With the LG Smart InstaView Refrigerator the Smarter Future Has Arrived

LG Electronics had a lot to show off at their Press Conference yesterday but the star of the show was their new Smart InstaView Refrigerator. Yes, at a CES where it’s all Alexa all the time LG rolled out a refrigerator that is not only powered by LG’s own webOS smart platform but also leverages Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service.

The flagship of this new Door-in-Door refrigerator has a 29” touch LCD display. (And to think I was excited when our LG door-in-door refrigerator came with water and ice in the door!) Thanks to the InstaView feature, the touch LCD display becomes transparent when someone knocks on the screen twice. That, in turn, lets users look inside the refrigerator without opening the door.

Now, six months ago I would have scoffed at this. But when we renovated our kitchen last spring we actually got an LG door-in-door refrigerator. The door, in the door, of the refrigerator portion is pretty amazing. We keep all of the items that are frequently used there so that we can get them without having to open the entire refrigerator. Honestly, if the refrigerator were to die tomorrow I would definitely want this feature again. This new offering takes this feature one step further and means you don’t even HAVE to open the fridge to find out what is inside.

In addition to this door-in-door peekaboo feature (my term not LG’s) the implementation of webOS and WiFi connectivity allows consumers to “explore a host of WiFi-enabled features directly on the refrigerator, creating a streamlined and powerful food management system all housed directly on the front of the fridge door.”

The big news with the Smart InstaView Refrigerator is that it joins the parade of products jumping on the Amazon Alexa Voice Service bandwagon. Yes, with this refrigerator the largest appliance in the kitchen is now an intelligent personal assistant. With it, consumers can access any of the over 6,000 skills available via Alexa. For example, they can search for recipes, play music, control one’s smart home, request car service, set kitchen timers, check the weather and ask Alexa to tell them stupid jokes. (“How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb?” “One but the bulb really has to be ready to change.”) Perhaps more significantly, by adding Alexa to the refrigerator consumers can now see what is missing in the refrigerator, add items to a shopping list and even order them directly from Amazon.com without missing a beat. Of course, one could just as easily put an Echo Dot in the kitchen but what fun would that be.

And there’s more.

A Smart Tag menu allows users to add stickers and tags on the refrigerator’s screen to indicate which foods are stored there. It also has the ability to input the expiration date of each item, so the refrigerator can issue reminders when foods near expiration. (How cool is that?!?)

A Notes function allows family members to leave memos for each other or, if need be, create to-do lists that will show up on the screen.”Honey, what do you mean you didn’t know we needed more milk? Just look at the refrigerator!”

And a “check inside the refrigerator” features allows consumers to remotely see whats inside the refrigerator. This is accomplished via a 2.0 megapixel panoramic super-wide-lens camera inside the fridge that shows images of the interior from a variety of different angles. “Hmmmm…. Are we out of milk? Let me check my iPhone and see…”

As Song Dae-Hyun, president of LG Electronics and Home Appliance and Air Solutions Company notes:

By working with Amazon, we are able to broaden our smart refrigerator’s capabilities and further provide our customers with a pleasurable cooking and dining experience. Our Smart InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator will allow users to enjoy their kitchen experience like never before.”

Mike George, vice president, Amazon Alexa adds,

For many families, the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house, and a place where they often find their hands tied. Now consumers have even more convenience in their homes, all just by using their voice and Alexa. In working with an innovative home appliance company like LG, we can truly showcase how much better life can be for consumers everywhere starting with updating one of the most important appliances in the home.

Yes, as I type this I am loving at my LG side-by-side door-in-door refrigerator and realizing that, compared to the refrigerator Judie saw at the LG Press Conference yesterday, my fridge is a Model T. Learn more here.


About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.