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Smart home tech highlights from the 2011 Consumer Electronic Show


At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, smart home technology took center stage thanks to a flood of household features reimagined and reprogrammed to work toward an energy efficient home.

References to The Jetsons and Back to the Future aren’t that far off, either. Companies like LG and Panasonic unveiled appliances that monitor their own energy efficiency, think for themselves, and, in some cases, self-repair. Meanwhile, GE introduced a new grid monitoring system that gives homeowners a vivid understanding of how they’re consuming energy. Heady stuff, and it’s all about to hit the market.

Here are some of the home tech highlights featured at CES 2011:

Highlight: According to Engadget, LG’s ThinQ technology includes, “Downloadable diagnostic information and the ability to hit a few buttons on the appliance to emit a series of tones to assist LG technicians troubleshooting problems over the phone.”

Highlight: For the Kenmore Connect refrigerator, we like the practicality of remote temperature control. Whether by smartphone or tablet, consumers can easily raise or lower the temperature throughout the day, making the appliance more energy efficient.

Highlight: The GE Nucleus provides extensive grid metrics and analytics, but the average homeowner is more concerned speaks dollar signs, not kilowatts. Nucleus allows consumers to see exactly how much money is being spent on their energy usage around the home. In this case, knowledge really is power.