LG puts the cute CLOi at the center of its thinking appliances

CLOi will respond to your commands via the LG Hub Robot and can help with the chores.

Andrew Gebhart Former senior producer
2 min read
Chris Monroe/CNET

We've seen the big blue eyes of the LG Hub Robot before. This year at CES , it was ready to talk (at least some of the time). LG's marketing VP David VanderWaal also called the bot CLOi -- an introduction to the company's digital assistant that should help you control your smart appliances .

CLOi looks to be an integral piece of LG's new approach to smart appliances. It'll respond to voice commands to help you decide what to cook based on what's in your fridge. It can preheat the oven for you once you've made your decision. CLOi looks to be LG's take on a digital assistant similar to Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant, but CLOi looks to be the especially helpful in the kitchen.


LG's making Cloi the center of its kitchen AI. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Along with CLOi, LG relaunched ThinQ -- the company's platform for smart appliances. We haven't been huge fans of ThinQ in the past, but LG's now promising it'll help your appliances do the thinking for you. Your washing machine will know which cycle to run based on the clothes you toss in. Your air conditioner will learn your temperature preferences over time. Your fridge can talk to your oven to communicate preheating instructions.

Watch this: LG's see-through smart fridge takes the CES stage

CLOi looks to be at the center of these efforts. The Hub Robot will show cooking instructions and act a bit like an Amazon Echo Show with a face. CLOi will need to do a lot to keep up with Alexa and Google Assistant, but it might not have to if the Hub Robot comes equipped with one of those assistants in addition to CLOi. LG's also taking CLOi to places not yet touched by Amazon's and Google's assistants such as airports and hotels with robots that can carry your luggage.

LG's press conference was unusually absent of big surprises in the smart home and appliances space. Most of what they showed off, we'd seen before. CLOi and the ThinQ AI show that the company is more focused on the underpinnings than flashy hardware this year, and if they can indeed make your appliances smarter, LG's patient approach to CES 2018 could pay off. 

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