2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

tech in the spotlight

LG at CES: Big Refrigerator is Watching You

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 10, 2012 02:02 PM

Hoping to lose a little weight but somehow don’t seem to hear that little voice in your head telling you to stop when you’re reaching for the ice cream in the fridge? You might need a talking fridge.

Recalling the old Woody Allen routine about talking appliances, LG Electronics has introduced a new high-tech refrigerator as part of its ThinQ Smart appliance line, as part of its slew of product announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The twist: the fridge knows its own contents and can help the owner with meal planning and diet goals, according to the Daily Mail and Mashable (above).

How it works: After you input your weight-loss and body-mass index goals into the fridge’s computer, it can recognition who is opening the door by its internal TV and voice-recognition technology, the Daily Mail reports. Then it can make suggestions based on what is inside.

The smart fridge knows what is inside because you will have scanned each item as you put it into the fridge. Because of that scanning, the fridge will text you when an expiration date is coming for a product and also inform you when you are out of something, the paper notes. If you can’t keep track, don’t worry. You can just access the in-fridge camera from your phone while you’re at the store to see how much butter is left. (Not that you eat a lot of butter anymore; only when the fridge lets you.) The fridge will even suggest meal ideas and recipes, and turn on a connected stove if you want so that things can get moving. After all, time is money. 

In time, the company is hoping to have the fridge hook up with online shopping sites so that items that run out can immediately be loaded into your next grocery order, the Daily Mail reports. The fridge is scheduled to go on sale later this year and cost £2,000 ($2,255) in the United Kingdom. For those who aren’t so concerned about dieting, the fridge's chiller can take a warm bottle of wine and make it fully cold in eight minutes; with a beer, it takes five.

LG also announced a new 4G smartphone running on Verizon’s network, and wowed CES with its 55-inch OLED TV Screen, and Smart TVs with 3D compatibility and Google TV on board (launching in the U.S. this year and other markets including the U.K. next year).

TG Daily reports that LG also has other fun uses for its new technology. The company has introduced a new vacuum cleaner that can be controlled like a remote control car by your cell phone from a remote location. (Surprise your spouse and vacuum the place while you are at work.) What's more, “you can even patrol your house (with it) via its camera eye or send it off to carry messages to the family,” TG reports. That should have privacy lovers really enjoying it.

"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," says Moon-bum Shin, CEO of LG Electronics Home Appliance Company, according to TG. “Device-to-device connectivity with Smartphones and among LG appliances is a new and exciting way for us to realize this goal, helping consumers handle housework in a smarter manner by saving time, money and energy."

LG Australia's spot for the LG Kompressor Plus, meanwhile, is creating a stir down under:

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