LG, Shinhan team up to make homes smarter

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LG, Shinhan team up to make homes smarter

LG Electronics and Shinhan Financial Group are teaming up to make homes smart in more ways than ever.

According to the electronics maker on Thursday, it inked a partnership with Shinhan Financial Group to collaborate on creating a smart home infrastructure that enables consumers to shop and pay for things directly through their electronic appliances ranging from refrigerators, smart speakers and even internet-connected cars.

While the usual concept of smart homes is restricted to controlling electronic devices remotely via smartphones, a financial tie-in takes it to another level by enabling appliances to catch owners’ needs even before they know them and then proceed to actual purchases.

LG’s smart home technology as well as its mobile payment service LG Pay and Shinhan’s mobile financial platform Shinhan FAN will be used together.

In LG’s vision, smart refrigerators embedded with sensors will recognize the amount of food products and ingredients and make suggestions to users of needed purchases. Based on past consumption data such as card usage records held by the finance company, a refrigerator can also recommend owners to buy frequently used products or alert them to certain deals that align with their past purchases. Ultimately, the two companies hope to create a digitalized platform that enables consumers to shop anywhere at any time on any device.

“With Internet of Things technology and finance combined, we can offer ‘precious time’ as gifts to busy commuters who can’t find the time for grocery shopping,” said Ahn Seung-kwon, chief technology officer of LG Electronics.

Such a smarter home infrastructure can reshape companies’ marketing strategies. They can send “push” advertisements for goods even before consumers realize they need them. For electronic appliances, sensors will alert owners of their condition, so they can consider buying replacements when needed.

LG is not the only electronics company taking such steps. Its local rival Samsung Electronics had been a step faster in combining the Internet of Things technology and finance.

In September, Samsung introduced a service that enables consumers to check bank account information on a touchscreen on its premium Family Hub refrigerator in partnership with Woori Bank. The Korea’s largest electronics company is also cooperating with its affiliate Samsung Card so that consumers can order groceries via voice commands to the refrigerator.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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