A new, see-through refrigerator gives your kids no excuse for leaving the door open while searching for a snack.
LG’s new line of InstaView refrigerators feature a darkened glass panel that illuminates if you knock on it twice, revealing the fridge’s contents. When the light dims, the contents are almost entirely hidden.
“Consumers can now make decisions at the refrigerator without having to open the door,” said David VanderWaal, vice president of marketing for LG Electronics USA, who echoed the sentiment of every parent in America.
Glass door refrigerators do already exist, but they have yet to grow in popularity. The main issue is that glass is heavy and a poor insulator, which makes a glass fridge both expensive to buy and to run. InstaView gets around that issue by eschewing full-glass doors in favor of a small glass window on one door. In addition, there’s a clear panel behind it to reduce cold air loss.
Additionally, while glass door fridges filled with neatly arranged fruit and colorful water bottles may look lovely in design magazines, the reality of the average American kitchen is a bit messier. InstaView solves that problem with a little bit of mirroring on the glass: When the fridge is dark, nobody can see that it’s filled with leftover takeout.
One thing InstaView won’t do, however, is save money. That’s because open fridge doors just don’t waste that much energy.
Not only are today’s refrigerators more efficient than ever, but the air inside the fridge isn’t really what matters. Unless the food on the shelves gets warm—if you leave the door open for hours, for instance—it doesn’t take very much energy to replace any cold air that’s lost when a door briefly opens.
Sure, InstaView might save you a couple pennies on your electric bill—but that’s nowhere near how much you’ll spend to put one in your kitchen. These are premium appliances, and they start at $4,299. Available in a black stainless finish and both standard and counter depths, they’re definitely more about style than savings.
We first saw a prototype InstaView fridge at CES in January, but this is the first time the technology will be available to consumers. Four LG InstaView-equipped fridges will go on sale this September at select retailers, and the LG LFXS30796D is already on sale.