View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
April 29, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:21am

Everything you need to know about LG’s HomeChat system

How does it work and when is it available?

By Amy-Jo Crowley

As sales for LG’s home entertainment arm hit 4.95 trillion won, a 2.6% rise from last year’s quarter, CBR tells you five things you need to know about its latest HomeChat system released earlier this year.

1. How does it work?

The HomeChat system relies on Natural Language Processing (NLP) that allows owners of LG appliances to chat with their washing machines, fridges or vacuum cleaners using natural-language commands. .

For example, users can text their washing machine to ask "What are you doing?" and get updates from their fridge to remind them to buy food for the evening.

You could also tell the system "I’m going on holiday next week" and it will know to turn on security cameras or switch on some lights at night to make your house more secure.

Users can also receive real-time status updates from appliances wherever they are and use their mobile phone to view what is going on within their homes.

So far, the system is works through Line, a free mobile messenger app, but the firm says it’s planning to launch the service on WhatsApp, China’s WeChat and Korean messaging service Kakao Talk as well.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

It also works on Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Nokia and Windows Phone devices as well as OS X and Windows computers and is expected to be released in America later this year.

2. What devices are already connected?

The system works with LG range of smart refrigerators, ovens, TV, washing machines, dryers and the Hom-Bot Square robotic vacuum cleaner, which can operate independently, travelling around rooms collecting dirt and using sensors to avoid furniture.

LG also released an OLED smart lamp at the Light+Building 2014 trade show in Germany, which can be connected directly to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth and controlled by an LG app for iOS and Android.

3. Is it secure?

The system was introduced not too long before hundreds of thousands of spam emails were sent out by an internet-connected fridge, TVs and home entertainment centres, highlighting risks of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Roberta Bigliani, associate VP and head of IDC’s energy’s insights, told CBR: "We have recently seen cyber attacks via home-related devices. And we all know that consumers are not very good at setting things in an accurate way to prevent this.

"But this is nothing different to home banking, mobile phones etc, so it is an important issue which will not stop the roll-out in consumers’ world."

She added: "Major actions will need to be undertaken by companies. I mean they need to prevent hackers from penetrating their systems via consumer devices.

4. Competition

LG joins as the market for home automation with smart devices grows increasingly competitive. Smart home services sales are set to hit $71bn by 2018, up from $33bn in 2013, according to research from Juniper Research.

Samsung unveiled another smart home system at CES, which uses a single app that home owners can access to control Samsung-branded appliances using their smartphone, tablets and other devices.

Automation startup firm Revolv also launched an app at the end of last year that connects and consolidates home automation devices within your home, and Piper launched its own smart home and security device in January.

Bigliani said: "The connected home space is quite crowded with many tech providers positioning on it. I think one to look at is Google. And also utilities, for instance RWE in Germany, DT and Telco, are looking for their space."

5. What else should you know?

According to Jacob Kastrenakes from The Verge, HomeChat doesn’t understand typos or less-than-perfect wording.

"It also had some trouble connecting to appliances when we saw it at LG’s CES booth, but the service is still just a prototype and those kinks could be worked out," he wrote in January 2014.

Another issue facing the smart system is interoperability between brands, according to Bigliani.

She said: "I personally believe that the most important thing in the entire story is to have a standard platform for IoT connectivity (or few). This is the only condition to create mass market products."


Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.