BUSINESS

One gadget to rule them all: LGE touts smart appliance gateway

By 김영원
  • Published : Dec 30, 2015 - 18:13
  • Updated : Dec 30, 2015 - 22:47
After releasing an eye-catching gadget that transforms home appliances into connected products earlier this year, LG Electronics on Wednesday unveiled a new device that serves as a gateway to those smart products.

Dubbed the SmartThinQ Hub, the device shows the statuses of connected devices either on its display placed on the top of the cylindrical body or via users’ smartphones. 

A models poses with SmartThinQ Hub, a cylinder-shaped gadget that collects the data of smart home appliances and shows them on the built-in display or users‘ smartphones. (LGE)

Equipped with a voice notification function, the Hub tells users, for example, to take a load of laundry out of the washing machine, or reminds them of daily schedules for dinner or medical appointments users post to Google Calendar. It also has a built-in speaker that plays songs stored on users’ smartphones.

The new device, which utilizes wireless technologies Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee, is compatible with Internet of Things platforms Iris, run by U.S. retail chain Lowe’s, and AllJoyn, from cross-industry consortium for connected devices AllSeen Alliance.

The company also plans to expand the IoT ecosystem by joining forces with local mobile carriers SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus, which also operate their own IoT platforms.

Through partnerships with various players across industries, the Seoul-based tech firm plans to offer a range of smart appliances and devices including smart lights, motion sensors and moisture detecting sensors, according to an LG official.
A models poses with SmartThinQ Hub, a cylinder-shaped gadget that collects the data of smart home appliances and shows them on the built-in display or users‘ smartphones. (LGE)

LG released the SmartThinQ Sensor in August, which can turn traditional home appliances into smart devices, as well as communicate with other objects and users. The hockey puck-like gadget and the latest SmartThinQ Hub will be displayed during the International CES, the world’s largest electronics trade show to be held from Jan. 6 to 9 in Las Vegas.

“The LG SmartThinQ Hub is just another example of the open approach we believe is the future of the smart home,” said Jo Seong-jin, CEO of LG Electronics’ home appliance and air solution company. “Openness and strong partnerships with industry leaders is what will make smart home technology more accessible and more convenient to consumers. And at the end of the day, that is what our smart home strategy is all about.”

Global research firm McKinsey anticipated that the global IoT market would grow to $11 trillion by 2025.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)