October 25, 2014

LG’s Android Wants to Control Your Appliances

LG, in a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, showed examples of web-connected washing machines, refrigerators, ovens and a robot vacuum substantially improved with Android apps on tablets or smartphones.

“This is the first time the industry has actually had the infrastructure to support the technology for smart appliances,” said Patrick Steinkuhl, head of LG’s home appliances division.

Steinkuhl explained that Wi-Fi connections and apps would enable appliances to be much “smarter” than they are now. On an oven equipped with an Android tablet, you could download a recipe that instructs the oven to automatically change temperatures to provide optimal cooking results for a turkey, for example.

“Imagine an oven that is so smart that on the day of the big game it’s able to send you a text message saying ‘Hey, your roast is about done. Better get to the kitchen,” Steinkuhl said.

Another example he raised was a robot vacuum that could use an Android app to learn the precise dimensions of your home to know exactly which points have and haven’t been cleaned yet.

Apps could also improve energy efficiency in refrigerators, Steinkuhl added.

LG said it plans to sell some of these new appliances this year, but the company hasn’t yet disclosed a price. The question is – are they worth the money?