ICT Africa Headline News

LG Technology and Its Smart Products

14 July, 2014

Source: Daily Trust

At the center of many consumers' digital universe is the smartphone. Consu-mers spend more time with their smart phone than any other device. However, the complexity and constant connectivity can lead to burnout and has given rise to what experts call a desire for "casual connectivity" i.e. the ability to intuitively give consumers the information they want and reduce the need for constant monitoring.

However, the advent of wearables more than any other recent technology trend has seen a rush to try and combine every kind of technological benefit within one all-powerful device. The success of the most popular products under this category proves that focusing on doing a small number of functional tasks well can work better that trying to be a jack of all trades doing everything at once.

The concept behind wearables is rooted in simplicity. The fact that you can just "wear it" and not have to worry about dropping or losing the device - not to mention having it stolen - is simplifying it itself. "Wear it and forget it" is the ultimate goal of wearable device designers but today's devices still require quite of bit of maintenance. The ideal wearable technology would be able to operate for months or years without having to be charged or repaired. The movement to make home appliances "smart" however, has not been without its challenges. The goal of making man-machine interactions both seamless and efficient has proved trickier for many leading manufacturers than anticipated. One product that does help bring great expectations into a simpler focus however is LG's HomeChat interface. Allowing users to give commands to their machines via their smartphones, HomeChat also unlocks the ability to hold two-way conversations with appliances by using the popular LINE messaging app to receive recommendations and feedback from devices as per their current status. The premise of home appliances have remained virtually unchanged since entering our everyday lives decades ago: Make the home simpler. Previously this has seen a boom in the size, shape and overall selection of hardware items which are geared at easing convenience and saving time across a host of household tasks. With pick-up-and-go appliances now ubiquitous, the latest innovation battleground has been to give these items a brain. The resulting trend of the 'Internet of Things' is to 'digitally empower' previously inanimate products such as fridges, ovens and dishwashers with the ability to be smart and interact with their owners. The wave of simplicity focused companies is not just confined to technology. Across the board, many industries and leading companies are starting to adopt simplicity as a golden rule for engaging consumers. From organic foods to countryside getaways, people don't discount the improvements that technology has brought, but rather seek to harness the advances in a way that affords a type of effortless simplicity to their lifestyle. Some examples to illustrate are, foods that have been stripped back to basics are coming back in style. They want unpretentious, unadorned or "natural" foods, which are perceived as more real and authentic. No-nonsense foods are attractive in a recession-driven economy with growing demand for comforting, simple and familiar foods.

Moreover, Standing at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, the Smart TV is one of the last devices that even tech-savvy consumers have trouble fully exploiting. While there are many Smart TVs on the market, LG's built in webOS is designed to streamline the process and bring the full power of the Smart TV to the consumer. LG's webOS allows for users to search the internet or their own personal media library to find exactly what they want to watch.

The simplicity of webOS puts viewers firmly in control of their television screen. Enter webOS, LG's newest Smart TV platform. that has been used to offer users an intuitive interface for an experience that is both seamless and refreshingly uncomplicated. In optimizing the webOs system for LG Smart TV, many industry watchers have lauded the emergence of an interface which finally marries the superior picture quality of the latest generation of TV's with an operating system that allows truly smart navigation around and connectivity with a rich ecosystem of online content. The ability of LG's appliances to read and implement commands via text message marks a core simplification of human-machine interaction. HomeChat uses natural language, not buttons or commands that require memorizing, making the learning curve extremely short for users. HomeChat employs Natural Language Processing (NLP) and LINE, the popular mobile messenger app with over 300 million users, to let homeowners communicate, control, monitor and share content with LG's latest smart appliances. Introducing a whole new level of convenience, the company's premium smart appliance lineup includes a camera-equipped refrigerator, a washing machine that allows users to start and download washing cycles remotely via HomeChat and a Lightwave oven that supports NFC and WiFi for convenient control from any location.

LG HomeChat incorporates the popular LINE application to allow users to receive recommendations and control settings when away from home. With an intuitive interface, HomeChat makes communicating with LG's smart refrigerator, washing machine or oven much like chatting with a close friend. For extra convenience, the Quick Button feature enables fast and easy access to each appliance's most commonly used functions. HomeChat also gives users the choice of three different modes: Vacation, Away and Return-home. LG's new service even brings an element of fun to appliances, offering a selection of over 40 unique LINE stickers to add an enjoyable, personal component to conversations.

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