Whirlpool’s SlimTech insulation technology can reduce refrigerator wall thickness by up to 66%.
More than just electronics at this week’s tech show
By Alan Wolf, YSN
As technology extends into virtually every aspect of life, the annual CES — an acronym for Consumer Electronics Show — has expanded into new and varied categories.
Once the province of TVs, computers and sound systems, America’s largest tech show, held this week in Las Vegas, made plenty of room for AI-enhanced furniture and appliances, much of which will ship this spring. Here’s a look at some highlights:
The California company returned to CES with its Dawn House Bed, a sleek, contemporary sleep system ostensibly targeted at seniors. The custom smart bed features high/low adjustable height, motion-activated underbed lighting, auto anti-snore, a “Rise to Wake” feature, “Zero-G” positioning, vibration motors, an optional support rail and passive biometric sensors. The latter monitor a variety of sleep and health metrics including cardiac function and sleep-disordered breathing, which are transmitted to the Dawn House mobile app for sharing with caregivers and/or medical providers.
The vendor showcased its GE Profile Smart Indoor Smoker with active smoke filtration. Touted as the world’s first and only indoor smoker, the unit uses heat and a highly engineered catalyst system to efficiently deliver wood-smoked seasoning to foods without escaping into the kitchen. Sharing booth space with the Indoor Smoker was GE Profile’s previously released and super-efficient Ultrafast Combo washer and dryer with ventless heat pump technology. The two-in-one laundry unit, which can wash and dry a large load in about 2 hours, features 4.8 cubic feet of capacity and a simple 120v plug for easy placement, all of which helped it earn a 2024 CES Innovation Award.
The California company returned to CES to launch its immersive Super Novo X massage chair, the latest addition to its Ascent chair series. This year’s model expands its massage capabilities with greater depth control and added mid-stroke speed options. The combination mimics the touch of human hands, the company said, and targets specific areas of tension, including the lumbar region and calf, with therapeutic adjustable heat options and a unique orbital massage that allows blood vessels to dilate, thereby increasing the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the user’s tissues.
LG has updated its Styler clothing care solution with advanced new features that include a handheld, high-pressure steamer, Dynamic Moving Hanger and Dual TrueSteam technology to deliver faster and more effective clothes-refreshing cycles with improved drying, dehumidification and de-wrinkling performance, the company said. In addition, LG’s latest Styler has a built-in ventilation system and dehumidification function that automatically circulates air throughout the room and can collect up to 2.6 gallons of moisture from the air.
The longtime CES exhibitor introduced its HomeCHEF 4-in-1 multi-oven, which employs four cooking methods — sear, simmer, steam and grill — to ensure perfect flavor and texture while retaining maximum nutrition. The company collaborated with Fresco, a smart kitchen platform, to incorporate AI and smart cooking technology into HomeCHEF, allowing home cooks to easily customize recipes to fit dietary preferences, make ingredient substitutions based on what’s in the pantry and seamlessly adjust serving size and cooking settings.
The Boston-based business touted its new Macrowave Oven, a countertop cooking appliance featuring the company’s patented InstaGLO heating technology that utilizes “specialized alloys, engineered design and intelligent algorithms” to cook food faster, smarter and tastier. The unit features a large LCD screen for quick toggling between multiple cooking modes, including microwave, oven, convection, virtual rotisserie, broil, air fry, micro-bake, micro-air fry, crisp reheat, pizza oven and easy menu, and comes with its own glass tray, perforated air fry basket, non-stick baking sheet, wire rack and a temperature probe accessories.
The accent was on AI at the Samsung booth, where the company showcased its latest Bespoke 4-Door Flex refrigerator. The 2024 model, replete IoT-enhanced AI Family Hub+, was updated with “AI Vision Inside,” which uses a smart internal camera that can recognize items as they’re stored and removed. The company also introduced an Anyplace Induction Cooktop and Slide-in Range, which are equipped with 7-inch LCD screens for viewing recipes from the Family Hub+. AI also extended to Samsung’s floor care line with the new Bespoke Jet Bot Combo vacuum and mop robot cleaner, which combines AI features and steam cleaning for “a seamless cleaning experience,” the company said.
The Sharp booth presented a Smart Living exhibit that demonstrated cutting-edge technologies for enhancing daily life. Highlights included a high-speed oven with proprietary quad heating technologies that can reduce cooking time by 33% compared to a conventional oven. The unit features convection circulation, inverter control microwave, intelligent cooking control and what the company described as the industry’s first gold carbon heater, which provides charcoal grill flavor.
The BSH brand turned the spotlight on its 36-inch Pro Harmony Liberty induction range, introduced last summer, which combines Thermador-exclusive innovative induction cooktop technology with a powerful convection, and allows consumers to effortlessly transfer cooking settings simply by moving their cookware. Built with a sleek, side-to-side frameless black glass design and featuring a fast-heat PowerBoost setting that increases element power by up to 50%, the Wi-Fi-enabled range earned Thermador a coveted CES 2024 Innovation Award within the Home Appliances category.
The appliance giant demonstrated its new SlimTech refrigeration insulation at the show, which can reduce the thickness of refrigerator walls by up to 66%. Described as the first vacuum insulated structure (VIS) technology in a refrigerator in North America, SlimTech can increase capacity, improve performance and pave the way for future design evolutions and end-of-life sustainability options, Whirlpool said. The technology will make its debut later this year on the doors of select JennAir 30-inch column refrigerators and will roll out more broadly in KitchenAid refrigerators going forward, where the technology will be utilized within the entire structure.