LG Brings HomeChat, Line Mobile Messenger to Smart Appliances

The services and products include near field communication technologies that allow users to resolve minor issues without home technician visits.

Consumer electronics giant LG is planning to showcase its next generation of smart innovations and technologies that take advantage of Natural Language Processing (NLP) to allow customers to communicate, control, monitor and share content with LG home appliances through the mobile messenger, Line and LG’s HomeChat service.

The services and products, which will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, include near field communication (NFC) technologies such as NFC Tagging and Smart Diagnosis, which allows customers to resolve minor issues without home technician visits. NFC tagging also allows owners to download new wash cycles for LG washing machines.

"Always at the forefront of innovation, LG is continually striving to inspire smarter consumer lifestyles in meaningful ways," Seong-jin Jo, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Home Appliance Company, said in a statement. "We’re excited to be able to bring to CES our smart appliances with the newest communication and intelligence capabilities."

HomeChat was designed to be used with the popular free mobile messenger, Line, a Japanese based mobile app that allows users to make free calls and send free messages to iPhone, Android, Windows and BlackBerry devices as well as other Macs and PCs.

For example, 2014 LG smart appliance owners would be able to control their compatible appliances using HomeChat on a single device, such as texting vacation plans in HomeChat that result in an automatic response, such as the appliance asking if it should convert to vacation mode. If the user answers in the affirmative, the appliance complies.

HomeChat can also be used to remotely start a load of laundry, monitor the status of the washer and receive push alerts via smartphone or LG Smart TV when a wash cycle is completed.

Due to the messaging capabilities of HomeChat, LG smart appliance owners will be able to receive real time status updates from their refrigerators no matter where they are. Family members can upload photos to the fridge from their smartphones using Line and display on the refrigerator’s display panel.

With the Smart Manager’s Freshness Tracker, users can input various foods and check their expiration dates. Smart Manager also has the capability to recommend dishes to prepare based on the ingredients available in the refrigerator.

With HomeChat and Recipe Search, users can converse with their smart oven to recommend recipes for specific dishes and find out which ingredients are needed for it.

The oven will then auto-select the appropriate settings, which helps users to avoid the need to manually set the cooking mode. In addition, LG’s smart oven app provides alerts when recipe updates become available.