Smart Home Appliances

Companies have been promising Jetsons-worthy home appliances since, well, The Jetsons debuted in 1962. Unfortunately, it seems like the same touch-screen or Wi-Fi technology has debuted repeatedly at every Consumer Electronics Show for the last five years. But, dare we say, 2012 is looking like a knockout year for smart home appliances, with tech giants LG and Samsung leading the pack with totally high-tech gadgets. It’s enough to make George Jetson nod in approval.

1. Samsung App Fridge

While most techie home appliances seem to be advancing too slowly, this Samsung refrigerator is a sign of great things to come. Apps let you keep grocery lists, search recipes, upload photos, check the weather, control the machine’s temperature, read news updates, listen to Pandora, and even check Twitter. It’s like an iPad that holds all your food.

2. Agilewaves Home Energy Dashboard

This nifty gadget records energy consumption data and adjusts your home accordingly, including dimming lights, tweaking heating and cooling, and turning off idling appliances.

3. LG THINQ

LG debuted its buzzed-about THINQ smart technology at CES 2011, paving the way for a new line of home appliances – set to debut later this year – that can be controlled from a central network. For example, the LG Smart Grid can tell a washing machine to clean clothes at the most cost-effective time of day.

4. THINQ Fridge

LG’s refrigerators can also self-adjust during peak energy times, turning up the coolness when rates are down and cutting back when they’re high. Soon they’ll notify owners via mobile phones and tablets when, say, a door is left open.

5. Smart Oven

LG’s Smart Access allows for a slew of cool Wi-Fi perks. For the oven, you can be poolside with a cocktail and check how much longer the roast needs via your mobile device. You can also download preprogrammed recipes.

6. K7 F-Digital Faucet by Grohe

Simply tap a button on the wireless “puck” to start and stop this faucet’s water flow or adjust its speed, while a light ring indicates water temperature. You can then save your preferred settings for the next use.

7. Samsung Eco Bubble Washer

Sometimes high-tech innovation comes through completely low-tech ideas. Take bubbles, for instance. This new Samsung washing machine uses technology to create thousands of tiny bubbles for a foamy cleanse that saves a whopping 70 percent of energy.