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Mundane home appliances go Internet-smart

All Headlines 10:21 March 14, 2016

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- Internet connection is working deeper into everyday lives as more home gadgets, small and big, become controllable by smartphones under an industry-wide advance of the Internet of Things (IoT), business watchers said Monday.

The latest air purifier marketed in October last year by Coway regularly measures indoor air quality and transmits the measurements to the user via smartphone. It also sends alarms so that the users can turn the device on should fine dust particles or other unwanted pollutants rise in level. Coway's recently released water purifier can "analyze" the lifestyle of its owner to recommend how much water intake is needed, according to company officials.

A gas-operated boiler from Kiturami, upgraded and put out on the market last month, can be controlled by a smartphone outside of the home, allowing users to turn it on or off, set the temperature and set up timer operations. It is equipped with a self-maintenance function to tell the users of any malfunctions. The upgrades include data storage so that the device can automatically find and set the appropriate temperature throughout different hours of the day, letting the users know of every adjustment, the company said.

Emons, a furniture brand, debuted a vanity mirror in January whose high-resolution camera measures the condition of the user's skin, intended to help determine a recommended daily skincare regimen. Jangsoo Stone Bed now has a product available with an Internet link to set the bed temperature using a smartphone.

A business watcher who was attending an exhibition of home IoT services in Seoul earlier this month said with such diversity of what is out in the market, the battle among competitors would be about fresh ideas.

"The success and failure of an IoT business hinges on who can dominate the consumer market with more useful and unexpected services," he said.

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