CES Press Day kicked off with a presentation from LG, the maker of a full line of smart products from mobile devices to refrigerators. President & CTO, Dr. Skott Ahn delivered the initial address which discussed their line of smart appliances. Thus far, smart appliances have been more of a showcase of innovation as their price point and level of complexity has prevented them from reaching the mainstream. LG is trying to change that, simplifying their smart line of appliances. Dubbed, Homechat, LG has created a unified system to manage LG appliances by messaging via their Homechat app and also Japanese messaging app, LINE. LG also mentioned that they will be bringing “Homechat” to other mobile destinations as well, so you don’t need to be a Japanese teen to use it.
Interestingly enough, Homechat will create a unified ecosystem to integrate LG products into your daily lives. For instance, Ahn mentioned texting your washing machine, “what’s going on” to get its status like “rinse cycle” or messaging your fridge to hear what’s inside. The development makes tech incredibly human by embedding their technology into the services you already use and in the same manner we already communicate. The more programmable these appliances become, the more interesting this gets as well.
For brands, think of the smart home as a new media channel, where you can connect with consumers throughout their lives, opening up new touch points to provide utility. Imagine Miller Coors sending you a notification that you’re running low on beer and suggesting a location to pickup a 6 pack or Betty Crocker letting you send a recipe to your oven. If you’re brand that has relevancy in home living then developments like LG’s Homechat are big news.