LG has decided that the company will be putting the Internet in every household appliance it ships in 2017, as says this Ars Technica post.
The Internet of Things, as you may know, is going to be a network of interconnected devices that would be able to talk to each other as and when needed. For example, if your refrigerator can communicate to a distant server, it can automatically place an order for milk if you are running out of milk. Similarly, if your car is connected to your AC at home and as you approach your home, it will be automatically switched on and by the time you reach home, the temperature will be to your liking. If your dog’s collar detects that your dog is in distress, it can on its own start playing some soothing music or even trigger the pet food dispenser to give some food to the dog, or even call your mobile phone to let you know the condition of your dog.
Similarly, if you have surveillance cameras at home, if they are connected to the Internet they can broadcast the video when there is a need; suppose there is an intruder and a movement is detected.
Putting the ability to connect to the Internet in every device doesn’t mean that all of a sudden all your appliances will become intelligent. This is going to take some time. But in the meantime, companies want to start preparing the groundwork.
LG’s Marketing VP, David VanderWaal, declared in the ongoing CES during a press conference that starting this year, 2017, all LG home appliances will have advanced Wi-Fi connectivity.
For example, this year LG will be introducing the Smart Instaview Refrigerator that will be running on an Internet-connected and webOS-powered refrigerator that will support integration with Amazon’s Alexa service. Adding Alexa – a voice-enabled interface used by Amazon Echo – means that you will be able to talk to your fridge and give it commands to perform various tasks.
Why Instaview? If you double tap on the front door the embedded screen will turn transparent and you will be able to view the ingredients of your refrigerator without having to open the door of the fridge. Only if your refrigerator could deliver chilled water or beverages to your couch on its own, now that would be something.
Smart devices would be smart when they can perform multiple tasks that are totally different from each other. For example, the same appliance working as a refrigerator, as a television and as an AC, and also as a microwave. So much space we will be able to save like this.
It’s great that all these electronics companies are trying to interconnect our home appliances but a lurking problem is the security issue. If all the devices are connected to the Internet it means people who are interested can get hold of them and then wreak havoc in our lives. As you previously read, what if someone hacks your pacemaker and gives you a heart attack? What if someone hacks into your fridge and makes your fridge order 100 L of milk when you require just 2 L? What if you have stored some provisions for your party next week and someone increases the temperature of your fridge and everything gets spoiled? The possibilities for hackers are limitless.