The Consumer Electronic Show (CES), and the Design and Construction Week (IBS + KBIS) are all being held this month in Las Vegas. New “smart” appliances are sure to be shown at each venue.
What’s a “smart” appliance? Maybe not what you think. When the word “smart” is prepended to the word appliance, it usually means that the appliance connects remotely to a device such as a smartphone to allow the device to communicate with the appliance and vice versa.
So far, the appeal of smart appliances has been limited. Most of the very early smart appliances didn’t do much. So you can control the appliance from your easy chair or maybe even from your car. Not exciting. But much more is on the way. For example, new smart refrigerators can send you a text message to tell you that you left the refrigerator door open.
I’m not going to rush out of the house just to buy a new smart appliance…BUT if I’m buying a new appliance, and I can get one with smart capabilities, I won’t laugh it off. If my new refrigerator can send me a note telling me that the power to my refrigerator has gone off, I want that!
Here are just a few new developments in smart appliances coming soon:
Currently GE makes smart wall ovens that allow you to pre-heat your oven when you’re on your way home. They’re now adding smart appliances including a French door refrigerator available in April 2015; a smart dishwasher available in late 2015; and a smart washer and dryer available in May 2015.
Whirlpool is phasing in appliances that work with smart phones throughout 2015. Plans include refrigerators, washers, dryers, and dishwashers all with smart technology. Once you download the app on your smartphone, you’ll use your home’s wireless network to monitor your appliances’ operation. The app will track the energy consumption of your appliances, and allow you to more efficiently operate them by scheduling usage during off peak hours. There are other features such as water filter monitoring, and more benefits that you might expect from being connected 24/7.
More brands are entering this space. Dacor and Viking both have launched smart appliances with interesting possibilites. Others will surely join the fray. This may just be an idea whose time has come.