LAS VEGAS -- LG on Wednesday unveiled a completely new line of "smart," connected home appliances that it says will make chores easier and save energy, time and money.
The common thread among the appliances is LG's Thinq platform, which allows them to connect to the smart grid, diagnose themselves and allow for more fine-tuned (read: set-and-forget) management.
Revealed here at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show were LG's new networked refrigerators, washing machines, ovens and robotic vacuum cleaners.
Further, self-diagnosis allows the appliance to be a little more self-aware; a Wi-Fi connected fridge can send an alert to your smartphone or tablet when your son leaves the door open before running out the door to school. The intelligence also helps service technicians more carefully pinpoint problems with the appliance.
This connectivity also allows you to monitor progress from afar; for example, you can check on-the-go whether the washing machine has finished its load, or whether that pot roast is ready for eating. And with a robotic vacuum cleaner, you can instruct it to clean up, even if you're at the supermarket shopping.
Perhaps my favorite feature? What LG calls "food management" -- that is, tracking the expiration dates of the food in your fridge. I'm not yet sure exactly how it works, but it's a magical little feature that could help save me money (instead of throwing it down the garbage disposal.)
The appliances LG is introducing along with the platform:
So what's it all mean? Simple: tech companies want to help your home get smarter, with hope that intelligent home automation is mutually beneficial.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com