What the internet of things means to me: Andy Mackay

The UK commercial director of consumer electronics at LG talks about what is possible today thanks to internet-of-things thinking, and where it may take him and his brand.

The benefits to users of the connected home are vast, but consumers are not yet fully educated about the technology available. The initial challenge will be in clearly communicating the proposition, how it will fit into their lifestyle and how they will use it; consumers will need guidance from purchase through set-up stages and ease of use.

This is an area that the market is now seriously addressing, appreciating that this is critical to the uptake of connected devices and the user experience.

Initial consumer concerns have been about cost. In previous years, connected technology was expensive, but now the price of these products is coming down, making it more accessible to the mass market.

Understanding of connected technologies and product usability was often a factor in consumer adoption of earlier smart products. However, this is an area that the market is now seriously addressing, appreciating that this is critical to the uptake of connected devices and the user experience.

In response to this insight, at LG we recently announced our webOS Smart TV platform, offering a simple step-by-step guide to set-up – using the LG Bean Bird character.

We are likely to see further advances into smart technologies within home appliances, and in particular how they link to the wider connected home. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, we showcased our next generation of smart innovations and technologies that take advantage of natural language processing. This allows customers to communicate, control, monitor and share content with LG home appliances via free mobile messaging service Line, and LG’s HomeChat.

Designed to be used with Line, the HomeChat service will enable LG smart-appliance users to control all their compatible appliances from a single device, for an unprecedented level of convenience. Simply texting "I’m going on vacation" in HomeChat will result in the automatic response, "Should I convert to vacation mode?" This, when replied to in the affirmative, can, for example, turn on the refrigerator’s power-saving mode, instruct the robotic vacuum cleaner to sweep the floor at 09:00 every day or set the washing machine to run a cycle on the day before your return.

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