By Harry McCracken | Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 3:16 am
Way back when, LG introduced a refrigerator that–for reasons which were unclear at the time–ran Windows 98. The company’s still at it. As I wandered around the numerous halls at the IFA electronics trade show here in Berlin, I stumbled on LG’s booth, where a demo of its Smart ThinQ appliances (which, I assume, are powered by something other than Windows 98) was in progress.
The line includes a refrigerator, a washing machine, a microwave oven, and a robotic vacuum cleaner; all use Wi-Fi to connect to the Net and work with smartphone apps. For instance, you can manage a shopping list on the fridge and zap it to your phone and back. (The fridge screen also runs Facebook and various entertainment apps.) You can download new wash cycles from your phone to the washing machine, as well as adjust the cycle on the fly. And you can use a smartphone app to download receipes to the oven.
If nothing else, I admire LG for showing patience with this concept. Wonder how many of the appliances they’re selling, and whether folks continue to use the techy features after the novelty wears off?
A couple more photos after the jump. (Full disclosure: I spoke at IFA on a panel, and the conference orgaziners covered my travel costs.)