher that shows what the remaining time is on the current cycle. It used to be that you had a giant rotary knob and could easily tell how long was left, but we seem to have regressed into a sea of meaningless LEDs....

Chris Maresca
13th January, 2014 @ 08:59 pm PST

This is so wrong.

The "elite" (self determined you know) realy want people they can talk to like appliances, now those will sell!

Dave B13
14th January, 2014 @ 05:43 am PST

@Chris,

I have three big appliances in my kitchen, a dish washer, a laundry dryer and a washing machine. All of them show me the minutes they will need for fulfilling the job they are doing right now. And all of them have a time start feature, so I can adjust them to start working in three hours from now. This is important for me because the fuse of the power line in my kitchen is quite weak, so I can't let them work all three at the same time without blowing the fuse. The appliances are usual, mid- to low price devices, bought in Germany in the last two to seven years, nothing very fancy, just AEG and Bauknecht. I would love to be able to control the devices from outsides with a smartphone app. However, I fear two things. First, I do not like to have them running while I am not at home, but my cat is. And second: What, if suddenly the smartphone is unable to tell me the appliance status due to some undefined reason? Would'n this worry me to hell?

Frank Kemper
14th January, 2014 @ 06:15 am PST

Frank, why not have an electrician upgrade that fuse?

Jon A.
14th January, 2014 @ 09:01 am PST

Seems to me to be a gimmick looking for a place to happen.

99 per cent of people (buyers) will never use it, will hardly have glanced at the manual to know about it, and will not care if asked do they use it.

The other one per cent will, like smart phone obsessives everywhere, use it enthusiastically so they can tell their dinner or restaurant friends all about what their machines are doing "as we speak".

I can't see the idea being worth the extra cost and complexity involved.

The Skud
14th January, 2014 @ 04:38 pm PST

Really ? I.m talking to the voices in my head and now I have to talk to a damn appliance ? No thanks ! I'll stick with the wierd voices !

Starper
14th January, 2014 @ 07:35 pm PST

Yes, I look forward to getting my toast burned or my ice scream melting just because I did not add the toaster and fridge to my appliance friends list. : /

Nairda
14th January, 2014 @ 11:31 pm PST

Ohh really is it true ?? I heard about smart appliances which sends and receives instructions but didn't hear for homechat appliance. They looks amazing and might be working perfectly also. Superb technology invented !

Dessy anaiwan
27th February, 2014 @ 04:19 am PST
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