LG's new fridge opens automatically
If you thought smart appliances were limited to interacting through phones and the internet, think again. The new LG fridge is designed to interact directly with you in ways that will change the way you think about kitchen appliances. It's a fridge that is adapted to human ways of doing things, rather than obliging humans to adjust their behaviour to fit with it. Among other things, it opens automatically.
Opening the LG fridge
What does it mean for it to open automatically? Obviously that's not something you want your fridge to do at random times thereby letting the food get warm. There's no need to worry, as the fridge cannot open when you're not in its vicinity, because your foot triggers the door. According to the manufacturer, the machine is programmed to recognise human feet, so it won't be set off by your cat slinking under the door. This feature could be useful when both your hands are full of the things you want to put away, or when you're trying to manage kitchen tasks and keep your kids out of the way at the same time. It could also make life easier for those with disabilities.
Seeing what's inside
This automatic fridge has another function that's arguably even more useful - it lets you look inside without opening the door. This is due to what LG calls its Knock-on feature. Just knock on the door to turn on the lights inside and the door, which normally looks opaque, will suddenly become transparent. Every time a fridge door is opened, it wastes energy to keep its temperature cool, so this is an eco-friendly feature that's handy for those times when you just want to check what you have in the fridge and don't actually need to take anything out immediately. It's also better than having a permanently transparent door, because long-term exposure to light can cause some products to lose their flavour.
The Knock-on feature only applies to one of the fridge's four compartments, so you would need to think about what is most practical to keep in there - probably the things you get through most quickly.
A different kind of smart
Despite these modern features, the LG Signature fridge, which retails for around £2,860, isn't smart in the popular sense - you can't connect to it remotely. LG's market research team seems to think that there are customers out there who don't like that kind of product or consider it extraneous to their needs, so they're aiming at the more traditional buyer who appreciates a couple of practical changes that make life easier.
This automatic fridge is family sized and has a sleek steel exterior that's easy to clean and should go with most kitchens. The US version has a generously sized ice producer that's handy in summer, but this feature won't be available on the European model. Like the other fridges in LG's range, this model uses an inverter compression system that ensures very efficient cooling, making it an environmentally friendly choice as long as your household is big enough to use its full capacity.