LG acquires Athom to advance AI-driven space business

AI For Business

LG Electronics (LG) recently acquired an 80% stake in Athom, an industry-leading smart home platform company based in Enschede, Netherlands.

The deal includes plans to acquire the remaining 20% ​​within the next three years. The strategic move aims to strengthen LG's connectivity within the open smart home ecosystem. By integrating Athom's capabilities with LG's Affectionate Intelligence technology, LG aims to lead the era of AI-driven home innovation.

LG plans to integrate Athom's extensive connectivity, which links thousands of home appliances, sensors and lighting devices, with its Generative AI-enabled LG ThinQ platform. The goal of this integration is to create an AI home that provides optimal spatial solutions by better understanding customers. In LG's AI home, customers will work with Generative AI to manage their home appliances and IoT devices to create a personalized environment that matches their preferences.

Intelligent Spaces

LG envisions extending the differentiated customer experience of AI Home to various spaces where customers spend time, including commercial and mobility environments, ultimately realizing and developing the concept of “intelligent spaces.”

Athom is a technology company that sells Homey, a smart home hub that connects home appliances and IoT devices, and also provides cloud subscription services. Founded in 2014, Homey has expanded its business primarily in Europe over the past decade, gaining a loyal customer base of hundreds of thousands of people. As of 2023, Homey devices are sold in Australia, Singapore, the United States, and Canada in addition to Europe.

Athom develops its own hub and OS and builds an independent smart home ecosystem. Its flagship product, Homey Pro, can connect to more than 50,000 devices and supports a variety of connection methods, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Matter, and Thread, making it versatile and open.

The Homey App Store, operated by Athom, offers around 1,000 applications for connecting and controlling home devices from brands such as Philips Hue and IKEA. Many of these applications are based on official partnerships and also include a large number of apps developed by the Homey community. This developer community actively contributes to Athom's open platform and is continuously expanding the range of brands and devices that can be connected to the hub. Users can easily create a smart home environment by downloading apps from the store and linking their devices.

Enhanced scalability

LG aims to significantly enhance the scalability required for AI Home implementations to achieve industry-leading standards by integrating the smart home technology of the LG ThinQ platform with Athom's open ecosystem and IoT device connectivity. The Athom acquisition is particularly noteworthy because it enables LG to incorporate third-party devices and services into its ecosystem. This integration will give LG deeper insights into customer usage patterns and accelerate the delivery of personalized services.

“The acquisition of Atom is a cornerstone of our AI Home business,” said Chung Ki-hyun, executive vice president and head of the Platform Business Center at LG. “By leveraging the synergies between the two companies, we aim to expand our open ecosystem and external integration services to provide customers with a more diverse and multidimensional spatial experience.”

Following the acquisition, Atom will continue to operate independently, maintaining its business operations and brand. This strategy aims to maximize Atom's growth potential and unique strengths, and to foster synergies across its operations, R&D capabilities and platform leveraging.

AI Home

LG's launch of AI Home, which integrates Athom's open smart home platform with its AI technology, highlights the company's efforts to transition from a hardware-centric platform business to a software-based platform business. In 2021, LG entered the TV platform market with its webOS platform, expanding its TV business from hardware to software. To support this transition, LG acquired Alphonso, a US-based global technology company specializing in TV media, machine learning and big data analytics. Alphonso now operates as LG Ad Solutions, a core component of the webOS content and services business.

“LG is evolving into an intelligent spatial solutions company that connects and extends experiences across living spaces. We will continue to make strategic investments to transform business paradigms, as evidenced by our continued forays into platform-based home appliance services and solutions, such as the webOS advertising platform and AI Home,” said William Cho, CEO of LG Electronics.

Copyright 2024 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group Provided by: SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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