LG acquires Dutch smart home company Athom to strengthen AI home business

AI For Business


LG Electronics said on Wednesday it has acquired an 80% stake in Dutch smart home platform company Atom and will acquire the remaining 20% ​​within the next three years.

The South Korean home appliance maker said it plans to integrate Athom's Homey platform, which offers pervasive connectivity linking home appliances, sensors and lighting devices, with its generative, AI-enabled LG ThinQ platform.

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This will give LG “deeper insights” into its customers' lifestyles and usage patterns, allowing them to create a personalized environment in their “AI Home” that suits their tastes, the company said.

Athom offers Homey, an open smart home platform that connects home appliances and IoT devices, according to LG. Since its launch in 2014, Homey has gained hundreds of thousands of users in Europe and is also available in North America, Singapore and Australia, LG said.

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South Korean home appliance maker Atom says its flagship service, Homey Pro, can connect more than 50,000 devices, including those from partners Philips Hue and IKEA, through a wide range of connectivity methods including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Matter and Thread.

According to LG, the Homey App Store also offers about 1,000 apps based on collaborations with other companies and the growing Homey community of open platforms. This means that more third-party devices and services will be integrated into LG's home appliance ecosystem, and the company plans to continue making strategic investments in platform-based home appliance solutions such as the webOS advertising platform and AI Home.

LG offers a wide range of hardware commonly found in homes, including TVs, washing machines, refrigerators, etc. Since the launch of its webOS TV platform in 2021, the company has been keen to leverage this broad portfolio by connecting these devices through software, unlocking new revenue streams outside of hardware sales. One of the company's latest initiatives is the free ad-supported streaming channels offered on its TVs.

The Athom acquisition also signals the company's intention to capitalize on the opportunities brought about by the recent AI boom to discover software-based business models by connecting its AI-enabled LG ThinQ platform to more devices across other home appliances.

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