LG SmartThingQ Smart Sensor Adds Digital Brains To Your ‘Dumb’ Appliances

A new IoT device from LG promises to make your plain-old washing machine a “smart” one by connecting it to your home wireless network. The new SmartThinQ Sensor won’t give your appliances the same functionality that new, connected appliances have, but it has some compelling features nonetheless.

The LG SmartThinQ highlights the difference between true smart appliances and appliances that are “smart aware.” With smart appliances, the connection goes both ways: your thermostat sends setting and temperature info to your phone’s app and you can use the same app to change the thermostat’s settings. A smart aware appliance, on the other hand may not offer as much control. It sends data to you, but doesn't usually offer as much in the way of remote user control.

LG SmartThinQ Sensor

The SmartThinQ (which will be on display in Hall 18 of Messe Berline at IFA 2015, in case you’re attending IFA next week) is a device that attaches to your ordinary appliance and sends you data based on what its sensors pick up. If you attach it to your washing machine, for example, the SmartThinQ monitors the appliance’s vibrations to determine when the washing machine has completed its cycle, then alerts you via your home network and a smarphone app. LG says that the SmartThinQ can also let you know when certain foods in your refrigerator will expire. It can also tell you how many times the fridge door has been opened in a day, which is an interesting stat for anyone with a teenager in the house.

LG also says that the SmartThinQ will even provide some control for users when connected to certain appliances, including air conditioners, though it hasn’t provided much detail about how that will work.

Of course, LG also plans to show off new smart appliances at IFA 2015. The Smart Lightwave Oven and Smart Air Conditioner will get their time in the spotlight and will showcase the AllJoyn platform that LG and other manufacturers are using for their network-connected devices.