The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021 may have skipped Las Vegas in favour of a virtual format, but it still had a lot to show in innovation for smart home devices, including TVs and fridges especially. The most notable revolutions came from Samsung and LG this year, with both global manufacturers receiving Best of Innovation (BoI) awards for tech and appliances.
So, without further ado, here’s a round-up of the major advancements and models for home & kitchen appliances in 2021.
1. LG’s InstaView ThinQ Refrigerator
LG’s InstaView ThinQ fridge took out the BoI award for home appliances. It’s undoubtedly the smartest fridge in town, with Amazon Alexa built in the fridge. This allows you to shop for groceries, play music, check the weather, manage your calendar, and do other day-to-day admin stuff via voice commands. It also features a 29-inch HD transparent LCD touch-screen to set food expiration dates, check what’s inside your fridge, upload photos, leave notes for your spouse and kids, etc.
2. LG’s WebOS 6.0 Smart TVs
All LG 2021 OLED, QNED Mini LED and UHD smart TVs will operate with ThinQ AI in webOS 6.0 to support new voice commands for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, making TV management and searching across streaming services, internet and broadcast channels more convenient. The LG Display will also come with a 77-inch OLED TV panel with increased luminance, thanks to a high-efficiency organic material and additional emission layer, which increases the luminance efficacy by 20%, according to the brand.
3. LG’s CordZeroThinQ A9 Kompressor+
LG also launched its latest cordless stick vacuum – the CordZeroThinQ A9 Kompressor+ – which comes with a new charging station stand that automatically empties the dustbin and recharges the vacuum after use. When the unit is docked back into the charging station, it will automatically suck hair, dust and yucky bits out of the dustbin container and into an attached dust bag. The latest dual-function CordZero from LG also comes with six interchangeable accessories and nozzles that can be switched from a vacuum to mop in a jiffy.
4. LG’s Designer Appliances
LG is blurring the line between furniture and appliances, with its ‘furniture concept appliances’ range. The collection includes LG’s InstaView door-in-door refrigerator, fridge and freezer pair, microwave, dishwasher, water purifier, WashTower and styler. This range will allow consumers to customise their appliances with various finishes including stainless steel, glass, and metal, to suit their personal tastes and home décor.
5. Samsung’s New French Door Fridge Range
Samsung’s latest French door fridge range comes with new, smart technologies, including a new storage design stated to keep food fresher for longer with an ultra-violet light inside, and a separate easy-access ‘beverage showcase’ compartment for drinks. Entertaining at home is about to get a whole a lot easier! It also features an internal water and ice dispenser and anti-bacterial handles for improved hygiene. Samsung’s new French door refrigerator will be available in Australia from next month, but prices are yet to be announced.
6. Samsung’s Bespoke 4-Door Flex
The latest generation of Samsung’s Bespoke refrigerator comes with customisable panels to suit your taste and preferences, with eight colours and glass or steel finishes available. It strikes a great balance between form and function. This model (like the one above) features a ‘beverage center’, which gives quick access to a water dispenser and an automatically-filled water pitcher, plus a dual auto ice maker which makes not only regular cubed ice, but also smaller ‘ice bites’ to suit different preferences for cold beverages.
7. Samsung’s JetBot 90 AI+
This new robot vacuum cleaner from Samsung uses object recognition technology to identify and classify objects and decide the best cleaning path for certain floors and areas. The JetBot 90 AI+ is stated to have LiDAR and 3D sensors that allow it to avoid cables and small objects, while still cleaning hard-to-reach places in your home like corners and under furniture. Also outfitted with a camera, the JetBot 90 AI+ is integrated with the SmartThings app. Prices are still to be announced.
8. Samsung’s SmartThings Cooking
Struggling to think of what to make for dinner? Fret not, Samsung just launched a SmartThings automatic meal planner (powered by Whisk’s Food AI). It does everything (except cooking) from recommending nice meals for the whole week, to making shopping lists with the ingredients you’ll need and connecting you to supermarkets for one-stop shopping straight from the Family Hub fridge or your smart device. The recipe instructions can also be sent directly to synced Samsung cooking devices to minimise mishaps. Prices are still to be announced.
9. Samsung’s ‘Lifestyle’ Eco TVs
Samsung has unveiled a new range of Neo QLED eco-friendly TVs which come with solar-powered remote controls and an ‘eco-packaging’ design that allows customers to repurpose their TV boxes into small-scale pieces of furniture. The 2021 line-up also comes with new features such as Caption Moving, Sign Language Zoom and Multi-Output Audio, to make watching TV more accessible to people with hearing impairments, the deaf, people with low vision, and the blind. Prices are still to be announced.
10. Sony’s Spatial Reality Display
Sony’s Spatial Reality Display tablet features a new eye-sensing technology that continuously senses the position of your eyes to adjust image sizes and brightness. It uses high-speed sensors to follow eye movement down to the millisecond, sensing pupil position through space on all three axes: vertical, horizontal, and even depth. There’s also a 3D viewing screen display that makes you feel like you’re interacting with your content. Sony’s Spatial Reality Display retails for a hefty $4,999 RRP*.
Prices taken from respective retailers, correct as of January 2021.