LG’s ‘HomeChat’ controls appliances using online chat

December 26, 2013
LG Electronics’ newly-developed “HomeChat Service,” which will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 on Jan. 7 in Las Vegas, incorporates Naver Line’s online chat feature into users’ remote controlling of electronic home appliances. (Courtesy of LG Electronics)

LG Electronics’ newly-developed “HomeChat Service,” which will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 on Jan. 7 in Las Vegas, incorporates Naver Line’s online chat feature into users’ remote controlling of electronic home appliances. (Courtesy of LG Electronics)

By Ko Dong-hwan

LG Electronics has introduced a new line of user-friendly home appliances registering commands from users’ “online chat messages.”

The breakthrough, entitled “HomeChat Service,” works in joint-partnership with Korea’s globally-expanding online chat service Naver Line. With HomeChat, users can punch in commands on the chat program from either computers or smartphones.

The devices then read the orders, chat back confirmation instantly on the same program, then perform the tasks on designated time schedules.

For example, users can order an appliance to clean on reserved time by typing, “Please clean an hour from now.” Then the device will chat back, “Cleaning will be done an hour from now. I will alert you at the reserved time.”

In another case, when a user asks an oven, “Can you recommend a dessert recipe?” it will provide a dessert list.

“Of course there’ll be a period of trials and errors at first, because people’s commands vary in such a diverse fashion,” said Na Joo-young of LG Electronics’ Corporate Communications Division. “That’s why we can’t tell exactly when the service will become available on the market. But it will definitely be launched sometime next year.”

LG appliances currently equipped with HomeChat service include refrigerators, washers, ovens and automatic floor cleaners.

HomeChat’s global debut will be at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas, which runs Jan. 7-11.

LG also plans to launch a related service next year entitled “Internet of Things (IoT),” an online network platform that links users’ various electronic devices and allows them to synch and automatically share personal data with one another.

“IoT will encompass not just electronic appliances but others in broader uses, such as health care, telemetering, smarthomes and smartcars,” said Na.

“There are foreign products made based on a network system similar to IoT, like American venture enterprise Corventis’ heartbeat monitoring device, Google’s Googlass and Nike’s FuelBand.”

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