By Patrick Avenell
LG Electronics, the company that introduced Australia to the internet fridge, is once again drumming up connected appliances, today launching a raft of new products under its Smart Thinq Technologies banner.
In addition to the obligatory robotic vacuum, LG has used the 2012 CES Show in Las Vegas to launch a new internet fridge, a Wi-Fi washing machine and an e-oven, plus software programs so all these appliances can talk to each other.
LG’s new smart fridge.
LG’s new premium French Door Refrigerator includes a touchscreen LCD panel and a smartphone app so users can check-in and check-out food to manage storage and expiry dates. Furthermore, once you’ve checked in all the food you have purchased, the refrigerator will then suggest recipes utlising the contents.
“LG’s direction in smart appliance development has been in pursuing technological advancements that will make consumers’ lives more convenient and ultimately upgrade their quality of life,” said LG Home Appliances CEO Moon-bum Shin.
“Device-to-device connectivity with smartphones and among LG appliances is a new and exciting way for us to realise this goal, helping consumers handle housework in a smarter manner by saving time, money and energy.”
Smart cooking from LG.
Once the above smart fridge has analysed your foodstuffs and suggested a recipe, it can then push this information directly to LG’s new Smart Oven. Moon-bum Shin described the capacity of LG’s new smart freestanding ovens as “amazingly large”, with a quoted measurement of 6.2 cubic feet (1.89 cubic metres). Smart features include Access, Adapt and Diagnosis, which all wireless internet connection.
Smart Access means you can check the status of the appliance on a smartphone app; Smart Adapt allows users to send cooking time information to the oven from their smartphone; and Smart Diagnosis “makes it easier to diagnose simple problems”, once again using a smartphone.
From LG’s official press materials, this image intends to demonstrate how the two above appliances can talk to each other over Wi-Fi.
Also feature LG’s Smart Diagnosis is its new Wi-Fi washing machine. According to LG, the machine can self-diagnose and then inform the user of problems such as water input malfunctions, which LG claims will considerably reduce the number of service calls required. Perhaps most amusingly, users of an LG Wi-Fi washer will be able to monitor their wash status on a compatible Smart TV, minimising the very irritating visits to the laundry to check if the wash program is finally over.
LG’s new Wi-Fi washing machine (apologies for poor image quality).
And here it is - LG’s robot vacuum:
Although robot vacuums have been around for a while, there is still an element of Blade Runner-esque futurism surrounding these independent cleaning beasts.