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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

LG bolsters its smart home operations with Athom acquisition

LG Electronics acquires an 80% stake in smart home platform Athom, enhancing its AI-enabled intelligent space business and enriching customer interactions.

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LG Electronics has significantly increased its involvement in the industry by securing an 80% stake in Athom, a prominent smart home platform company based in Enschede, Netherlands. This strategic acquisition also encompasses plans to acquire the remaining 20% within the next three years, aiming to boost LG's role in open smart home ecosystems and merge Athom's capabilities with LG's Affectionate Intelligence technology. LG is poised to lead the era of AI-driven home innovation through this integration.

Athom, renowned for its smart home hub ‘Homey', facilitates connections between home appliances and IoT devices and offers cloud subscription services. Established in 2014, Homey has carved a niche in Europe and has broadened its market reach to include Australia, Singapore, the US, and Canada. Its premier product, Homey Pro, is compatible with over 50,000 devices via various technologies including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Matter, and Thread, showcasing its adaptability and openness.

Fusing AI for tailored living spaces

LG plans to combine Athom's extensive connectivity, linking thousands of appliances, sensors, and lighting devices, with the AI-enabled LG ThinQ platform. This partnership is designed to cultivate an AI-enhanced home environment that responds to individual preferences, optimising space usage and technological interaction. This initiative will extend the AI home concept to various spaces, including commercial and mobility environments, advancing the notion of ‘Intelligent Space.'

The Homey App Store, administered by Athom, supports around 1,000 applications, enabling users to connect and manage devices from leading brands such as Philips Hue and IKEA. These applications are frequently developed through official partnerships, with significant input from the Homey community, which consistently broadens the platform's reach and connectivity.

Strategic expansion and market growth

LG's acquisition of Athom promises to revolutionise its approach to smart home technology by utilising Athom's open ecosystem and IoT connectivity. This strategic move is anticipated to enhance LG's smart home solutions and provide deeper insights into customer behaviour, speeding up the provision of personalised services. Integrating third-party devices and services into LG's ecosystem marks a critical step in LG's evolution from a hardware-focused to a -centric company.

“The acquisition of Athom is a cornerstone for our AI home business,” said Jung Ki-hyun, executive vice president and head of LG's Platform Business Center. “By leveraging the synergy between the two companies, we aim to expand our open ecosystem and external integration services, providing customers with more diverse and multidimensional space experiences.”

Athom will maintain its independence post-acquisition, keeping its branding and business operations intact. This strategy is designed to optimise Athom's growth potential while fostering synergies in business practices, research, development, and platform utilisation.

LG's shift towards a software-based platform business was underscored by its foray into the TV platform market with its webOS platform in 2021, and the acquisition of Alphonso, now known as LG Ad Solutions. This transformation is integral to LG's long-term strategy of cultivating enduring customer relationships and redefining itself as a ‘Smart Life Solution Company' that delivers unparalleled value.

According to the market research firm TechNavio, the global smart home market is projected to grow from US$81.2 billion in 2023 to US$260.24 billion by 2028, with an average annual growth rate of 26.23%.

“LG is evolving into an intelligent space solutions company that connects and expands experiences in various living spaces. We will continue to make strategic investments to shift our business paradigm,” commented William Cho, CEO of LG Electronics.

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Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia is a news editor at Tech Edition. Her interest is in technology and startups, occasionally crunching news for gaming. Sofia enjoys playing video games, going on bike rides, and gardening when she isn't behind a keyboard.

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