LG's see-through fridge door opens on its own

The new LG signature refrigerator upgrades the smarts of the door-in-door panel, so you can see through it with a knock. It'll also open when you get close.

Andrew Gebhart Former senior producer
3 min read

The Signature Fridge at the New York debut.

John Falcone/CNET

Editors' Note, October 6, 2016: LG showed off the Signature fridge at an event in New York to correspond with its official launch. The piece has been updated with hands on pics, availability, and the price.

LG's wasn't about to be outdone by Samsung's cool new fridge with a touchscreen on the door. Introduced at during CES 2016, LG's new signature refrigerator looks like it has a touchscreen of its own, but it's actually an upgrade to it's previous door-in-door models. Knock on it, and it turns transparent, letting you browse the contents on that side of the fridge without opening the door.

Better yet, the door opens on its own if you approach with an armful of groceries. Step into the sensor underneath, and you now have hands-free access to your fridge. Supposedly, the sensor will even tell the difference between people and pets, so it doesn't accidentally open for your curious dog.

Watch this: Knock on this see-through refrigerator door

It's a slick, silver T-type fridge -- a french-door fridge on top and two doors for the freezer on the bottom. It has 31 cubic feet of space and a scratch resistant stainless finish.

The LG Signature Fridge is available today for a lofty $8,500. Samsung's Family Hub with a touchscreen is only $6,000, so LG's clearly shooting for the premium market here. LG has it's own touchscreen fridge on the way as well, and if this one's $8,500, I fear to think what that one will cost. Given the price, hopefully one of the freezer doors converts to fridge temps, like the Samsung Chef Collection.

An $8,500 see-through fridge and more from the ritzy LG Signature lineup

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As far as features, I've been critical about the door-in-door feature in the past. It's only added a small amount of convenience and sacrificed some temperature control on connected compartments, but both add ons to this signature fridge certainly seem useful to me. I like to take my time browsing and picking my snack, and now I won't have to feel guilty about it. And the automatic opening will help me not have to leave the door open as I cart armfuls of groceries back and forth from the counter or the car.

I'm curious to find out how exactly it tells the difference between people and pets. During the demo at CES, the pitchman for LG needed to keep his foot in place for a second, and maybe that's enough to prevent the stray opening as your pet runs by. It also only opening a crack, meaning you'll still need to use an elbow or a knee to shift it the rest of the way.

To help mitigate the temperature inconsistency of the door-in-door, LG has clad the interior with stainless steel, and kept its usual inverter compression system. I'm glad to hear that, as other than the doors, the LG fridges we've tested so far have performed very well temperature-wise.

If the look of a transparent door next to stainless steel appeals to you, and it might -- it certainly looks high end if a bit unusual -- and you're looking for a high-end fridge, the unique features of this LG signature model certainly seem like they'll be quite helpful.

The smart-home products of CES 2016 (pictures)

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