LG has demonstrated how it’s enhancing the usability of its product range for individuals with disabilities through a collection of accessories and add-ons. Universal UP Kit products can be easily integrated into a range of existing compatible LG home appliances.

In an exclusive interview with Appliance Retailer on the LG stand at IFA Berlin, LG project leader for H&A design, Soo-yun Kim said, “The Universal UP Kit is our hardware upgrade kit designed for seniors and people with disabilities. There’s a range of accessories available for laundry, floorcare, refrigeration and dishwasher appliances.

“The Universal UP Kit was in development for about six months, assisted by insights from interviews with individuals facing disabilities, as we wanted to better understand their needs. They told us that they want to use LG’s sleek and modern products, but it is too difficult for them.

“In the laundry category, there is a detachable handle for the washing machine door and detergent drawer to make it easier to grip, as well as a coloured dial attachment for those with fine motor disabilities to operate with ease. The stretch hanger for the LG Styler comes with a long handle and circular grip to improve reach to the top, especially useful for individuals in a wheelchair.

“In floorcare, the assistant kit for the LG CordZero stick vacuum includes a detachable wheeled strut making it easier to control and manoeuvre the vacuum as the centre of gravity is redistributed for reduced wrist strain.

“For LG dishwashers, there’s an extension handle that can be placed on the lower rack to reduce back strain and improve usability. The handle is made of post-consumer recycled plastic and available in different colour options for vision impaired individuals so they can easily identify it.

“Like the detachable handle for washing machines and dryers, there’s a handle for LG refrigerators that makes it easier to open and close the doors, as well as a rotating shelf that can be placed on top of an existing shelf to maximise space and make it easier to reach items stored at the back of the fridge.

“With the Universal UP Kit, we wanted to make sure the design was harmonious, unobtrusive and safe. Our vision is to not only expand the hardware line-up, but also continue to develop software to expand voice recognition capabilities to more appliances.”

The Universal UP Kit is expected to launch globally by the end of 2023, with the roll out starting in the US market.