LG Out-ThinQ’s Samsung in Smart Appliances

Posted on September 6, 2011

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LG's Smart ThinQ Technologies (Source: LG)

Samsung’s appliances may be Smart, yet LG’s are Smarter. With both presenting their Smart Appliance strategies among 235,000 attendees at IFA’s Consumer Electronics Show in Berlin, LG’s Smart ThinQ™ outperformed Samsung’s “Smart Innovation in the Home.” Each company also demonstrated their newest Smart Refrigerators and Smart Washing Machines in their ongoing race toward market share leadership.

Although LG’s Smart ThinQ ecosystem has five Smarts compared to Samsung’s six Smarts, LG’s Smart Appliances are more effective in unlocking anywhere, anytime access to appliances. LG’s five Smarts for refrigerators (their flagship product category) include:

  • Smart Manager – enables users to identify what food is inside its Smart Refrigerator, where it is located and when it will expire.
  • Smart Diagnosis™ – allows customer service representatives to remotely identify and troubleshoot mechanical issues and determine whether an on-site technician is needed.
  • Smart Access – gives users access to the contents of the refrigerator via smartphone or tablet to assist their shopping needs in local stores and avoid double purchases. It also provides recipes for the contents in the refrigerator.
  • Smart Adapt – enables software updates with new features.
  • Smart Grid: this Smart Grid-ready preset feature can be used when local utilities activate smart grid features that would optimize energy costs to save on electricity bills. It would operate most during the least expensive energy time period and utilize customizable saving modes during peak energy costs or night savings mode when the least energy is needed.

There are also infotainment features on LG’s Smart Refrigerator touchscreen display that allow social networking, streaming music, movie video broadcasts (e.g., YouTube) and access to memos, calendar, digital photos, news reports or an actual PC monitor.

Here’s a comparison of LG’s Smart features with the six Smarts of Samsung’s Smart Refrigerator:

  • Smart Touch – The improved touchscreen user interface makes it easier to use the appliances. While both have touchscreens, LG exceeds this capability because users can access more information as well as access info via their Smartphone or Tablet. Advantage LG.
  • Smart Control – Allows users to control the appliances remotely via text messaging (e.g., changing from normal operation to vacation mode). LG can make more specific changes to Smart Appliance settings remotely. Advantage LG.
  • Smart Apps –  Samsung’s nine applications are fixed which include Memo Pad, Picasa Pictures, Epicurious (Recipes), Google Calendar, Weather, AP News Feed, Pandora music, Twitter, and a Settings Menu. Advantage LG.
  • Smart Care – is a DIY (Do It Yourself) diagnostic application that can detect and predict mechanical issues as well as guide consumers about what they can do to fix the problems. With LG’s Customer Service Reps, personal service exceeds DIY. Advantage LG.
  • Smart Shopping – This feature is non-existent in Samsung’s User Manual although press releases imply that food ordering can be done via the touchscreen. LG allows you to know what you need to buy via remote access (Smartphone/Tablet) while you are shopping. Advantage LG.
  • Smart Grid – Being similar to what was predicted in a previous article (Top 10 Features that Smart Energy Apps Must Have), this feature allows users to monitor and control the energy usage of their Smart Appliances. LG enables users to change Smart Grid settings remotely. Advantage LG.

Final Score: LG = 6, Samsung = 0.

In all fairness, Samsung scored better with their other new product, for the Eco Bubble™ washing machine is impressive. This engineering breakthrough saves up to 70% of energy in a cold wash. It is also 40% quieter using Samsung’s patented Vibration Reduction Technology™. Yet Samsung could have made a Smart App for the Galaxy Tablet (or Smartphone) that would be directly integrated with the Eco Bubble washing machine. LG enables remote access and control to any one if its newest Smart Appliances via Smartphone or Tablet.

Samsung missed the opportunity to take a similar or better path for Smart Appliances than LG’s since Samsung’s Smartphone/Tablet capabilities are superior to LG’s. Why can’t all Galaxy Smartphones/Tablets connect, monitor and control Samsung’s Smart Appliances? It’s time for Samsung to leverage its ingenuity across business groups and design future products that will bring practical solutions for consumers. In the words of Chang Wan Hong, executive vice president of the Digital Appliances, “Our goal is to answer identified consumer requirements with well engineered and stylishly designed digital appliances, built around practical technologies that really do something to make a difference.” The voice of the customer would be a good place to start so that Samsung moves from Smart to Smarter Appliances.

What new features do you want in Smart Appliances? Your comments are welcome.

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© 2011 by Ed Valdez

Trademarks and Logos are properties of their respective companies.

All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, to benefits, design, components, performance, availability and capability of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation from the respective manufacturer.

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Posted in: Eco Leader