LG ACQUIRES ATHOM TO ADVANCE AI-ENABLED INTELLIGENT SPACE BUSINESS

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Company to Gain Deeper Insights Into Customers' Lifestyle and Usage Patterns and Accelerate LG ThinQ AI Home Business

SEOUL, South Korea, July 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- LG Electronics (LG) recently acquired an 80 percent stake in Athom, an industry-leading smart home platform company based in Enschede, Netherlands. The agreement includes plans to acquire the remaining 20 percent within the next three years. This strategic move aims to enhance LG's connectivity within open smart home ecosystems. By integrating Athom's capabilities with LG's Affectionate Intelligence technology, LG aspires to lead the AI-driven home innovation era.

LG Acquires Athom to Advance AI-Enabled Intelligent Space Business
LG Acquires Athom to Advance AI-Enabled Intelligent Space Business

LG plans to integrate Athom's extensive connectivity – which links thousands of appliances, sensors and lighting devices – with the generative AI-enabled LG ThinQ platform. This integration aims to create an AI home that delivers optimal space solutions by gaining a deeper understanding of the customer. In LG's AI home, customers will engage with generative AI, which will manage appliances and IoT devices to create a personalized environment tailored to their preferences.

LG envisions expanding the differentiated customer experience of AI homes to various spaces where customers spend their time, such as commercial spaces and mobility environments, ultimately realizing and advancing the concept of 'Intelligent Space.'

Athom is a technology company that sells the smart home hub 'Homey,' which connects with home appliances and IoT devices, and also offers cloud subscription services. Founded in 2014, 'Homey' has expanded primarily in Europe over the past decade, gaining a loyal customer base of hundreds of thousands of users. As of 2023, Homey devices are available in Australia, Singapore, the US and Canada, in addition to Europe. 

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

The Homey App Store, managed 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, alongside a large number of apps developed by the Homey community. This community of developers actively contributes to Athom's open platform, 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.

LG is poised to significantly enhance the scalability required for implementing AI homes, aiming to achieve the highest industry standards. This will be accomplished by integrating its LG ThinQ platform's smart home technology with Athom's open ecosystem and IoT device connectivity. The acquisition of Athom is particularly noteworthy, as it will enable LG to incorporate third-party devices and services into its ecosystem. This integration will provide LG with deeper insights into customer usage patterns and expedite the delivery of personalized services.

"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 will expand our open ecosystem and external integration services, aiming to provide customers with more diverse and multidimensional space experiences."

Even after the acquisition, Athom will continue to operate independently, maintaining its business operations and branding. This strategy is designed to maximize Athom's growth potential and unique strengths while fostering synergies in business, research and development capabilities, and platform utilization.

LG's introduction of the AI home, which integrates Athom's open smart home platform with its own AI technology, underscores the company's commitment to transitioning from a hardware-focused to a software-based platform business. In 2021, LG expanded its TV business from hardware to software by entering the TV platform market with its webOS platform. To support this shift, LG acquired Alphonso, a US-based global technology company specializing in television media, machine learning and big-data analytics. Alphonso now operates as LG Ad Solutions, a core component of the webOS content and service business.

LG aims to establish continuous relationships with customers through numerous devices connected to the AI home, ultimately transforming into a 'Smart Life Solution Company' that provides differentiated value.

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

"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, as evidenced by our successive entries into platform-based appliance services and solutions such as the webOS advertising platform and AI home," said William Cho, CEO of LG Electronics.

About LG Electronics, Inc.
LG Electronics is a global innovator in technology and consumer electronics with a presence in almost every country and an international workforce of more than 74,000. LG's four companies – Home Appliance & Air Solution, Home Entertainment, Vehicle component Solutions and Business Solutions – combined for global revenue of over KRW 84 trillion in 2023. LG is a leading manufacturer of consumer and commercial products ranging from TVs, home appliances, air solutions, monitors, automotive components and solutions, and its premium LG SIGNATURE and intelligent LG ThinQ brands are familiar names world over. Visit www.LGnewsroom.com for the latest news.

 

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