The LG Smart ThinQ Hub gives us a glimmer of hope that appliance control may soon enter the mass market.
Its hub is a cool idea for high-volume or multifamily builders looking to dip into technology without having to install exorbitantly expensive connected appliance that are just now entering the marketplace. For example, the ThinQ system is being built into many of LG’s most recent appliances, but these appliances run double to triple the cost of regular stainless steel appliances.
The idea is that the Smart ThinQ Hub monitors, controls and collects information from existing or less expensive appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, ovens, robotic vacuum cleaners and more using sensors.
It can also work with connected appliances that may also be installed in the home.
The hub features a 3.5-inch color LCD display and connects to a smartphone app to facilitate two-way communication with sensors that are attached to appliances. Data is displayed as notifications on the LCD screen or is announced through a speaker on the hub. The idea is that users can communicate using a single device–the hub–instead of a different app for each connected device. The internal speaker can also stream music.
The Smart ThinQ Hub is compatible with a number of other devices in the the AllJoyn Alliance.
For example, it will be available as part of a Safety Package that will also include Lowe’s embattled Iris product. Hopefully the Smart ThinQ hub has a more promising future than we’ve recently seen from Iris.
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The LG hub works with Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Bluetooth. Only time will tell if this is just a copycat of the idea of Amazon’s Echo or something builders should really be paying attention to. One thing’s for sure, there’s certainly a need for affordable connected products in the kitchen.
We’re still waiting on a confirmed release of LG’s Smart ThinQ hub that was unveiled at CES earlier this year.
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