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LG washer senses fabric, picks the best laundry cycle for your clothes

LG claims its ThinQ Washer with AI knows the difference between jeans and towels and automatically selects the right laundry cycle.

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The LG Washer with AI has tech designed to sense what type of clothes you're washing -- and pick the best cycle automatically.

Sarah Tew/CNET
This story is part of CES 2020, our complete coverage of the showroom floor and the hottest new tech gadgets around.

Laundry can be a tedious chore, but LG wants to make it a little easier on us with its new ThinQ Washer with AI. This washer has built-in smart tech that's supposed to sense the type of fabric you're adding and automatically determine the best cycle for those specific clothes. 

And, if you have the compatible dryer, LG will send the optimal settings to dry your clothes as well. 

LG was among the first companies to introduce innovative smart laundry appliances. Its Twin Wash system, first introduced in 2015 and now sold in various models and color finishes, was revolutionary at the time. The LG Twin Wash system consists of a main front-load washer and a smaller washer built into the pedestal underneath the main unit. You can add bulkier items like sheets and towels to the main washer and smaller, delicate items to the bottom pedestal -- and wash everything at the same time, using different cleaning cycles and settings. 

The Twin Wash washer is app-enabled, but that is where its capabilities fell a little short. It didn't automate laundry cycles or otherwise make it easier to do laundry. 

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Samsung now offers a system similar to Twin Wash called "FlexWash." FlexWash washers have a main front-load wash compartment and a smaller top-load washer built into the top of the main washer. The companion dryer has the same setup -- a regular front-load dryer and a small dryer integrated into the top of the main dryer. 

LG's new Washer with AI has the same Twin Wash design as its predecessors, but also adds in artificial intelligence. The appliance manufacturer claims this washer can detect the weight and volume of clothes as well as the specific fabrics in the machine, even if it's a mixed load of laundry, and determine the best cycle automatically. 

LG hasn't yet told us the price of its new ThinQ Washer with AI (or the matching dryer), but it should become available in the first half of the year. I'm intrigued; anything that can truly help automate a weekly chore like laundry is a win to me, especially if the app has improved.

We'll just have to wait and see how it works -- and if it's really as good as LG claims. 

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