It might sound like the fevered dream of a misanthropist, but LG's new HomeChat service will allow you to interact with your fridge, oven, vacuum cleaner or washing machine by simply sending a text message.
Using natural language, you will be able to send messages like "How are you doing?" to your washing machine to get an update on how your current wash is doing.
Called the "easiest and happiest collaboration between humans and machines ever" by LG's chief technology officer Skott Ahn during his CES 2014 keynote, the service will work in conjunction with popular messaging apps, with Line as the launch partner.
The service will work with compatible devices in LG's 2014 range of smart appliances and has been designed so that it will be as intuitive as possible by using natural language processing.
As an example:
Texting "I'm going on holiday" in HomeChat will result in the automatic response: "Should I convert to holiday mode?" Texting back "Yes" will turn on your fridge's power-saving mode, set the robotic vacuum cleaner to sweep the floor at 9am every day and set the washing machine to run a wash cycle on the day before your return.
The service will be available initially in English and Korean with more languages in the pipeline and LG also hinted that it was working with other messaging partners.
Samsung and LG continue to push the connected home hard at trade shows like CES, but it is unclear whether this is just a display of innovation or a real benefit that customers are really looking for.
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