It seems that the smart and communicative smart appliances of the future is just around the corner, if LG's lineup makes it to the market soon. At the Consumer Electronics Show next month, the Korean manufacturer will be putting on display its next generation appliances that will integrate its HomeChat service and the popular mobile messenger LINE.
The way it all works sounds almost too good to be true and is the stuff of science fiction. Owners will basically be able to remotely control various appliances via LINE on their mobile device or even on their desktop. But it won't be a crude issuing of commands like "on" or "off" or "clean". One will be able to use regular English phrases to communicate with the machines. And the machines can even talk back!
For example, one can simply ask the vacuum cleaner where it last cleaned to get the appliance's cleaning history. Or type in a message telling the refrigerator that you'll be going on vacation so that it turn on its power-saving mode. The oven can be asked for recipe recommendations and it will message back the necessary ingredients. Some features go beyond command and response or the usual related features. The refrigerator, for example, can display photos uploaded by users via LINE on its LCD panel. Appliances will be equipped with NFC tags for easy pairing or transfer of data, like additional wash cycles or diagnostics.
The concept of these smart appliances sound both interesting and almost a bit surreal. For the moment, it seems that most of the communication has to be initiated by the owner. All that's left is the AI (Artificial Intelligence) that will let these equipment strike up conversations on their own with their owners, or even with each other.