CE Pro April 2021 - 10

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LG Conquers KBIS Design Bites

Illustrating the wow factor of smart appliances, the Studio WashTower with LG's ThinQ
platform topped the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show's competition. BY ARLEN SCHWEIGER

L

G ELECTRONICS has not only

been at the forefront of the latest
display technologies like OLED,
8K and ultra-short throw projection, but
has pushed connected smart appliances
into the mainstream too.
That influence was evident during KBIS
(Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) Virtual
2021, held Feb. 9-12, in which LG's innovative Studio WashTower single-unit washer/dryer took top honors in the annual
Design Bites competition by impressing
the panel of designers and media judges.
Hosted by the " dancing carpenter " and
star of HGTV's " Extreme Makeover: Home
Edition, " Darren Keefe, Design Bites was
part of KBIS' NeXT Stage program, unaffected by the show's technical problems that
led to the closing of the exhibit hall.
" I learn so much about the industry each
time I go and I have a great time, " Keefe
says of the annual KBIS show, adding that
Design Bites participants were judged on
aspects such as " which product was most
innovative, which had the most wow factor. "
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CE Pro APRIL 2021

C2104 pp10-12 Pulse.indd 10

The LG Studio WashTower features a topbottom design with its Center Control panel
in the middle.

With the affable Keefe handling the
moderator duties, Design Bites - similar to the now-annual Tech Bites that has
taken place during recent CEDIA Expo
events - incorporated prerecorded short
video pitches from eight manufacturer
participants about a slick new offering.
And like Tech Bites did as it pivoted to a
virtual event last fall, after each video Keefe
welcomed a company representative to live
chat on Zoom about the product - in this
case, answering a question from one of the
" Design Hounds " representing the show's
design-heavy contingent as well as a question from event attendees in the chat box.
The LG Studio WashTower beat out
stiff competition from seven other manufacturers that mostly catered to the
kitchen and bath contractor crowd but
did include other smart home devices.
Namely, SnapAV's Control4 brand with
its Chime Video Doorbell showcasing

integrated smart home capabilities, and
Brondell with its AG+ technology incorporated in its sanitizing air purifiers highlighting today's indoor air quality trend.
Other entrants into Design Bites
included: Monogram (Pro Range of
major appliances); Kohler (Tone Collection faucets); Miele (G 5000 Dishwasher
Series); Signature Kitchen Suite (undercounter " convertible dual drawer " refrigerator); and Wellborn Cabinet (new paint
and stain colors, dropdown desk, floating
shelves and more).
The gorgeous LG Studio WashTower
had plenty of wow factor and innovation,
offering a sleek steel finish, single-unit
dryer-on-top/washer-on-bottom design
and Center Control intelligence panel
smack in the middle.
LG's Josie Salazar explained that the
built-in intelligence incorporates sensors
with AI to assist with cleaning by detecting things like fabric texture and load size,
and will learn from preferred settings in
the LG ThinQ app.
Meanwhile, consumers may recognize
the ThinQ platform from other LG connected appliances and its lineup of smart TVs. In
this case, as Salazar notes, ThinQ helps provide things like " installation reports, maintenance tips and preventative alerts of issues
before they become a problem. "
When questioned about the noise
potential of product that in a luxury
home might be tucked away on a secondfloor laundry room or closet, Salazar adds,
" LG takes pride in low-decibel operation
- ours always in the 40s, so it's not going
to shake and create ton of noise. "
As mentioned, Control4 and Brondell
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CE Pro April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CE Pro April 2021

CE Pro April 2021 - 1
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