LAS VEGAS – LG Electronics opened its CES 2019 showcase with a press conference that introduced new smart home product categories and an 8K compatible TV that works with two different smart assistants.
LG’s press conference gets steamy
The LG Styler is a steam-cleaning device for garments that can fit into your closet or next to your laundry machines. It can fit about three or four items depending on whether you’re filling it with blazers, shirts, or pants. The idea is that you can avoid some trips to the dry cleaner, or perhaps extend the time between washes for your garments.
Users can hang three shirts in the closet and put a pair of pants in a slot on the back side of the door. The garments are blasted with steam to freshen them up. LG says it can help reduce odour, keep that crease in your pants, and reduce allergens as well. The Styler also drys your clothes using a low-temperature system.
The appliance is compatible with Google Assistant and LG says it’s available at most major retailers, including Costco and Lowes for $1,999 USD (though it’s not clear if that applies to Canada as well).
The ‘Keurig’ for beer
LG is also taking the convenient beverage concept that made Keurig machines so popular and applying it to beer. The LG HomeBrew is a craft beer system that requires single-use capsules and can ferment and carbonate about 10.5 pints of beer in about two weeks, depending on the beer type.
The device uses special algorithms to enhance the fermentation process, which results in more delicious beer according to LG, and allows the owner to monitor the whole process using a companion smartphone app. There will be five different beers available at launch: hoppy American IPA, golden American Pale Ale, full-bodied English Stout, zesty Belgian-style Witbier, and dry Czech Pilsner.
LG says the HomeBrew product is coming soon and did not offer a price tag.
Alexa joins Google Assistant on LG’s OLED 8K TV
Most of LG’s smart home devices and smart TVs have been compatible with Google Assistant over the past year, appearing to make a choice in what voice-enabled assistant consumers could use with LG products. But the new LG 8K OLED TV is bucking that trend, offering both Google Assistant and Alexa compatibility.
LG’s new smart home products were introduced on stage by David Vanderwall, U.S. senior vice-president of marketing for LG. He says that LG devices will include collaboration features so that the benefits of owning more of them will amount to more than the individual devices themselves. To demonstrate this, he showed how LG’s R9 automated vacuum could offer to help when he started using its stiff stick vacuum.
LG will also use “lifestyle data” to inform the behaviour of its smart home devices, which fall under the ThinQ brand unveiled at last year’s CES. Vanderwall said this could include what type of TV shows you watch, how often you clean your home, how often you do laundry and what clothes you wash, all combined with environmental and time data.
In 2019, the Consumer Technology Association – the company that hosts CES – projects that the U.S. smart home market will grow 17 per cent to $4.6 billion in total revenue, with 29.4 million units shipped. It also projects that the 8K TV market will get started with 200,000 units shipped and $545 million in revenue.