CES 2013: LG Gets a Little Touch Crazy in the Home with NFC, Remote
Deep in the Heart of Chaos, Las Vegas, NV - LG's marketing theme for 2013 is "Touch the Smart Life!" One of the enablers for the new theme is promoting NFC (Near Field Communications) technology in/on LG products ranging from phones to washer and dryers, with the smartphone as the prevalent communications device to talk with appliances.
Unveiled today, January 7, at the International CES (News - Alert) 2013 press day, NFC is part of what the company calls "convenience-enhancing" features for its Smart Home Service. The service combines media sharing technologies with integrated home appliance management to enable users to "take charge" of their smart home environment.
People will be able to use the smart features to start the laundry, check what's in the fridge or order the LG floor robot to vacuum the place while they are away from home. Owners of LG's Smart TV and Magic Remote will be able to control the washer or conventional oven without getting up from the couch, although I have to confess that these features sound a little more dubious to me -- if I've loaded the dishwasher and forgot to turn it on, shouldn't I get off the couch for the minute it takes me to press the on-button and return?
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To be a part of the SmartControl ecosystem requires LG "Smart" appliances along with the additional purchase of Wi-Fi. NFC tags provide one-touch transfer of media content from one device to another using either Wi-Fi or 3G/4G, allowing people to move around photos, videos and other content stored on a smartphone or laptop to an LG Smart TV.
Home appliance management uses NFC for one-touch registration of appliances into LG's SmartControl system. Once registered, a user can control the application from anywhere via smartphone either via an app or voice control.
LG was an early adopter of NFC technology, incorporating it in a branded smartphone offering with Verizon in October 2012. The LG Spectrum (News - Alert) 2 came with a pair of NFC tags that could be used to trigger phone state changes, say from one mode while at home and another one while in the car or at the office.
Over the past year, NFC has been tapped for an increasing range of ease-of-use applications demos, typically as a one-touch mechanism to initiate an application. Early promotion of NFC as an e-wallet purchasing solution hasn't taken off as expected, but tapping devices to quickly exchange other information seems to have gained acceptance.
Edited by Brooke Neuman