New LG president eyes smarter MEA homes

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Newly appointed LG Middle East and Africa president, James Lee.
Newly appointed LG Middle East and Africa president, James Lee.

Newly appointed LG Middle East and Africa (MEA) president James Lee plans to strengthen the company's strategy in the region and position it as a leading brand in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

Last month, the Korean electronics and telecommunications company announced the appointment of Lee, who took over from Kevin Cha. Cha has retired after being with LG for over 30 years.

Lee believes the growth of LG in the MEA region will be fuelled by a consumer-focused approach that takes advantage of the opportunities presented by AI.

Following the launch of LG's AI platform, SmartThinQ, last year, Lee says the company has been working on creating a fully connected ecosystem, embedded with AI capabilities, to enhance consumers' lives.

"Growth in the region can be achieved through a threefold approach that takes customer focus, premium brand building and smart technology into account.

"This region is very important to LG and our strategy is to position the company as a leading brand in AI, as we integrate ThinQ into more of our products. We aim to keep on developing a unique range of products, and provide innovative home appliances and electronics to help consumers become more productive and efficient so they can spend less time doing their daily chores."

LG is rolling out its AI strategy in three phases, with SA currently being in the launch phase.

The ThinQ capabilities include speech recognition, image recognition, biometric recognition and deep learning algorithms, which are integrated into a wide range of smart home appliances and electronics.

"People that reside in the MEA region enjoy investing in premium products and services. We aim to strengthen our partnership with retail partners and resellers who offer these products across the region. We plan to further expand our footprint to bring our solutions to more countries such as Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius."

Creating smarter homes

LG Electronics recently announced it will aggressively expand its voice recognition-enabled smart home appliances, which will be rolled out across the globe by the start of the second quarter.

Through its partnership with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, LG will expand voice recognition support of its home appliance products to 21 countries by April, beyond the current six markets.

"We look forward to giving our valued customers around the world the chance to experience next-level ease and convenience when using their LG appliances," said Song Dae-hyun, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solution Company, during the announcement.

"Our aggressive strategy and drive for excellence will bring voice-enabled AI to more homes this year than any other manufacturer, and this is something we are immensely proud of."

The ThinQ connectivity software on LG appliances allows voice commands, like turning on the air-conditioner, the washing machine or unlocking the garage door.

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