LG readies Whisen air conditioner with its own NFC-aware mobile app, direct voice recognition

We'll be frank: it takes some pretty special features for an air conditioner to pique our interest. Consider us intrigued, then, when LG unveils a truly tech-savvy cooling system. A 2013 Champion-style Whisen unit is reportedly the first to directly take voice commands from as far as 16 feet away, letting us cool things down without having to leave our chairs. The AC system is uncommonly aware of the mobile world, as well. Tap an NFC-capable smartphone like the Optimus G on a programmed NFC tag and LG's Whisen App 3.0 will automatically adjust the temperature, on top of more conventional remote control. Still not sophisticated enough? The new Champion has its own built-in camera with mobile viewing -- it can double as a not-so-subtle security system while we're away at work. Full details of its launch aren't yet available, although LG is taking reservations for South Koreans between January 14th and March 31st, well ahead of the hot summer.