Thread Number: 32361
LG washer at CES. Stupid feature or needed feature?
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Post# 488123   1/11/2011 at 00:17 (4,715 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

At the Consumer Electronics Show LG displayed their new washers whit a feature where it call tech support if problems arise....

"LG's washer and dryer come equipped with "SmartDiagnosis," which the appliance uses to contact tech support if and when something goes wrong with the machines. While the technology seems handy for gadgets that malfunction more frequently, it's something we weren't desperate to see come to our washers and dryers. Switched calls the idea "a bit goofy." Wired comments, "the washer and dryer in your home are probably the most reliable gadgets you own," adding, "it is a product so odd that LG’s engineers must have been smoking something while inventing it.""

Post# 488124 , Reply# 1   1/11/2011 at 00:19 (4,715 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        
Here's the Wired story...

Gadget Lab Hardware News and Reviews
Smart Washer-Dryer Sings its Problems to the Repairman

* By Charlie Sorrel Email Author
* August 10, 2010 |
* 6:41 am |
* Categories: Household

Next to the refrigerator, the washer and dryer in your home are probably the most reliable gadgets you own. That hasn’t stopped LG coming up with a crazy new diagnostic scheme to help them troubleshoot these appliances from afar, and to take the stupid meat-sack owner (you) almost entirely out of the equation

No, this isn’t another internet-connected-appliance story. Instead, it is a product so odd that LG’s engineers must have been smoking something while inventing it. It works like this: When there is a problem, you call up LG. The person at the other end then gives you instructions, telling you to press some buttons in a certain order. Once you have put in the Konami cheat-code, a series of tones will chime from your washer or dryer like the spaceship in Close Encounters.

The trained LG technician will then diagnose these mysterious sounds and decide what to do. At no point are you, the owner, required to read a number out wrongly, or to second-guess the technician on the line. Once LG has the information it requires, it can decide whether or not it needs to send out a repairman, and that repairman will arrive equipped with just the right tools and parts.

The tech, called SmartDiagnosis, is pretty weird, but it is also very clever, and is already available on a few machines like the WM3885 pictured above ($1,900). I wonder when we’ll see this tech brought to more commonly failing gadgets, like PCs? Once we get used to these odd rituals, I imagine the IT guys having an amazing time pranking their callers: “First, I’d like you to hold the keyboard over your head. Now, sir, please whistle the national anthem.”


Post# 488137 , Reply# 2   1/11/2011 at 07:37 (4,715 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
It calls for service.

iheartmaytag's profile picture
Guess the makers know what their machines will need.

Post# 488139 , Reply# 3   1/11/2011 at 08:03 (4,715 days old) by amyswasher ()        

I think it because they send out people who don't know how to work on these things. The sounds will tell the tech what's wrong instead of troubleshooting. My Whirlpool dishwasher came with a USB port(or something like that) to tell the repairman what was wrong. It was the rinse-aid/detergent cup. The man didn't know what to do since the computer didn't tell him the detergent cup was malfunctioning even though he could see it with his own eyes. He had to call tech support, so they could go step by step the remedy the situation (he had to order a new part).

Post# 488142 , Reply# 4   1/11/2011 at 08:53 (4,715 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        
Your wrired writer must be a Newbie, LG has already had inte

Some higher end LG washers already have a RJ45 jack on their motherboards. Some already have an interface for a remote module monitor that is a modem one plugs in another AC outlet that allows one to "keep tabs on your laundry." in another room in ones house.

The issue is really that many folks do not like technology. They would prefer to pay a 80 to 120 buck service call for a Goober to "look at your ill washer or dryer" than have a high tech interface find the issue.

This "technology" is really nothing new in machines.

It has been done for eons in some higher end copy machines. It is so old one wonders what the "wired guy" was smoking.

Here we had a DOS based rig on a big printer that used a BBS that was run in diagnostic mode, the guy phoned into the machine and could look at the DOS files. This was 15 years ago and done with a dumb phone line on a Machine that did not even run windows, it had just DOS and a Hilgrave BBS built in with a modem. It is so old that our original printer had just a 14.4 modem.

Thus the wired writer is a either a newbie to "tech" or has no sense of history, or no sense of what repairs cost in the field.

Many of these Appliances already are tested during the manufacture process via an interface, thus extending the fault data back to the maker once in the product is in the field is old hat in other industries, ie 10 to 15 years.

It really sounds like the wired guy should retire or write about fans, shovels or saws.

Post# 488144 , Reply# 5   1/11/2011 at 09:01 (4,715 days old) by 3beltwesty ()        
Having actual field data

Having actual filed data of issues is how many companies resolve issues, fix problems, make a better product. ie "close the loop".

VW had a interface port on a 1969 fuel injected engine; our 1973 Squareback sedan did.

GM on cars has data interfaces going back to the early 1980s.

Post# 488148 , Reply# 6   1/11/2011 at 09:24 (4,715 days old) by amyswasher ()        

My '82 Olds Cutlass had one beside the ash tray.

Post# 488207 , Reply# 7   1/11/2011 at 13:41 (4,715 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

my '82 z28 has it too-only needed it a couple times over the
last 20yrs,but really handy-just jumper 2 pins on the plug
and the "check engine" light flashes the trouble code.
Really saved me troubleshooting time...

Post# 488222 , Reply# 8   1/11/2011 at 14:48 (4,715 days old) by electron1100 (England)        

electron1100's profile picture
If they built and designed them properly in the first place this sort of Junk technology would not be needed...........groannnnnnnnnn

Post# 488297 , Reply# 9   1/11/2011 at 19:16 (4,714 days old) by supremewhirlpol ()        

Oh this isn't a surprise. If the machine can schedule repairs, then it can download software updates, and tell on you->just allows for more people to be lazy. So if LG really wanted for the consumer to buy a new set, all they have to do is send out a OS software update that bricks the washer and dryer you have. Oh what a great idea. Good thing I don't have these. More horses%#*t from Korea!

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