Doomed?

Chilling: LG threatens to put wifi in all appliances

By Alex Wood 6 January 2017
LG's chilling vision of the future.
Summary

What could possibly go wrong?

When it comes to woeful smart home devices, this year’s CES exhibition in Las Vegas hit the jackpot.

There were bluetooth toasters with “personalised brownness”, bonkers devices for brewing the perfect cuppa, and a dog collar with “emotion sensing technology”. What a time to be alive!

One standout has to be the Smart Hair Brush with built-in microphones, which one tech writer beautifully headlined: “Withings has invented a ‘smart’ hairbrush and we just want to dye”.

Despite consumers having a total lack of interest, as confirmed by EY earlier this week, electronics companies are determined to violate our homes with unwanted internet connectivity.

Dropping the bomb

So it was only a matter of time till electronics giant LG dropped this bombshell: starting this year, all of the company’s home appliances will feature “advanced wifi connectivity”.

This announcement was made by LG’s marketing VP David VanderWaal according to a report by Ars Technica. While electronics companies are known for making outlandish announcements at CES, LG is deadly serious.

At the same press conference the company proudly showed off its new “Instaview Refrigerator” – boasting a 29″ touch screen, voice control and “home management”.

LG proudly proclaims this bold new connected device is “Bringing New Meaning to Kitchen as Heart of the Home”. We’re not sure what exactly that means, but it sounds chilling. Perhaps best not to leave your children alone with it.

There is one glimmer of hope – LG has teamed up with Amazon to integrate the new fridge with its Alexa personal assistant, which we’ve found to be one of the most promising “smart” devices we’ve ever seen.

But it still begs the question – why are electronics companies so determined to push these devices onto consumers? It is about collecting our data? Or a pathetic ploy to keep us needlessly upgrading our gadgets?

Whatever the motivations really are, sadly, “connected” devices are here to stay. We just hope the manufacturers still offer “dumb” models for consumers that know better.