LG just exhausted 1,000 words to announce its new range of smart appliances built around Thinq technology. Unfortunately, for all the hyperbole there's not much detail about the appliances themselves. We do know that Thinq features smart grid, access, diagnosis, adapt, and food management capabilities. At the center of Thinq is the concept of an intelligent WiFi grid built around a smart meter enabling home owners to schedule the oven cook time, washing machine cycle, and refrigerator defrost at the most cost-effective or convenient times. Smart Access allows homeowners to control and monitor appliances from outside of the home and, better yet, control LG's HOM-BOT robotic vacuum cleaner to clean or remotely view the house and even feed the dog. LG's smart refrigerators can count and display the number of times the door is opened and alert home owners when the door is ajar. Alerts can also be scheduled when the ice-maker is switched off or the washing machine is off balance or a load is finished. LCD displays on LG's Thinq appliances show daily, weekly, or monthly reports detailing each appliance's energy consumption. Naturally, you can access daily totals from your smartphone or tablet as well. New Smart Diagnosis features include downloadable diagnostic information and the ability to hit a few buttons on the appliance to emit a series of tones to assist LG technicians troubleshooting problems over the phone. The food management feature works by dragging and dropping food icons around the LCD display or by using built-in voice recognition. Unfortunately, the inventory must be managed manually making this feature pretty useless for all but the most obsessive of home owners. All the appliances are software upgradeable with the ability to download new features like pre-programmed recipes and advanced wash cycles. It all sounds very intriguing but we'll have to see it demonstrated live before we're convinced of its usefulness. Until then we've got a few pics of the user interface and one of washer and dryer pair in the gallery below.
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LG UNVEILS TOTAL HOME APPLIANCE SOLUTION EMPOWERING CONSUMERS TO SMARTLY MANAGE THEIR HOMES
SEOUL, Jan. 3, 2011 – For the first time anywhere, LG Electronics (LG) will today unveil its full range of smart appliances, enabled by LG THINQ™ Technology, at the 2011 International CES®. Comprising five key features – Smart Grid, Smart Diagnosis™, Smart Access, Smart Adapt and Food Management – LG THINQ™ Technology offers a complete smart solution that lets consumers manage their homes in a more centralized and convenient way.
"For LG, 'smart' means offering the ultimate benefits of empowerment and convenience to our consumers. With our innovative THINQ™ Technology, consumers will be more empowered when doing household tasks thanks to more efficient, controllable, and ecofriendly appliance options," said Young-ha Lee, President and CEO of LG Electronics Home Appliance Company. "This isn't a gradual evolution – LG THINQ™ Technology essentially transforms how consumers take care of their home, and makes it easier and smarter than ever before."
Less Energy, Lower Electricity Bills, Eco-Friendlier Life
A centerpiece of LG THINQ™ Technology, the Smart Grid, deploys a smart meter to ensure that appliances use the minimum amount of energy at the least expensive rates as possible. When switched on, the Smart Grid gives consumers the choice of using "Recommend Time," which does the washing at the nearest, most cost-effective time or immediately if there are no off-peak electricity options available anytime soon. Alternatively, users can opt for "Lowest Rate," which finds the time when electricity rates are at their lowest. Consumers can also select the washing time themselves, and if they have to do the washing at a peak time, the washing machine will recommend the most energy-efficient cycle.
Using the Smart Grid, LG's ovens offer three cost options – low, middle and high – that take into account both the duration of the cooking cycle and varying costs of electricity. Similarly, LG's refrigerators can use a unique algorithm to adjust various functions, such as defrost time control – to offer further savings on energy bills at peak times. What's more, LG refrigerators even count and display the frequency at which homeowners open the refrigerator door, giving them the information they need to save even more energy.
The LCD display on LG's smart appliances shows daily, weekly or monthly reports detailing the appliance's overall levels of energy consumption and associated costs. Daily totals for electricity usage and subsequent charges will be accessible on smartphones and tablet PCs. With these new functions, consumers can save on time and energy bills while also opting for a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
LG Smart Diagnosis™ Makes Things Simple and Provides Optimum Performance
LG's high-tech appliances are highly reliable, yet service issues arise from time to time. Previously, the only course of action was to contact customer service and await the arrival of a service technician to access and repair the unit. Now, LG's Smart Diagnosis™ feature helps customer service representatives quickly and efficiently troubleshoot mechanical issues over the phone, limiting costly, inconvenient service calls and in-home visits.
For minor problems – refrigerator door left open, ice-maker switched off, washing machine off-balance – the appliance alerts the owner either on its display panel or for future models, via a Wi-Fi connection, on the consumer's smartphone or tablet PC.
When consumers call the LG customer service center, a technician will instruct them to press a sequence of buttons on the laundry unit. This triggers a series of tones that let the technician identify the issue and how to correct the problem. Consumers can also diagnose their washing machines at home via a downloadable mobile application on their smartphone.
LG Smart Diagnosis™ eliminates a step in the troubleshooting process, because issues can at times be identified without the need for a service technician to visit the home for diagnosis, saving time and money. In those instances where a service visit is required, the field technician can come prepared with the correct parts, enabling the repair to be resolved in one visit. The combination of this new feature and LG's product warranties – including the unprecedented 10-year warranty on the Direct Drive motor – illustrates that the company's customer service is as reliable as it home appliances.
LG Smart Access Monitors, Controls and Secures Your Home Appliances
LG Smart Access makes it possible for homeowners to monitor and control home appliances remotely from outside of the home. Using a smartphone or tablet PC, users can manage their washing cycle from the office, or set their refrigerator temperature while they're at the gym. Alert messages will be sent to the user's smartphone or tablet PC for items such as the end of a washing cycle or a potential product issue.
More impressively, consumers will soon be able to order their HOM-BOT robotic vacuum cleaner to tidy up their home while they're out, or use the vacuum's viewing function to keep watch when they are away from home. Via a smartphone or tablet PC, consumers even have the option to have HOM-BOT feed their pet while they're away. LG plans to offer even more convenient options through Smart Access in the near future.
Smart Adapt for Upgrading and Adapting to Personal Preference
LG Smart Adapt allows consumers to download the latest services and technology upgrades for their appliances via a Wi-Fi connection. With this innovation, consumers will be able to access up-to-date pre-programmed recipes as well as advanced cycles for their washing machines. A mother with a newborn child might opt for special delicate washing cycles for the baby's clothes, while individuals involved in particularly strenuous work might need to add a more heavy-duty wash cycle to their laundry unit. With Smart Adapt, consumers will be able to experience the very latest LG technologies without having to upgrade to new products.
LG Food Management Monitors Your Refrigerator and Puts You in Control
LG's Food Management Solution helps consumers manage the contents of their refrigerator more effectively. By dragging and dropping food icons on the refrigerator's LCD display or by using the voice recognition function, users can easily identify what is in the refrigerator, as well as where certain items are located and when they expire. This information is also accessible via smartphones or tablet PCs, allowing consumers to reference this while grocery shopping.
With all these innovative functions and smart options, LG THINQ™ Technology is helping consumers live more empowered lives and enjoy a new level of convenience and interactivity.