Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#ALGORITHMS: "Smart Homes Redefine Housework as IT"

Smart household robots, appliances, energy managers, entertainment systems and security systems, all communicating device-to-device, are redefining housework as an IT function.

LG's Smart ThinQ system uses smartphone apps to control smart household robots, appliances, security systems, and energy-management systems. (Source: LG)

This week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas will showcase the home of the future, where housework is being redefined as an IT function. Centered around apps running on smart entertainment systems and smartphones, home owners can now wirelessly control household robots, smart appliances, security systems and energy management systems.

"By creating new possibilities for chore management, such as allowing consumers to monitor washing machines through their TVs or smartphones, LG is enabling homeowners to rethink the concept of household chores," said Moon-bum Shin, executive vice president and CEO of LG Electronics Home Appliance Company.

At CES, demonstrations abound showing how shoppers can use a smartphone app at the grocery store to see what is on hand in the smart refrigerator at home, how a smart oven can likewise be turned on remotely to have dinner cooked by the time you arrive home, how a smart energy manager can turn on the smart washer and dryer during off-peak hours to save money, and how a smart entertainment system can manage your favorite tunes and television shows to have them available on-demand whether you are at home watching on your flat screen TV or in the subway listening on your smartphone.

Device-to-device connectivity is the key to turning housework into an IT function. An example of this technology is the upgraded LG Smart ThinQ, which marries LG smart appliances and household robots to the company’s home energy management system (HeMS), smart entertainment systems, PCs, and mobile smartphones.

"Smart ThinQ and HeMS provide consumers with a more comfortable and convenient way to manage chores, as well as potentially providing big savings in energy usage on electricity bills," Shin said.

LG's smart refrigerator and smart clothes washer received 2012 CES Innovations Awards. Shoppers can use the touch-panel on the company’s smart refrigerator to check its contents without opening the door. The contents can also be checked remotely using a smartphone app. Other Smart Access apps allow users to monitor the status of any household appliance and robots, which are all smart-grid ready. Users can also issue commands to LG’s Hom-Bot to perform housework, such as vacuum the kids rooms before they get home from school.

LG will also demonstrate Google TV running on its new ultra-resolution 84-inch organic liquid-crystal flat-panel display, showing images at a resolution of 3840-by-2160 pixels, instead of the quarter-sized 1920-by-1080 displayed by HD TVs.