Large appliance manufacturers are lining up to integrate with Google's Amazon Echo competitor, the Google Home. First Whirlpool, then GE -- and now LG -- are promising upcoming control of select large appliances with the wake words "OK, Google" or "Hey, Google."
The Google Home is a $130 plug-in Wi-Fi speaker that you can use to control various devices in your home with Google Assistant (yep, the same voice control software inside Google phones, wearables and soon TVs). Up until this point, Google's smart home reach has been limited to smaller devices like the Nest Learning Thermostat and SmartThings, but today's announcement shows Google is committed to competing with Amazon for your broader smart home loyalty.
Unlike Whirlpool's Google Home partnership, which will be limited to kitchen appliances at first, LG is applying the integration to a broader range of appliances. Everything from the LG Twin Wash washing machine to the InstaView Door-in-Door fridge, Hom-Bot Turbo+ robot vacuum and the PuriCare air purifier are supposed to work with Google Home starting this month.
GE's partnership is a bit clunkier since you have to include its native Geneva AI as an intermediary between your GE appliances and your Google speaker. So, instead of simply being able to say, "OK Google, are the dishes clean?" you'll have to say, "OK Google, ask Geneva Home if the dishes are clean."
We'll be tracking down compatible LG, Whirlpool and GE appliances to test their functionality and report back on how well they work. In the meantime, follow along with our coverage of Google's annual I/O developer conference.