The battle over making average home appliances "smart" rages on, and LG just put an additional foot forward with its new InstaView smart refrigerator that integrates Amazon Alexa voice assistant control. The setup is simple: this is a big refrigerator with a huge portrait-oriented 29-inch display, and while the base operating system is webOS the smarts all come from Amazon's Alexa.

The experience is entirely the same as using an Amazon Echo, so you don't have any drop-off in features when you move the intelligence to the fridge. So you can simply ask your fridge to answer questions, tell you about the weather and yes even play music and audiobooks — though LG isn't making any claims about how good the speaker system is on the refrigerator.

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LG's new webOS-powered refrigerator

And as you'd expect, the Alexa integration makes the most sense when it comes to shopping for food directly from your refrigerator. On top of the fact that you can manage food items using the screen, you can now simple ask Alexa to build a shopping list and even order individual items to be delivered right away.

After what was initially a slow start, Amazon has built Alexa into a super popular smart speaker platform and quickly moved right beyond it to add the technology to just about anyone that wants to partner with the company. And the fact that these partners get the complete Alexa experience is extremely important.

Press release:


Industry-Leading Technologies Offer Intuitive Control, Home Management, Bringing New Meaning to Kitchen as "Heart of the Home"

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4, 2017 ― LG Electronics (LG) has introduced a new kind of refrigerator, called Smart InstaView™ that's embedded with an array of convenient features provided by Amazon's Alexa Voice Service and powered by LG's own webOS smart platform.

Unveiled at CES 2017, LG's new flagship Door-in-Door refrigerator features a 29-inch touch LCD display, which, thanks to its InstaView feature, instantly turns transparent with just two knocks of the screen and allows users to look inside the refrigerator without opening the door. Now with webOS, consumers can also explore a host of WiFi-enabled features directly on the refrigerator, creating a streamlined and powerful food management system all housed directly on the front of the fridge door.

Amazon's Alexa Voice Service gives users access to an intelligent personal assistant that, in addition to searching recipes, can play music, place Prime-eligible orders from including groceries, add items to a shopping list and more. With over 6,000 skills available, Alexa can also control one's smart home, request car service, set kitchen timers and check the weather - all hands-free by just using your voice. With Alexa, daily tasks in the kitchen - such as cooking or planning for the day - turn into a dynamic, entertaining experience.

In addition to the services provided by Amazon, the LG Smart InstaView refrigerator offers a variety of other convenience-enhancing features. The Smart Tag menu allows users to add stickers and tags on the screen to indicate which foods are stored as well as the ability to input the expiration date of each item, so the refrigerator can issue reminders when foods near expiration. Family members can set up memos for each other and create to-do lists that display on the screen. To check inside the refrigerator remotely, a 2.0 megapixel panoramic super-wide-lens camera captures images of the interior from a variety of different angles which are accessible via smartphone, a must-have feature for anyone who would like to see what's at home while grocery shopping.

"By working with Amazon, we are able to broaden our smart refrigerator's capabilities and further provide our customers with a pleasurable cooking and dining experience," said Song Dae-Hyun, president of LG Electronics and Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. "Our Smart InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerator will allow users to enjoy their kitchen experience like never before."

"For many families, the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house, and a place where they often find their hands tied. Now consumers have even more convenience in their homes, all just by using their voice and Alexa," said Mike George, vice president, Amazon Alexa. "In working with an innovative home appliance company like LG, we can truly showcase how much better life can be for consumers everywhere starting with updating one of the most important appliances in the home."

CES attendees are welcome to see LG's Smart InstaView Refrigerator and the company's full 2017 product lineup at LG's booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center (Central Hall #11100) from Jan. 5-8.