During a press conference at CES 2016, LG announced its upcoming premium fridge, part of the high-end Signature line. We were dying to try out the hands-free door opening and window-knocking features, so we hit up the gigantic LG booth as soon as the show floor opened.
In person, the LG Signature fridge was even more impressive. The stainless steel finish and 4-door design looked and felt premium, and the stainless steel interior with bright LED lights under almost every shelf gave off a strong professional vibe. The shelves and drawers slide easily and the doors—including the door-in-door—close with a reassuring, satisfying thud.
But that wasn’t what we were there for. The first thing we did when we got to the booth was knock on the opaque glass panel dominating the exterior of the fridge’s right-side door. Momentarily, the lights behind the panel came on, illuminating the inside of the fridge and simultaneously displaying the cavity’s temperature.
Being able to see inside the fridge without opening it is a minor convenience, as well as a time and energy saver, but that wasn’t what sold us. The Auto-Door feature, which opens the door just a tad when you pass your foot over a hologram at the bottom of the fridge, is the true highlight of the Signature fridge. The point of this feature is to allow users to open the door when their hands are full.
When you trip the sensor with your foot, the door doesn’t open all the way, but it’s far enough for you to nudge it open with your elbow. LG told us that the sensor is smart enough that it won’t open the door for pets or kids, but didn’t explain exactly how it's able to tell the difference. Even so, the door will close on its own after 3 seconds if it was triggered but wasn’t opened entirely. That means there's no risk that it’ll stay open all day if you accidentally trigger it to open.
The Signature fridge was also equipped with some less unique—but no less appreciated—premium features. The micro-LED display on the external ice dispenser is completely invisible when unlit, preserving a clean, unblemished look. And the bottom freezer’s shelves slide out on their own when the door is opened past a certain point, as well as automatically retracting when you close the door.
Admittedly, none of these features feel necessary to the refrigerator experience; The vast majority of consumers just want their ice boxes to keep their food cold. But the point of premium appliances is to push the experience of the appliance beyond ordinary function, which the Signature fridge certainly does.
Sadly, there’s no pricing or release date information on the Signature fridge, other than the promise that it’ll be available sometime this year. We certainly can't wait to get it into our labs for some real testing.