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LG announces ThinQ and HeMS appliances for home automators, 5-minute beer chiller for everyone else

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LG announced updates to its ThinQ smart home appliances and new Home Energy Management System (HeMS) for tracking power consumption.

LG Thinq
LG Thinq

LG's updated ThinQ brand of smart appliances and new Home Energy Management System (HeMS) are coming to CES 2012. LG will also use the Las Vegas event to reveal enhanced device-to-device connectivity across its home appliances, televisions, smartphones and PCs (curiously, LG doesn't mention tablets). Announced at CES 2011, ThinQ links your devices over Wi-Fi and ZigBee letting you check the inventory of your fridge (which you painstakingly entered on its integrated LCD panel) while downloading new wash cycles to your washing machine with just a few swipes at the smartphone interface. HeMS is new, and lets you monitor the daily power consumption of your ThinQ fridge, washing machine, oven, and even HOM-BOT robotic vacuum down to the minute, and then adjust your usage based on off-peak energy prices published by your city's non-existent Smart Grid.

Unfortunately, the feature that's bound to be most useful in the year 2012 is the new "Blast Chiller" compartment found in LG's new large-capacity French-door fridge that can cool a 12-ounce can of beer or soda in less than five minutes. Take that, Higgs boson.