KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Jan 11 2012

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No, I’m not at CES (Consumer Electronics Show), but like many of you, I desperately wish I were. Long the mecca for those ever in search of the latest high-tech gadgetry and glimpses of a brighter, cooler, more automated future, CES has also increasingly become the venue for appliance manufacturers to debut their newest wares.

Take LG, which just received a CES Innovation Award for its largest-capacity French door refrigerator—31 cu. ft.—to date, which can accommodate some 50 gallons of milk.

The accolade, however, was not for how much milk it can store and keep fresh, but for its Blast Chiller feature, which is aimed at those who like their drinks cold and fast. Pop a 12-oz. can of soda into the dedicated compartment and five minutes later, it’s ready for consumption. Have company? Two cans of soda or a bottle of wine can chill in eight minutes.

Other features include a Smart Cooling Plus system, which uses a patented Linear Compressor and Dual Evaporator, as well as sensors, to ensure optimal humidity and temperature for keeping food fresh; a Multi-Air Flow system that surrounds food with cool air; an air filter; a slim in-the-door ice maker; a four-part crisper system; 13-in.-tall ice and water dispenser; and Smart Diagnosis technology, which allows customer service representatives to diagnose and troubleshoot mechanical issues over the phone.

LG is also showing a suite of smart appliances that incorporate the company’s proprietary Smart ThinQ technology, which allows users to better monitor, say, the contents of their refrigerator or the status of a load of laundry from a smartphone or Smart TV.

Made a New Year’s resolution to waste less food and/or eat healthier? The refrigerator can help you with that, thanks to the Smart Manager, which keeps track of stored items, their expiration date and location and can recommend dishes based on what’s available.

Contents are recorded through a variety of ways: Users can select icons from the refrigerator’s LCD control panel, say the names of items—the unit is equipped with voice recognition technology—or scan receipts or barcodes with a smartphone. The system can also generate shopping lists and send them to your phone and, if you’re too busy (or lazy) to go to the store, allows for online shopping (I’m not sure how that works, though).



As to keeping you healthy, Smart Manager includes a Health Manager feature, which can suggest recipes and menus based on your age, gender, weight, height and Body Mass Index (BMI). Once you’ve settled on a recommended recipe, there’s a button you can press that will send the recipe to your LG Smart Oven, which automatically preps it to the correct setting.

Needless to say, you can monitor and set the temperature and cooking time in your oven via your smartphone. The Smart Oven also comes with an Infrared Grill, which cooks food evenly and efficiently.

Interestingly, another CES Innovator Award winner is Wolf’s E Series Built-In Wall Oven line, which isn’t new but apparently has been made smarter with connectivity. I’m not sure what that’s about, so I’ll see if I can find out more today.

Wow, writing about all this makes me feel as if I’m actually at the show. Not.

Feel free to contact me about any new appliance innovations launching at the show.

—Alice Liao

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 at 11:47 AM and is filed under Products. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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