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LG’s 2018 lineup of AI-enabled ThinQ TVs are going to be getting Google Assistant functionality in many of its international markets. Starting 8/24, Google Assistant will be available in Canada, Australia, and the UK, with support coming to South Korea, Spain, France, and Germany by the end of the year.
LG’s ThinQ TVs came with integrated Google Assistant when they launched in the US and added support for Alexa commands soon after. The built-in ThinQ AI, which runs on LG’s own WebOS can be used for TV-specific commands, such as “search for the soundtrack of this movie,” while Google Assistant and Alexa can be used as a smart home hub. You can basically use the TV the same way you’d use your Google Home by speaking commands into the mic on your remote.
LG is also planning on bringing Amazon Alexa support to Australia and Canada in the future, but no time is specified yet.
Samsung has made fridges with touchscreens before. LG has made fridges with doors that turn transparent to show you the inside. This year at CES 2018, those two ideas are finally merging into one with LG’s new InstaView ThinQ smart refrigerator, which features a 29-inch touchscreen that becomes transparent if users knock on it twice.
LG actually tried this two years ago, with a version called the Smart InstaView Door-in-Door that ran a full version of Windows 10, but it’s not clear that the company ever shipped the Windows version.
This version uses the touchscreen to manage your food using LG’s webOS software and Amazon’s Alexa, which will let you tag food with virtual stickers and expiration dates and get automatic reminders when things are running low or about to go bad. There’s also a wide-angle panoramic camera on the inside of the fridge that will let you remotely view your fridge while you’re out and about to check and see if you’re actually out of milk or not.
Unfortunately, the only image that LG has shared showing the fridge is a low-resolution shot on its YouTube page banner, but it seems that you’ll be able to still use the screen while it’s translucent, allowing you to tag food directly in a vaguely augmented reality-esque move.
LG is also touting how all of its ThinQ kitchen gadgets can talk to each other to make kitchen tasks easier. So your ThinQ fridge can talk to your EasyClean oven, which will help you cook food through step-by-step instructions from the recipe app from your fridge. Then, your EasyClean oven can notify your QuadWash dishwasher about the kind of meal you cooked, so it can more efficiently select a wash cycle for that dish. Of course, all this requires spending thousands of dollars replacing every appliance in your kitchen (and if this all works as well as LG claims it does), but it’s still an intriguing vision of a Jetsons-like future utopia.
No price or release date for the InstaView ThinQ refrigerator or any of LG’s other new appliances have yet been announced.