Saving energy is not only important in helping control global climate change, but also saving money, and LG thinks that their new THINQ line of appliances will help you do both. With the ability to set the level of power usage, and to let the computer know about your local electricity rates, all of the appliances can adjust to do power hungry tasks at the cheapest times. LCD displays, and in future models, smartphones and tablets, allow you to see up-to-the-minute reports on usage and performance, and in future models an offload washer or a failed fridge compressor will ping right to your phone the problem over your WiFi network. Not satisfied with standing still, their Roomba competitor HOM-BOT is also controllable via smartphone, and can even feed the cat for you.
Smart appliances started out as things like internet on the refrigerator door, something no one really needed or wanted, but these sound like a much more logical step toward technology integration. If I have a fridge that can tell what’s going bad tomorrow via RFID tags and generate me a list while I’m at the store, that’s really handy, and certainly robot feeding avoids those nasty ankle bites when you decide to go out to dinner after work and someone is displeased with the absent victuals. Conceptually it all sounds great, but let’s see how smart they are when faced with a toddler and a screwdriver.