Emerging Technology

LG unveils NFC and smartphone-based smart home solution at IFA

Andrew Sadauskas /

LG has announced its own smart home solution at the IFA 2013 consumer electronics show in Berlin, alongside a similar system from Samsung.

Under LG’s system, users ‘tag-on’ their WiFi-enabled smart appliances using NFC, by touching their smartphones against a tag-on symbol.

Users will then be able to remotely control their smart appliance using a smartphone app called SmartAccess.

Other apps and services perform self-diagnosis and inform the user of any issues, have their appliances automatically respond to data (for example, a fridge responding to weather forecasts) fed to it over the internet, or download additional features and settings (for example washing settlings).

“LG’s upgraded smart technology gives users the ability to control their appliances, no matter where they are. Owners can begin their evening’s wash while driving home from work so wet laundry doesn’t sit in the washing machine all day.”

“They can also tell their robotic cleaner to vacuum the floor to receive unplanned guests or bring up a list of food items in the refrigerator that are nearing their expiration dates.”

LG’s demonstration sits alongside a similar product demo of an app from Samsung that will monitor and control its entire range of home appliances, including air-conditioners, refrigerators and other appliances.

Samsung’s smart home solution is controlled through an app installed on its smart TVs, which will be accessible by pressing a special button on the remote control.

LG’s unveiling also comes as the company begins rolling out its premium range of “G-mark” devices, including the G2 smartphone and G-Pad tablet.

The company has also established an internal committee made up of executives from each of the company’s business units, known as the Enterprise-level G Project Deliberation Committee, which will determine which products will use the new branding.

The new product line comes after the company announced an ambitious goal to become the world’s largest home appliance manufacturer by 2015.

However, as SmartCompany reported last week, the company’s home appliance division head, Cho Sung-jin admits it is unclear whether the prospect of a smart home will entice consumers.

“Smart is the key word for our products to be displayed at the IFA. Eventually, appliances will be connected to smartphones and the Internet,” Cho says.

“But there are a lot of uncertainties. It’s too early to say that web-enabled appliances will succeed.”

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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