SmartThinQ-series appliances from LG Electronics are now being updated with support for the Google Assitant and Amazon's Alexa that the company promised several months back, with the move targeting products sold in the United States. The development is understood to be an extension of LG's existing efforts to make its home appliances more intelligent and differentiate them from their otherwise similarly capable predecessors in a bid to convince consumers to upgrade. The South Korean tech giant is also seeking to one-up its rivals by not committing to either Google or Amazon's AI solution exclusively and instead resolving to support both, thus providing consumers with more choice and not locking them into a single ecosystem.
Dozens of products from the company are hence now being updated with Google Assistant and Alexa integration, with LG suggesting all of its upcoming Internet-enabled appliances will also boast the same capabilities. As of today, the firm's U.S. division is retailing over a hundred SmartThinQ-series devices with Wi-Fi capabilities which are the only hard requirement for supporting contemporary digital assistants, i.e. receiving commands from them and providing feedback through such solutions. LG's largest rival Samsung is opting for a different path and is instead pushing its proprietary Bixby ecosystem as the ultimate smart home AI platform which has also recently been expanding its reaches to more offerings spanning various categories.
LG itself has been strengthening its relationship with Google in previous years, having also ended up being the manufacturer of the Pixel 2 XL released last October. The upcoming G7 ThinQ Android flagship is also expected to prominently feature the Google Assistant and Google Lens, offering exclusive functionalities powered by the two AI solutions, according to recent reports. While LG's appliances business is presently operating with a positive cash flow, its mobile unit continues to struggle, having lost over half a billion dollars in the second half of 2017 alone, according to the firm's recent financial disclosures.