In the hit TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, inhabitants of the Starship Enterprise never slave over a hot stove. Thanks to high-tech "replicator" technology, meals are ordered through the vessel's main computer system and crew members are free to focus on more important tasks ‑- like saving the universe.
While the most sophisticated of the show's inventions remain fictitious, some are not so far from reality. Here are just a few of our favorite hardworking and timesaving high-tech appliances.
Sick of running downstairs to check on the laundry when you're working at your desk upstairs? With the LG Remote Monitoring Laundry System, you can stay put and still keep tabs on your wash. Featuring the company's Power Line Communication (PLC) technology, this washer-and-dryer system is accompanied by a separate device that enables you to monitor the washing, rinsing, spinning and drying cycles and the amount of time remaining before the load is complete. "This is the age of automation, and consumers are seeking ways to make their lives more efficient and enjoyable, and are looking for products to help them do so," says Teddy Hwang, president of digital appliances for LG Electronics, USA. "The LG Remote Monitoring Laundry System takes the hassle out of doing the laundry and makes it an easier and less time-consuming chore."
If space is at a premium in your laundry room, consider the LG Wash & Dry Combo, an all-in-one laundry unit. In addition to saving space, this appliance programs cycles based on the specific fabric type and weight of the clothing. The combo is easy to program: Simply load the machine, chose your start and finish times and push a button. Clothing is washed and dried in one step and ready to fold when the cycle ends. Now, if only they could find a way to automate sorting and folding.