LG and Samsung make AI cool with latest smart fridges
With CES 2020 on the immediate horizon, LG and Samsung are inviting show-goers to head into the kitchen to interact with their latest smart fridges, which are designed to make food prep less of a chore.
"Our goal at CES 2020 is to show what’s possible in tomorrow’s kitchens with LG InstaView refrigerators and AI," LG's Dan Song said in a press release. "With technology quickly transforming boring white boxes into exciting machines that can create craft ice, plan dinner and create shopping lists, our advanced refrigerators with ThinQ are designed for customers who appreciate any help they can get in the kitchen."
LG's new InstaView fridges feature a 22-inch transparent display to provide a window into what's inside, without opening the door. The panel also serves as a touch interface for browsing the internet in search of recipe ideas or watching cooking demos via its own Wi-Fi connection.
The second generation ThinQ model keeps track of items placed in and removed from the fridge to create a real-time inventory, offering meal suggestions based on what's available and letting users know when they're running low on food items.
LG will be also be showing off a fridge with a built-in ice maker that makes 2-inch diameter ice balls, which are said to melt slower than cubes. This model has already been released in the US, and will now be rolled out to additional markets throughout 2020.
Both InstaView fridges benefit from AI technology that keeps a weather eye on performance, alerting users to things like an unusual increase in temperature or the need to replace components through a companion app.
Samsung, meanwhile, is introducing its latest Family Hub refrigerator to CES visitors. "In the five years since we launched Family Hub, we have introduced innovations that reflect the new ways that busy, modern families are managing their daily lives," said Samsung's John Herrington. "The latest Family Hub is the most innovative yet, with more personalized, intelligent features that enable busy families to stay better connected to one another."
With the new Family Hub installed in the kitchen, users are promised less meal preparation time so they can spend more time enjoying the feast. New AI-infused cameras scan the contents of the fridge, helping it to curate week-long meal plans based on dietary preferences set by the user. Keeping track of inventory inside also allows for shopping lists to be prepared.
The fridge door is home to an interactive display, featuring an improved version of last year's Family Board digital bulletin board that allows users to leave notes or messages for other family members, share photos and more. For this latest iteration, Samsung has added video capabilities, which means that clips can be transferred wirelessly from a smartphone to the fridge's screen. Content from connected televisions can also be mirrored on the display, and music can be streamed over from popular apps.
Usefully, the interface can also serve as a control hub for SmartThings-compatible products, so you can see who is at the front door or control lighting and so on without having to leave the kitchen.
Both LG and Samsung are making us wait for pricing, but visitors to CES 2020 in Las Vegas can take a closer look when the expo opens to the public on January 7.