As the Right to Repair movement gathers momentum, Korea’s LG has moved to ensure its white goods can be upgraded.
The company today announced a program called “Evolving Appliances For You.”
The plan is sketchy: LG has outlined a scenario where a customer moving to a location with a significantly different climate than their previous home could use LG’s ThingQ app to upgrade their dryer with new software that makes the device better suited to prevailing conditions and the type of fabrics you would wear in warmer or colder climates. The dryer could also get new hardware to handle its new location. An image distributed by LG shows the ability to change a dryer’s tune after completing a load.
Another scenario suggests adding a filter to an air purifier, so it works well if you buy a pet. To get the most out of the special-purpose hardware, LG also suggests adding new software to the gadget to get the most out of the physical filter.
“We want customers to feel like they have a new washer or refrigerator throughout the life of an LG appliance, not just the first time they bring the item home,” said Lyu Jae-cheol, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air. Solution company.
Putting an end to planned obsolescence is another ambition.
How it will all work has not been explained, but more information has been promised to followers of the LG Appliances Instagram account.
Hopefully, Insta users get more than just lifestyle photos, because there’s an obvious security risk if bad guys upload something nasty to a device. It’s not The register being paranoid: In 2017, Check Point Software demonstrated LG account takeovers that allowed remote control of a robot vacuum cleaner, refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, and air conditioners. As we reported at the time, “Devices could be turned on and off, settings changed, and more.”
And as our columnist Mark Pesce imagined, a compromised connected gas oven could blow up your house.
LG has promised to announce 20 upgradeable devices in 2022. The register Will try to try one out as we would like to both play with the security features and if possible see if it can help us brew better tea. ®