We generally think of CES as a place to see the hottest upcoming electronics and gadgets (it is called the Consumer Electronics Show, after all), but it’s also the stage for brands to display their latest innovations in appliances. As the lines between appliances and high-tech electronics blur, it’s natural for us to encounter more products that are a bit of both, like LG’s ThinQ laundry products. ThinQ is LG’s smart technology, connecting appliances and electronics to each other, and to you via a simple app. Like other Internet of Things devices, this lets you control your products with your smartphone or your voice. But because it leverages artificial intelligence, ThinQ also imbues each product with the ability to make its own decisions, in addition to simply following your commands. LG employs this technology in myriad ways, including making their laundry products more helpful. Here’s what we saw at CES.
A pair of LG front-load laundry products with ThinQ technology will learn to adapt to your regular laundry habits, and adjust the machine for you accordingly. For instance, every Saturday afternoon I wash a week’s worth of gym clothes at a particular setting: hot wash/cold rinse, normal cycle, extra rinse. After that, I might wash some button-down shirts in cold/cold, on permanent press, with a steam cycle to kill wrinkles. Eventually, the washer and dryer will learn my habits and dial in those settings for me before I can finish loading the machine.
ThinQ’s artificial intelligence will also choose the best washing settings for you when you’re not exactly sure which ones you should choose—what, exactly, is “perm press” anyway? Just tell your washing machine what kind of clothes you have and how dirty they might be, and the washer will figure out the best way to clean them.
LG is also tackling ways to deal with your more complicated garments, the clothes you’d normally bring to a dry cleaner. The LG Styler is a garment “refresher,” a device you’d use to extend the time needed between dry cleanings. Using just steam and some gentle shaking action, the LG Styler reduces odors and wrinkles in garments that you can’t just throw in the washing machine. Using ThinQ and NFC tags embedded in the garments, the Styler will know exactly what action to take on each particular item to have it turn out looking its best. See it in action in the video below: