Samsung, LG compete in smart home appliances

LG Electronics' new refrigerator model equipped with a water purifier.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics will fiercely compete to grab the spotlight with their latest smart home appliances in the upcoming IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany.

Samsung will introduce an "integrated smart application" which enables consumers to use their smartphones to check and control almost any electronic or electric device including lights, washing machines and air conditioners.

The electronics giant will showcase the smart home system at the Berlin trade show before commercializing it.

"Building a smart home environment managed by a smartphone application is now in the works with a limited number of home appliances compatible with remote-control technology," a Samsung official said. "The app and a wide array of compatible devices are expected to be available by early next year, and the product categories for the smart home system will increase."

A Samsung smart refrigerator will be one of such smart products expected to catch eyes in Berlin.

With a function called "Shopping List," consumers can tick off food items on a display installed in the door. The information is then automatically updated on their smartphones.

In addition, "Freshness Assistant" alarms the consumers of the expiration dates of stored food items so that they can be eaten before going bad.

LG has also unveiled some of its home appliances which will likely attract a horde of spectators.

The second-largest electronics manufacturer in Korea, which released the first refrigerator in the country in 1965, on Wednesday revealed its latest fridge equipped with a water purifier and ice dispenser.

The new product has been labelled with "G," the mark given to LG's premium electronics and appliances.

To ensure health and cleanliness, a health care manager will visit homes to sterilize the water purifier.

LG said 6 out of 10 people it surveyed who do not have a water purifier plan to buy one, particularly preferring one with an ice dispenser.

The firm claimed that consumers can save up to 33 per cent in purchasing costs and maintenance fees with the new smart fridge compared to when buying a refrigerator and water purifier separately.

With "Magic Space," an easily accessible storage space on the right main door, consumers do not need to fully open the 855-liter-capacity refrigerator.

"The integrated system to control home appliances will be available as early as late this year," said Jo Seong-jin, president of LG Electronics' home appliance company, at the launching event for the new refrigerator model.

LG vice president Kim Young-soo also said, "The smart home appliances will soon be managed by one smartphone application regardless of brands."

LG is also pinning hopes on its vacuum cleaner series, including "Roboking," "Robocyking" and "Bedding King," to sweep up the European and world home appliances market.

The new Roboking vacuum cleaner, an automated robotic cleaner first launched in 2001, can be controlled by a smartphone application.

Consumers can check which part of the house floor has been cleaned with "Cleaning Diary," and also be alerted of technical issues.

The cleaner features "Corner Master" which efficiently cleans the corners of rooms, and "Home Master" which automatically maps and recognises thresholds, obstacles and the home interior with dual cameras installed on the top and bottom.

Robocyking is a self-propelled vacuum cleaner and Bedding King is a wireless vacuum cleaner for killing germs and bacteria in beds, blankets and bed linens.

"The strongest advantage of LG home appliances is its convenience," Jo said.

"With various quality products, the firm will beef up its marketing to capture the European market. The firm is in preparation to penetrate India and China as well with the new fridge."