Monday, April 21, 2003

This is so cool

Scott Wickstein asks the important questions. In particular, just precisely what is it with Korean electronics company LG and the internet refrigerator? LG have been running a campaign in the UK, in Australia, and probably in the rest of the world drawing attention to the fact that they now sell the world's first internet refrigerator. I actually wondered about this myself, and having done a little research I can at least explain LG's rationale. They believe that we are ultimately going to want to network all our appliances. It may well be that we want to turn on the oven or the microwave, or the iron or the vacuum cleaner before we get home. (Another good reason for networking such things is diagnostic: if they develop faults they can report the fact that they need repairing). If this future is going to unfold, then it makes sense to have an always on internet connection to the home. Given this, the logical device to have this always on connection to is the refrigerator, because that is the only appliance that is switched on all the time. The refrigerator will function as a server, and all the other appliances can function as clients, and the refrigerator can switch them on and off as needed. Hence the internet refrigerator. (I suppose the other possibility might be an internet connected VCR).

I rather like the Korean consumer electronics companies. They know that they are perceived as relatively downmarket brands, and so they are willing to experiment and try almost anything in an attempt to improve their positions. Sony wouldn't dream of a large marketing campaign to promote internet refrigerators, because they know there is a fair chance they would end up looking silly and it would hurt their carefully crafted image. However, LG don't care, as their image is already downmarket. However, if this thing works, then they are the ones who benefit.

No comments:

Blog Archive