Whirlpool’s WLabs Cements Status as “Innovator to Beat” at CES 2019

About three years ago, engineering innovators at Whirlpool's Tech Centers in Benton Harbor gave birth to a product incubator not unlike those who tinker with things in the garage trying to invent the next cool thing. Begun in 2015, what became known as WLabs, has evolved into the embodiment of Whirlpool Corporation's commitment to finding new solutions to consumer's real life problems. By having a dedicated team focused solely on finding new ways to serve consumers, WLabs pushes the envelope and keeps Whirlpool Corporation at the forefront of innovation.

Fast forward to today and three smart home innovations from WLabs will be showcased at CES 2019, cementing the corporation as "the innovator to beat" and challenging the status quo of kitchen appliances. From an oven, small enough for the counter and another redefining the functionality of the traditional oven door, to the official in-market availability of its popular at-home food recycler, WLabs is a true leader, introducing products that will redefine their categories.

Doug Searles is General Manager at WLabs of Whirlpool. He says, "Innovations from WLabs are designed to deliver on people's unanswered questions and pain points." He adds, "Our engineers and designers push the boundaries of what the general public knows and recognizes as a Whirlpool product, and redefine what a home appliance can achieve. Whether delivering on a specific, singular need, or making multiple steps in the cooking process easier, each of the WLabs innovations coming to the marketplace give us a view of what the future of cooking will look like."

Three groundbreaking products from WLabs will become available to consumers, including:

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  • Planned for launch in 2019, Smart Countertop Oven - Engineered to fit easily on your counter, the Smart Countertop Oven uses leading food identification technology to detect select foods. The appliance automatically recognizes the type of food (and its starting temperature - fresh or frozen) placed inside and sets the time and temperature needed for a personalized and perfected result. Additional features will include: * (* WiFi & App required for connected features. Features subject to change. Details and privacy info at whirlpool.com/connect.  Appliance must be set to Remote Enable for remote control capabilities.)
    • Live-look-in for those who can't resist checking in on their dinner and real-time monitoring...
    • An internal doneness test (with smart food thermometer) to ensure your food is perfectly cooked all the way through...
    • One-touch start to reduce confusion in choosing between broil or bake...
    • Preheat times that are built into cooking algorithms for many foods, reducing the lag time between starting your appliance and inserting the food...
    • Scan-to-Cook Technology that allows users to easily cook some of their select frozen favorites
    • Voice Activation with the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to keep your hands free† († Voice control availability may vary by region.)
  • Whirlpool Connected Hub Wall Oven - This concept, a vision for a central cooking hub, will be an enhancement to the traditional built-in wall oven, and will feature a sizable screen with a transparent user interface (compared to a normal LCD screen), offering a brand-new and elevated cooking experience.
    • Via the expanded LCD screen, consumers will be able to unlock leading-edge connected cooking features:
      • Provides recipe browse and search by working with the Yummly digital recipe platform acquired by Whirlpool Corporation in 2017
      • Shopping delivery services
      • Step-by-step cooking instructions - including video
      • Food detection and instructions
      • Window viewing size selection
      • Capabilities for zooming in via the touch screen to help check food's doneness
    • Zera Food Recycler - First introduced at CES 2017, Zera Food Recycler is a first-of-its-kind way to recycle food at home and reduce food waste in 24 hours. Following a fully-funded early backer campaign on Indiegogo, Zera Food Recycler will be accessible via an app, and a functional kitchen appliance will be available for purchase online in early 2019. Visit ww.zera.com for more details.

WLabs innovations are among several smart home product announcements from Whirlpool Corporation at CES 2019. From January 8-11, CES attendees can get up close to all of the appliance maker's innovations at booth #41925 in the Smart Home section, located at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.

For more information on the corporation's products and to join the conversation, follow #ConnectToMore #CES2019.