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LG launches sensor, hub for conventional home appliances

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A model promotes LG Electronics SmartThinQ Sensor and SmartThinQ Hub at the company's research and development center in Seocho, southern Seoul, Monday. The electronics maker said the sensor and hub can connect conventional home appliances and make them work as smart devices. / Courtesy of LG Electronics
A model promotes LG Electronics SmartThinQ Sensor and SmartThinQ Hub at the company's research and development center in Seocho, southern Seoul, Monday. The electronics maker said the sensor and hub can connect conventional home appliances and make them work as smart devices. / Courtesy of LG Electronics

By Yoon Sung-won

LG Electronics said Monday it has rolled out attachable smart sensors and a device that can turn conventional home appliances into connected smart devices.

As the nation's second-largest electronics maker focuses on extending the coverage of its smart home technologies to outdated home appliances, expectations are that the smart device can be upgraded to support more diverse controls based on voice recognition technologies and compete with artificial intelligence-based systems such as Google Home's Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa's Echo.

With the SmartThinQ Sensor and SmartThinQ Hub, the nation's second-largest electronics maker pledged to continue to invest in the smart home business to launch more upgraded smart technologies.

"We will lead the era of converged home appliances by providing differentiated smart home services that make users' lives more convenient," LG Electronics' home appliance business division president Cho Sung-jin said.

The SmartThinQ Sensor is a circular device that can be attached to conventional home appliances and provides diverse smart functions, the company said. Users can monitor the current status of a home appliance using a connected smartphone and remotely control it.

Attached to a washing machine, the sensor detects vibration to determine whether the machine is operational or not and notifies the user to collect washed laundry. The sensor can turn on a robot vacuum cleaner remotely and control an air conditioner automatically by detecting indoor temperate and humidity. On a door or a window, it notifies users with alarms when they are opened, the company said.

SmartThinQ Hub is a cylindrical device that works as a central control system connecting the SmartThinQ sensors and other connected devices. The hub supports diverse wireless network technologies including Zigbee, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and monitors operations of each connected device.

By synchronizing the hub with the users' Google account through smartphones or tablet computers, it can be used as a digital secretary as it provides voice notifications of appointments and schedules registered to the Google Calendar service.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics has launched an Internet of Things (IoT) platform module named "ARTIK" earlier in February. Consisting of an application processor, memory chip, telecommunication chip and sensors, the IoT module can be embedded in electronics to turn them into connected devices. The company said it seeks to expand its IoT device ecosystem by providing the module for third party electronics manufacturers worldwide.




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