Are your appliances talking behind your back?

Posted by Emma Woollacott

LG Electronics is having another go at persuading us all that we want to be told to do by our household appliances.

At CES yesterday, it unveiled a voice-controlled fridge to tell you what to eat and a washing machine that books itself in for repairs.

On the plus side, though, there's a vacuum cleaner you can order about from your office.

The devices are based on LG’s Smart ThinQ technology and Home Energy Management System (HeMS).

"LG’s direction in smart appliance development has been in pursuing technological advancements that will make consumers’ lives more convenient and ultimately upgrade their quality of life," says Moon-bum Shin, CEO of LG Electronics Home Appliance Company.

"Device-to-device connectivity with smartphones and among LG appliances is a new and exciting way for us to realize this goal, helping consumers handle housework in a smarter manner by saving time, money and energy."

Users can tell the Smart Refrigerator what they're putting in it and the expiry date, via voice, a touchscreen input or by scanning barcodes and receipts. It'll then alert you when you run out of things and offer recipe suggestions.

If you give it your BMI, it'll start telling you to eat more salad - and, if you take it up on a recipe, it'll tell the Smart Oven how to cook it.

The HOM-BOT vacuum cleaner sounds a lot more biddable - indeed, you can start it up and tell it what to do from a remote location. "Techies will love its advanced control features, as the HOM-BOT can be steered via smartphones in a manner similar to a remote-control car," says LG.

You can even patrol your house via its camera eye or send it off to carry messages to the family. Now, that sounds a lot more fun.