Home Appliances Get 'Smart' at CES

Manila Bulletin, January 10, 2011 | Go to article overview
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Home Appliances Get 'Smart' at CES


LAS VEGAS, Nevada (AFP) - Mobile phones aren't the only things getting smart. Home appliances are too.On display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) here along with the latest smartphones and touchscreen tablet computers are ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators and other products for the "connected" home.South Korea's LG Electronics is attracting the most buzz on the home front with its line of "Thinq" household appliances which are connected to a home Wi-Fi network and can be controlled by a smartphone or a computer.LG refrigerators with touchscreen LCD displays let users keep tabs on where food items have been placed in the machine and when they expire."You can use a drag and drop system with icons or voice commands," said Patrick Steinkuhl, product insight manager at LG Electronics USA."You can say things like 'Ground beef top shelf.' It has default expiration dates built in but if you want to change those you can," he said. "You're in complete control."An owner of the LG refrigerator can access its contents while shopping via a smartphone and figure out, for example, whether they need to pick up another gallon of milk or orange juice."I have the ability to see what's in my fridge from my phone," Steinkuhl said."We're connecting devices that have never been connected before and we're connecting them to you," he said."In the past we had the technology to do this but we never had the infrastructure to support the technology," he said. "Now we're there.""We have the capacity to support smartphones and smart software and Wi-Fi is a very strong way to connect," Steinkuhl said.LG is also displaying an oven that can access a home computer server, download preprogrammed recipes and display them on a screen built into the front of the machine."It shows all of the ingredients and the cooking process," Steinkuhl said. "And when my roast is finished cooking it will a message to my phone that says 'Your roast is done.

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Home Appliances Get 'Smart' at CES
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