AUSTIN, TX — As SXSW began, LG Electronics wowed us with song. Yes, at a press event dubbed the Inspiration Gallery, an artificial intelligence-powered boy band performed a K Pop song that got audiences to laugh, and even got cynics like me to smile.
This sextet of LG CLOi (pronounced like Chloe) Home robots moved in a synchronized "dance"-like routine and featured emotive facial displays. Each of the diminutive robots was dressed up in a different outfit, including the stylish one, who wore a vest and the fashionable rebel with the askew tie.
More than just entertainment droids, CLOi Home bots can read your emotion and take commands to control smart home devices. A demo video showed a CLOi Home bot assist with the preparation of a steak.
The CLOi Home band was performing in front of a massive array of LG’s Fantasticks, programmable glowsticks that change color. LG promoted these wands as a means for performers to connect with audiences.
A connected tablet allowed the audience to set color themes connected to events (including Halloween and Christmas), the four seasons and more.
If this all sounds mighty fanciful, you’re not wrong. The CLOi bots in the Inspiration Gallery are a series of conceptual products, meaning that LG Electronics has no schedule for releasing these products, or planned pricing.
The CLOi SocialBot, which has a display that features a black tie and buttons is more of an assistant. This taller robot is designed to navigate space, understand gestures and read emotions.
If sign language and gestures are more your thing, the CLOi GestureBot, which uses iconography to communicate with users is the CLOi for you. The pint-sized CLOi CareBot uses its eyes to convey emotions to users, and recognizes their emotions to decide what to signal.
Beer, Ice Cream by the K-Cup
LG also showed off its Keurig-esque HomeBrew system it first showed at CES earlier this year, which is now out of the concept stage. While it has no pricing or release date, LG allowed a small sampling of the machine's beer that was so limited that I couldn't even get a taste.
Users order boxes of small k-cup like pods that contain yeast, hop oil and "flavor" and can mix and match to their preference. Beer types available will include IPA, Pale Ale, Wheat, Stout and Pilsner.
The Snowwhite frozen treat machine though, is still at the concept stage. It shows LG's plans to bring customizable pod-generated treats from the world of coffee and beer to ice cream. One set of pods provided names of potential treats — including frozen yogurt and gelato — while the other was a set of flavors, with everything from vanilla to strawberry to cookie dough and strawberry.
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Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.