In a Switzerland-like move of neutrality, LG announced today that its SmartThinq line of connected appliances will work with both Google Home Assistant and Alexa (hat tip to Digital Trends). This will allow users to control more than a hundred SmartThinq devices, including ranges, ovens and refrigerators, with their voice through Google Home or Amazon Echos.
LG had previously announced Alexa integration for its new line of Thinq smart refrigerators, and at the same time had stated its commitment to an Open Platform, Open Partnership philosophy, which included incorporating Google Assistant. Today’s announcement seems to make this openness official across all of LG’s SmartThinq devices.
This is a smart (pardon the pun) play for LG, as both Alexa and Google Home devices have been selling in the millions. By working with both Google and Alexa, LG can slide its smart home devices into whatever ecosystem people have chosen for themselves. Removing any barrier to adoption is good — especially when you are asking people to plunk down thousands of dollars for something like a smart fridge.
It’s also a contrast to Samsung, which has chosen to push its own smart assistant, Bixby, in its Family Hub fridges at the expense of working with outside voice services.
In the kitchen specifically, LG is creating a very open platform in a bid to capture early adopters. In addition to working with both Google and Alexa, LG announced at CES that it will work with both Innit and SideChef to provided guided cooking capabilities into its ovens and ranges.
Probably not so coincidentally, LG also announced its own Thinq Google Assistant Speaker today, giving LG its own entrant in the smart speaker market. And since it’s powered by Google, you can talk to it to control your other LG devices.