LG wants you to text your home appliances

LG HomeChat. (LG)

LG HomeChat. (LG)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 1:09 PM ET

LG has unveiled a service called HomeChat that will let users issue commands to everything from ovens to washing machines with a text message.

In the future that LG imagines there will be no need to run downstairs to check on the dishwasher or washing machine; simply whip out your smartphone, launch the app and ask.

The washing machine will happily respond that the spin cycle is almost finished, while the oven may seem a little forward by suggesting recipes based on what's in the fridge.

During its huge press event at the International CES, LG's head of appliance brand marketing in the US, David VanderWaal, explained that the system is being developed to make it simpler for consumers to use appliances that, unlike smartphone and tablets, are becoming more and more complex to get to grips with. "You no longer need to learn machine commands," he said. "Just speak naturally and your oven will understand you."

What it means is that users will be able to text in the same language that they use when speaking to people, rather than having to use a stilted, techie vocabulary.

On the surface, this all seems very exciting and even convenient for those with large homes but how useful is it in the real world and for everyday living? LG claims that being able to control appliances via text message will mean that the robot vacuum cleaner can be remotely called into action to do a quick sweep of the house before unexpected guests arrive. An appliance could also conceivably alert an owner that vital ingredients are missing if he or she intends to cook when they get home.

We won't have to wait long to find out if it's just another gimmick or if it's truly revolutionary. The first appliances to support the technology will be on sale this year. And all that consumers need to converse with their new fridges, ovens and washing machines is the LINE messaging app. LG has partnered with the company to develop the communication platform.

At this year's event, Samsung also announced its own plans for the future of the connected home. Samsung Smart Home will enable users to essentially control any electronic device in their homes, from the lights to the air conditioning and security cameras, via a smartphone, tablet or smart TV.


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