Robots, TVs and Alexa gear: What LG launched at CES 2017
LG kicks off the second day of CES press conferences with a discussion about AI, as well as a preview of its superthin televisions and Alexa appliances.
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Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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Watch this: Incredible LG OLED TV hangs totally flush against the wall
LG wants to make the products in your home smarter than you.
The Korean company, known for making an array of products like televisions, phones and washing machines, kicked off its CES 2017 press conference with a discussion of its DeepThinQ artificial intelligence platform. It went over concept products and demonstrated some of the practical benefits.
The company is going all-in with the smart home. LG's robot vacuum cleaner, for instance, can recognize the difference between a table leg and a human one. Its washing machine can recognize if there's an excess of dirt and add a second rinse cycle if need be. LG brought up an Amazon executive to talk about the integration of Alexa -- the company's voice assistant -- into its smart refrigerator.
In its usual fashion, the company has already pre-announced several products and categories ahead of this year's CES. But it saved some of its biggest bangs for the show itself, including an amazingly thin wallpaper-like television. Here's a roundup of everything it unveiled.
LG Smart InstaView Door-in-Door Refrigerator: A fridge that features a full 29-inch HD touchscreen display. Knock on it, and the screen goes transparent, allowing you to see what's inside. It's smart enough to run on its WebOS software and comes loaded with Alexa through a partnership with Amazon. That means you can buy groceries directly from the fridge with a quick voice command.
Hub Robot: LG essentially took a smart speaker and jammed it into a cute, mobile robot. It works like an Amazon Echo, allowing you to give it voice commands, which in turn lets it control the oven or robot vacuum.
Robo Mower: Feeling lazy about mowing the lawn? LG has a robot that will do it for you.
Airbot: Taking the robot concept further, LG also unveiled an airport guide robot, which will appear in the Incheon airport in South Korea later this year.
Super UHD: The 2017 lineup of LCD TVs focuses on color accuracy and a bit of technology called "nanocell." It's essentially microscopic dots on the panel to help with color balance. LG took a veiled shot at Samsung's curved display TVs. "We don't think our competitors pay attention to how viewers watch TV," it said, noting that you have to be dead center to get the best picture on such a set. LG emphasized that nanocell tech will help widen the viewing angle.
Signature TV W: An OLED television that's nearly as thin as wallpaper (2.57 mm thick). The design is called "picture on wall." LG says it creates a sense of immersion, as if it's one with the wall. The television attaches to the wall via a magnetic bracket.
The OLED family: LG also unveiled a family of OLED televisions, including a relatively low-end version called the B7 that's supposed to boast the same picture quality as the top model.